Every deer hunter goes into the woods with the same goal–to shoot and kill a deer. There is no worse feeling than shooting a deer only to find out it didn’t die. This may result in having to trail your deer a great distance as it runs for its life, forced to suffer from poor shot placement. Sometimes, even worse, hunters are never able to recover the deer.

Any good hunter knows the importance of a one and done kill shot. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who does not agree. Locating the right target spot on your deer will help to eliminate this problem, giving you a clean kill shot each and every time, saving you, and deer, time and misery.


Take Careful Aim

The goal should be a single shot that takes down the whitetail each time. That said, there are many ways to shoot a deer that will result in an immediate kill. When hunting, keep these spots in mind.


  1. The brain– a deer will die instantly with a direct hit to the brain. A shot to the brain results in very little loss of meat. Be careful with this shot, though. It can be difficult to hit which might mean you miss the deer altogether or wound it
  2. Heart/lung area-this is a highly lethal area to shoot. This area is a little more forgiven due to the larger surface. You have a better chance of hitting your deer shooting in this area. Beware of clipping a lung–the deer may recover, leaving you to follow a blood trail. Light bullets that careen off a rib or shoulder bone aren’t always lethal.
  3. High shoulder-when properly executed, this shot can lead to an instant kill. Most hunters tend to shy away from this spot due to the misconception that aiming here will result in errors. Those trying to hunt during archery season may find this to be a less desirable shot.
  4. Neck- A correctly placed bullet will kill with massive shock to the spinal cord and vertebrae while damaging very little meat. Do be careful with this shot. If you miss, you may need to execute a second shot or slit the deer’s throat.


Practice Makes Progress


Fine-tuning your shooting ability takes hard work and practice. Sure, there will always be the hunter who gets lucky, but those who put in the work will reap the most reward. Over time, you will develop an understanding of angles and direction and how they affect your shot. You will also learn to shoot from varying distances. Shooting distance does affect where you need to aim.

Your means of shooting will also affect the type of shot. Archers will have other considerations than those using a gun. If you are using a rifle, invest in the best possible scope to ensure top shot accuracy.

The local circumstances can help you determine the best place to shoot a deer. For instance, shooting at under a heavily overcast sky can make it difficult to aim small parts like the brain. Instead, chose a target area that matches the bow-sight alignment.

Hit the woods this hunting season with more confidence and become more skilled at shooting deer.