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Shot Placement-Anatomy-Tracking #8779350 01/12/23 06:27 PM
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The short rifle/muzzle loader season in Okla has forced me to learn to crossbow hunt.
It’s hard enough to get that close but then the amount of knowledge to be properly prepared for that shot and the recovery is a whole lot. I have a similar thread in the archery section but wanted to put a similar one here since much of this pertains to any weapon.
I call it S.P.A.T. Knowledge of “Shot Placement, Anatomy, and Tracking” is critical to be able to have a chance at a high recovery rate of bow shot deer. This thread isn’t to teach but to learn. I want yalls input to help me and others with this challenge. I have a lot to learn.
To illustrate an example I want to go through a shot I made yesterday. Pics show the arrow almost to the deer(white spot at neck) and second pic shows it in the deer. Xbow shoots Rage Hypodermic 2” 2 blade 100gr mechanical 415fps at 25 yards 5’ elevated. I want to challenge y’all to offer input on what you think happened on a shot like this? I know all too well that every situation is different and there’s nothing close to an absolute but I think any opinions on what’s likely or not likely will be of value.
—What organs were hit or missed?
—How did she react in regard to her condition and how far she went.
—Any guess on amount of blood or color of blood?
—Short track or long track?
Hopefully if I get some participation I will come back and give more info on what happened right after the shot and y’all can have a go at opinions again. I’m not withholding further info to trick anyone, but instead just looking for step by step thoughts as it unfolded.
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At some point in life its time to quit chasing the pot of gold and just enjoy the rainbow. FR
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Re: Shot Placement-Anatomy-Tracking [Re: freerange] #8779356 01/12/23 06:40 PM
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Re: Shot Placement-Anatomy-Tracking [Re: freerange] #8779357 01/12/23 06:40 PM
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Free, with a moderate to high powered rifle, that's a vitals organ shot, all day, every day, lungs and heart with lots of blood and usually a shorter tracking job, under 75 yards unless animal is prematurely pushed by shooter. With a bow, still a solid shot with good blood flow but likely a longer track without pushing, maybe 100-150 yards would be my estimate...

Re: Shot Placement-Anatomy-Tracking [Re: freerange] #8779359 01/12/23 06:47 PM
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I'm glad you put another of these threads up freerange and will follow closely.
I think there was some very good information to learn from shared in your other thread.
Did you get a complete pass through on this shot? I don't bow hunt so I will wait to see what the experts have to say.

Re: Shot Placement-Anatomy-Tracking [Re: freerange] #8779363 01/12/23 06:54 PM
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Im looking for opinions as they relate to a crossbow or vertical bow. Other factors come into play on a slower shot arrow or on a rifle.
I wasn’t planning on adding more info just yet but I’ll go ahead and say the arrow was seen in video going straight through.


At some point in life its time to quit chasing the pot of gold and just enjoy the rainbow. FR
Keep your gratitude higher than your expectations. RWH
Re: Shot Placement-Anatomy-Tracking [Re: freerange] #8779365 01/12/23 06:59 PM
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I stick to my estimate, 100-150 yard track job on arrow flung from vertical or crossbow, no pushing of animal.

Re: Shot Placement-Anatomy-Tracking [Re: freerange] #8779368 01/12/23 07:03 PM
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PopeYoung, thanks for posting the diagram. As I have researched, I have found lots of those and most of them are not the same and some are quite different. Some show actual deer cutaway and are good. Even in those it’s hard to tell depending on angle and the photography. One of my big unknowns is just how much the lungs inflate and deflate and how that effects the shot.


At some point in life its time to quit chasing the pot of gold and just enjoy the rainbow. FR
Keep your gratitude higher than your expectations. RWH
Re: Shot Placement-Anatomy-Tracking [Re: freerange] #8779373 01/12/23 07:06 PM
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1. Lungs are the only organ hit.
2. She spun around and ran about 50 yards where she would have "crashed and burned."
3.Lots of bright colored blood along her "route."
4. Should have been an "easy" find!

Re: Shot Placement-Anatomy-Tracking [Re: freerange] #8779375 01/12/23 07:08 PM
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That shot should have caught both lungs and some liver, especially with a 2” mechanical.

No way to tell what to expect tracking wise could be 30 yards could be 150 but in the wide open I would expect her to run as far as she could to get back to cover.

Pro tip: if you shoot the rage shoot the 3 blade, a hole is much better than a slit


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Re: Shot Placement-Anatomy-Tracking [Re: freerange] #8779386 01/12/23 07:21 PM
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I'm going to start bow hunting, so very interested in the posts here.


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Re: Shot Placement-Anatomy-Tracking [Re: freerange] #8779388 01/12/23 07:22 PM
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TxTro mentioned the field. My way she was 25 yds from thick cover. Side to side either 175 or 225. Dead away is 800. Thick thick cover in every direction.
Hunterdaddy, you get extra credit for addressing all my questions.
Personally, I would likely hesitate to respond to a thread like this cause I hate to be wrong and others know it. The thing about an arrow shot deer is there is very little certainty and hardly ever a for sure right or wrong answer, so jump in.


At some point in life its time to quit chasing the pot of gold and just enjoy the rainbow. FR
Keep your gratitude higher than your expectations. RWH
Re: Shot Placement-Anatomy-Tracking [Re: freerange] #8779390 01/12/23 07:27 PM
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What was the goal of your post again? How far did deer go and shot's value was it?

Re: Shot Placement-Anatomy-Tracking [Re: DQ Kid] #8779396 01/12/23 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by DQ Kid
What was the goal of your post again? How far did deer go and shot's value was it?

I’m not sure if I stated it, but the ultimate goal of this thread is to learn everything possible about how to increase chances of recovering every deer ever shot with bow. The specific questions, to this point, are bullet pointed in first post. Those are pretty much the questions I think need addressing by the shooter at the early stages of recovery.


At some point in life its time to quit chasing the pot of gold and just enjoy the rainbow. FR
Keep your gratitude higher than your expectations. RWH
Re: Shot Placement-Anatomy-Tracking [Re: freerange] #8779403 01/12/23 07:46 PM
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From the looks of the 2 pics she appeared to be just slightly quartering away.
1) I'd say the arrow cut through both lungs and possibly caught the liver as well. I don't believe it caught the back top part of the heart.
2) I'd guess she probably jumped up into the air and bolted off. Guessing how far is pretty tough as each deer is always different. I shot some in that exact spot with my bow and they crashed within 30-40 yards and yet others went 100-150 yards or even a little more.
3) I would think there was plenty enough blood to follow her trail pretty easily and it should have been bright red to a frothy pinkish color.
4) I'm thinking she was a pretty short track job and likely under 50 yards but again, each deer is different and reacts as such to the impact of an arrow.


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Re: Shot Placement-Anatomy-Tracking [Re: freerange] #8779420 01/12/23 08:28 PM
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id think you caught the back of the shot side lung and then into stomach and believe that deer very well may have ran as far as 200 yds with a moderate not heavy blood trail.

Re: Shot Placement-Anatomy-Tracking [Re: joedav31] #8779421 01/12/23 08:28 PM
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if not pushed she was dead for sure just may not have been a cakewalk of a blood trail.

Re: Shot Placement-Anatomy-Tracking [Re: freerange] #8779432 01/12/23 08:47 PM
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Head down that puts the legs further back on the chest than if the head is up. Shot is back of center in lungs, perhaps some liver and diaphragm if the arrow went through with the broadhead about vertical I am thinking back part of one lung perhaps both and some liver. I think she ran somewhere between 50 to 150 yards with good blood trail. Depending on just what was hit. If she ran straight into the thick cover and not pushed at all I would think good chance she is within a 10 or 15 yards of the edge just from some I have recovered, get to safer place away from the noise. I have found several that made it out of the field to die just inside cover a little ways. But like the one I had that took 2 hops turned around and came back over and was sniffing the arrow when it got the wobbles and fell down you never know what they will do until they do it.

I do not think the heart was touched by the broadhead a little far back for that. Unlike the other thread I am thinking this one did not catch the guts any or if quartered toward perhaps on the exit side.

Edit to add if it missed the offside lung she might have gone 200 to 300 yards before laying down








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Re: Shot Placement-Anatomy-Tracking [Re: freerange] #8779441 01/12/23 09:10 PM
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This has been great feedback guys. What does anybody know about the size of lungs changing as they inhale and exhale. I know very little about that and haven’t learned much in my recent research. I know it happens, but to what degree.


At some point in life its time to quit chasing the pot of gold and just enjoy the rainbow. FR
Keep your gratitude higher than your expectations. RWH
Re: Shot Placement-Anatomy-Tracking [Re: freerange] #8779486 01/12/23 10:17 PM
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It's a solid lung hit, which means she ran. How far, hard to tell. They generally run further hit high like this. Once the lung cavity fills up, she'll bleed a lot. But a 2" Rage they generally bleed out immediately. I ALWAYS aim for bottom third into the shoulder for a heart shot, especially for bow hunting. Often times deer will jump the string some, and your shot goes high. It appears to be a good kill shot, but most likely ran a ways.



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Re: Shot Placement-Anatomy-Tracking [Re: freerange] #8779493 01/12/23 10:29 PM
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While I wait for someone to address my inflated vs deflated lung question I’ll comment.
Kmon, I understand head up or down can effect the reaction time to possibly move pre arrow impact, but I’m not sure what you mean about the head down causing the leg to be further back….?
Chad, I hear guys talking about aiming all over a deer. Your low aim at heart makes sense except what happens if the deer doesn’t drop and you hit that leg bone blocking the heart? If it wasn’t for that issue I think most would aim there.

Last edited by freerange; 01/12/23 10:31 PM.

At some point in life its time to quit chasing the pot of gold and just enjoy the rainbow. FR
Keep your gratitude higher than your expectations. RWH
Re: Shot Placement-Anatomy-Tracking [Re: freerange] #8779507 01/12/23 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by freerange
Chad, I hear guys talking about aiming all over a deer. Your low aim at heart makes sense except what happens if the deer doesn’t drop and you hit that leg bone blocking the heart? If it wasn’t for that issue I think most would aim there.


IMO, that's where you should aim. You don't aim low enough that you are into the bottom leg area. You still aim in the bottom third area at the heart. The arrow should penetrate through the bone if you have a heavy enough arrow. But if the deer does jump the string some (which most do), your impact is now a little higher about mid way or half. If you aim center, and they jump the string, you are now hitting high, really high. I've seen deer never get recovered from a high hit, but also seen them drop due to a spine shot. I'm aiming right into the red area of the heart, like pictured below. (I think the heart is a little more forward than the picture shows.)

The guys in deer camp used to chuckle about the "tree trunk" arrows I would shoot. They were heavy and not very fast. But I would blow through even the biggest of pigs. I also prefer a 3 or 4 fixed blade broadhead. I will never use the Rage or mechanical broadheads again. One of the guys I hunted with was all about the speed and how fast he cold push an arrow. He went really light with those tiny carbon arrows. He lost multiple pigs because he would have no penetration. He said his arrow would stick out 20"+ inches after the shot on pigs. A good 3 blade, fixed blade broadhead is awesome!


[Linked Image]


Here’s the cavity of the buck i shot last year. It was a near perfect heart shot. He was at 32 yards, and he jumped the string a little, and I hit him a few inches high from where I was aiming. But the shot was good and he only went about 30 yards. If you take out the heart, they will not run far at all. If you only take out the lungs, they will run as far as they can on what's remaining in their system.

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Re: Shot Placement-Anatomy-Tracking [Re: freerange] #8779575 01/13/23 12:53 AM
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I may be way wrong, but the angle looks more than a quartering shot. I think that it got one lung, possibly caught the liver but also got some guts. I say this because a hunting buddy made a shot very similar to what this one looks like.
Thinking the deer went between 100 to 150 yards.

Re: Shot Placement-Anatomy-Tracking [Re: freerange] #8779616 01/13/23 02:17 AM
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Don’t know how far she ran . From all the deer I have shot and what I have seen shot doe do not usually run as far as bucks, especially in rut. How far they run can be a crap shoot. I once shot a buck with s as 270 and blew out half its heart. He still ran close to 300 yards . Drenilin is a crazy thing . But the shot in the pictures appears to be going from the head of the deer towards the back of the deer. Looks tofar back from where I would want it to hit. Maybe Liver shot but could have got some lung . Also looks like shes trying to jump the string but waited s bit late.

Re: Shot Placement-Anatomy-Tracking [Re: freerange] #8779655 01/13/23 03:17 AM
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It looks further back than you'd want with the slight quartering to angle. I would guess one lung, maybe liver or gut. A deer can go a long way on one lung.

My bowhunting is with a recurve off the ground at about 12 yards max. There are lots of deer killed by arrow or bolt with shots I just won't take. I only loose arrows broadside or quartering away. I aim for the heart. I actually aim for the heart inside the animal. It's kind of a head trip, but I'm not losing the few I do shoot. If it works with a 50# recurve and relatively narrow 2-blade it might work for more modern tackle.

I'm not sure if it would translate to what you are doing at the greater distances. It's probably easier to visualize up close. I suggest spending some time looking at where the organs are in pictures and videos of real deer. When practicing look at a 3D target and picture where those organs would be. It's really something you practice to get to where you do it smoothly enough to apply it in hunting.

Re: Shot Placement-Anatomy-Tracking [Re: freerange] #8779715 01/13/23 05:37 AM
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Fr, looks like. Double lung in the back part pf the lungs where there isnt great vascularity but a double lung nonetheless. It is possible depending on ventilation status it might have caught some liver or stomach too, but that is hard to say just on the pic….wouldn’t shock me either way, but it would be a solid part of the liver if hit which would solidify the death process.

She ran prob 50-75 yards before she collapsed from no breath. Blood was scant to decent but not spraying everywhere. Seems as though both deer are barely reacting to the shot, which is good. An alert deer will run further, so that helps keep her in the “short track” rather than ling track group (not that i know where the cut off is 😂 )

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