Tell me about shoulder shots on ungulates


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Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
May 27, 2009, 01:18 PM
I know where I like to aim for heart/lung, or neck shots, but I've been reading up a bit on shoulder shots, and I have some questions, for those who may know:

1. Most importantly, can someone post up an image with a dot showing exactly where you aim for the shoulder shot, please?

2. Do you ALWAYS, SOMETIMES, or NEVER also hit a lung with this shot? Ever hit two, or just one, or neither?

3. (related to #2) Does this shot ALWAYS, SOMETIMES, or ALMOST NEVER require a quick coup de grace follow up shot?

4. Does this shot always require a full broadside, or can you get away with a quartering toward or away? If so, how much on quartering away, and how much on quartering toward - 15 degrees, 30 deg, 45 deg, 60 deg, what, on each? And still have it be an effective shot? Requires a smaller angle of quartering toward or away than a heart/lung shot, before feeling confident to take it, or about the same?

5. (related to #4) Do you always hit both shoulder blades, or just one, or what?

6. How far do they run, on average, with this shot? If it depends, then what does it depend on?

7. Would you ever take this shot with a bow, with say, Muzzys, or gun only?

8. Do you have an opinion as to whether, *generally speaking*, it is more desirable or less desirable than a neck shot, when given a choice?

Thanks.

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.45Guy
May 27, 2009, 01:30 PM
6. How far do they run, on average, with this shot? If it depends, then what does it depend on?


It depends on how patient YOU are. I actually tend to put it right behind the shoulder through the lungs to save as much meat as possible. Even with an old .30-30, which DOESN'T open up much at all going through nothing but the chest cavity. As long as you don't jump up and spook them, they'll usually bed down and expire pretty close. I'll usually have a couple cups of coffee and a smoke or two whilst waiting.

rcmodel
May 27, 2009, 01:54 PM
http://www.rubsnscrapes.com/Articles/deer_shot_placement_anatomy.php

The open space between the shoulder blades & joints and the lower elbow joints is where the boiler room is.

A shoulder shot will take out both lungs, liver, and the heart or aorta.
The disadvantage is a broadside shoulder shot can ruin a lot of good meat in both forelegs.

I think it is more desirable then a neck shot because the neck is a very small target for most folks.
The actual spinal cord also isn't where you might think it should be.

If you miss the spine, even slightly, you have a badly wounded, but very live deer that will run away.

I don't consider a shoulder shot real good for a bow.
There are some major bones in the way of an arrow getting into the chest cavity where it can cut and cause massive bleeding if you are too high, too low, or too far forward.

With rifles, the whole thing depends on the angle of the shot.
A quartering shot may go in behind the shoulder on the near side and break the shoulder on the off side.
It would hit the lungs but might miss the heart.

rc

moosehunt
May 27, 2009, 02:19 PM
Mr. Model, I do think you know better than that! It would require a howitzer to take out both lungs, heart, and liver with one shot! The liver on a deer is nearly 18" from the heart! I believe the place this gent is referring to as the "shoulder" is in the area where the scapula and humerus connect, often refered to as the "point of the shoulder". It is very effective as a stopping point with rifle or muzzle loader (no idea with a pointed stick). The down side is that it tends to destroy a lot of meat. A hit here generally has pretty adverse effect on the lungs. A shot of this type is quite the preferred shot in African hunting, where concern over meat is greatly reduced when compared to US / North American hunting. There, they are much more interested in putting the animal down (also the preferred point on a bear). If the shot comes up a bit low, the heart is in jeapordy, and if high, the spine soon comes into play.

The neck is a good shot, IF you make it correctly--one must hit the vertebrea or things don't generally work out well. That makes it a relatively small target. That said, I've used it a lot, as it does save meat, but only under good circumstances.

Asherdan
May 27, 2009, 03:43 PM
By question #

1/ From RC's link, I aim two thirds of the body height down in line with the shoulder blade. I'm trying to punch lungs and heart or the major arteries coming out the topside of the heart and maybe break some bone down.

2/ Always have hit lung(s). This years deer I got the onside lung and just got the front of the offside lung on a shot where he was maybe 30d off zero going away from me.

3/ Never had one yet. Some run a little, especially when I'm brush busting, but a good shot in that area does the job.

4/ I take about any shot short of the Texas Heart type. If the angle is too steep going away I'll start the shot further back for an exit through the off shoulder. Coming in (rare for me) I'll chest drill 'em.

5/ Just one sometimes. see 4.

6/ Depends on how wound up they are and if I break bone. DRT if not alerted, down and out pretty quick with busted front gear, several stotts before going down on a good but not bone breaking hit. This years muley took two hops, but the second one took him a 100' straight down a brush choked ravine.

7/ Gun only for me. Hard cast or an XTP preferred in that order. I would worry about a broadhead hanging up on bone before getting to the chest cavity.

8/ I think the shoulder shot has a lot more margin for error than the neck shot. Most of my shots are offhand or kneeling at a moving deer. If I was in a stand or working from a rest (field type or otherwise) and had an un-alert one moving in, I might feel otherwise.

Grizfire
May 27, 2009, 03:44 PM
Whoever is purposefully aiming at the shoulder (from a broad side view) must have been half asleep in their hunters ed course. This is not a good place to aim, it destroys meat, and your shot may go forward of the lungs and heart.

Personally, I have never heard anyone proclaiming to go for the shoulder. It has always been, BEHIND the shoulder.

My perfect shot placement would be just above the elbow on a broad side view, although I rarely aim for this exact point (too low, and may miss underneath), opting to make sure I get a lung.

Grizfire
May 27, 2009, 03:47 PM
Does this shot always require a full broadside, or can you get away with a quartering toward or away?

I'm thinking opposite of this sentence, I would only aim at the shoulder if quartering toward.

FITASC666
May 27, 2009, 03:50 PM
I've harvested several caribou with the intent of getting as much meat as possible. I've tried the high shoulder shot with a great outcome. They may walk or not, not far when they do, maybe about 30yds. I aim for the higher half of the abdomen in line with the front foreleg line (as if it were still). This ensures a good lung shot and good meat.

I saw this recently, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boxndplzQmU

Hope this helps :D

moosehunt
May 27, 2009, 06:37 PM
And Grizfire must have been asleep in anatomy class! If you are in front of the lungs on an attempted shoulder shot, you plumb missed the critter, not just the lungs! Indeed, shooting behind the shoulder is a bit high for the lungs; one must shoot behind and down from the shoulder to get a good dose of lungs. Get very far behind the shoulder and one starts to get into the paunch--not good! A bit high and back and the liver shows up. If the objective is to end the show quickly, then a shoulder shot is ideal. That is why it is strongly pushed in African hunting. You cause major anatomy disrupture (bone), likely cause the lungs to leak severely, but do sacrifice meat. A shot that only ventilates the lungs can very likely lead to a critter that posesses the abililty to travel a good ways from you before giving up the ghost. Foul up the major support framework (or the pump) and that won't happen.

MCgunner
May 27, 2009, 06:49 PM
I've found deer can't run on broken shoulders.

dakotasin
May 27, 2009, 06:56 PM
1 - nope, don't have an image. sorry.

2 - i have always hit at least one, usually both lungs.

3 - a follow up shot is almost never required.

4 - w/ a rifle there is plenty of room for angles. on a severe angle, aim for the offside shoulder.

5 - depends on the angle, but generally just one shoulder gets hit.

6 - travel is usually about 40 yards or so, maybe a little more maybe a little less.

7 - gun only.

8 - between neck and shoulder, the shoulder is more desireable.

having said all that, i am not a fan of busting the onside shoulder. i prefer to go just behind the shoulder, and if the offside shoulder gets in the way, fine, but on deer or antelope i don't like busting shoulders. that does not apply to elk.

~z
May 27, 2009, 07:02 PM
I use the high shoulder shots with an extreamly high rate of success. Generally it puts them down on the spot or within a few feet of the spot. Looking at RC's diagram I typically aim at about the middle of that boat oar where that little blue line runs through. There is some meat damage, but that is sausage meat anyway and it goes in the grind. It makes it difficult to run without the front legs working and typically takes the CNS down too.
Other opinions may differ, but that is one of my methods.
~z

hardluk1
May 27, 2009, 07:35 PM
The bullet i use some what deppends on where i will hunt. If on large clear cut i will use a balistic tip or sst for better long range ballistics and it will stop a deer in most cases where they stand.I also try to not shoot for the sholder but just behind it and more center of the body top to bottom. If hunting in the woods where shoots will be shorter i use a barnes X bullet and do then try for a sholder but know if i miss that it will still go out the other side with a great blood trail and still not travel far. If you make a bad shoot with a BT, say to the rear or center of mass you may not have alot of good eatable deer. You can and more than likey will find brass in lungs,heart, liver,guts and surrounding meat like the loins and backstrap. I have a buddy that turned one doe shot at 185 yards with a 7stw into luquid and jello and i have done that myself. Not good. Now larger game like elk i will stay with a barnes X.

Grizfire
May 27, 2009, 09:00 PM
You crack me up moosehunt. In fact I was awake during both anatomy and hunters ed (I admit my anatomy class focused on humans and not ungulates). I stand by my previous post...aiming for the shoulder MAY give a shot forward of the lung (and likely above the lung as well) and I think it is a poor choice on a broadside animal...

From hunters-ed.com (http://www.hunter-ed.com/images/graphics/vital_organs_deer.jpg)

http://www.hunter-ed.com/images/graphics/vital_organs_deer.jpg

Here is a view of where the shoulder is...

http://forum.gon.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=175613&stc=1&d=1219239807

And here is a view of both the lungs and shoulder...

http://trailcameras.net/images/deer-anatomy.jpg

If the objective is to end the show quickly, then a shoulder shot is ideal
No way man, I don't believe you.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
May 27, 2009, 09:12 PM
OK, there seems to be some confusion here. I think we need to back up and define a shoulder shot, as a starting point for getting on the same page.

If you take a look at the diagram linked to, and assume that it's accurate, that's a starting point. Let me know if you don't think it's accurate. In my experience, it is pretty accurate.

Think of the scapula as an "upside-down laboratory beaker"- with the neck part pointing down, and the triangle part higher up toward the spine of the deer, but pointing down and a bit forward.

Clearly, if you hit anywhere in the scapula, you will completely miss the heart, no question - it's much lower and a little farther back. You will also miss the liver by a country mile. The scapula is on the very edge of the lungs, so you may get a lung, depending upon up/down angle, and what part of the scapula you hit.

So, first off,

(a) By shoulder shot, I mean hitting the scapula. Does everyone else mean hitting the scapula, or does anyone mean hitting something other than the scapula?
(b) if you mean hitting something other than the scapula, then what do you mean by shoulder shot?
(c) If your "shoulder shot" does hit the scapula, then what part, the upper triangle part of the beaker (and which part of that - the center?), or the neck of the beaker pointing down?

I thought the whole point of the shoulder shot was to make it worthwhile to miss the heart (a negative), in order to take out the shoulder blade(s), making it impossible for the animal to run (a positive), and if you happen to also hit a lung, then so much the better.

With a bow, I always aim for the top of the heart, which will hit 2 lungs if a broadside shot, and hopefully the heart too, if it's a good shot.

With a rifle, I aim for the neck under 75 yards, or the top of the heart if a longer shot. I'm wondering if I should aim for the shoulder instead on the neck on the shorter shots, to anchor them on the spot like a neck shot, yet provide a *slightly* larger target than the neck?

I'm thinking that the goal would be to aim "though the animal" for the far-side shoulder if it's an uphill shot, so that you clip the near-side lung, or aim for the near-side shoulder if it's a downhill shot, so that you clip the far-side lung - is that a correct analysis?

I use the high shoulder shots with an extreamly high rate of success.

And where, EXACTLY, is the shot placement on this high shoulder shot? Could you please elaborate on this:

I typically aim at about the middle of that boat oar where that little blue line runs through.

Grizfire, are you saying that you aim exactly for the center of the large lower (triangle) part of the scapula? Do you also hit the spine sometimes?

MCgunner
May 27, 2009, 09:23 PM
Hit a high shoulder shot and you anchor the deer, period, at least in my experience. I've walked up to a couple and put one in the head to finish 'em. They were kickin' around with their hind legs, but couldn't get up. One had the whole right side shoulder blown off by a 7 mag and 150 game king at about 50 yards. But, like Z says, it's just chili meat, not like you're losing back strap or something. And, often, they drop like a ton of bricks. The spine is behind the scapula, too, ya know. You don't have to hit it to effect it with a major rifle caliber. I hit 3" below the spine a couple of years ago on a spike with my Contender and he went down so fast, I thought I'd missed and he'd run off, but I couldn't figure out to where. LOL He piled up right where he was hit, DRT.

I will take this shot if I'm using my .308, .257, 7 mag or even my .30-30 contender. I will prefer the low lung/heart shot with a magnum pistol caliber. I'll take the shot that's presented, but on broad side shots, I've had good luck with the shoulder. I think if I ever get another 50 yard shot on a whitetail with the 7 mag, I'll shoot behind the shoulder this time, though, LOL! I mean, that deer's lungs evaporated, shoulder was blown off hanging by tendons, even the on side shoulder was bloodshot beyond belief! I've shot 5 deer with that rifle, though, and my nicest buck. The doe was the closest and the most impressive meat destruction. The bullet exited, but man, it must've blown up in that deer, major energy dump. LOL

Grizfire
May 27, 2009, 09:23 PM
I consider the shoulder to be comprised of the clavicle, scapula, and humerus as well as all the associated muscle, tendon, and ligaments.

You are correct that a shoulder shot will mostly be on the scapula, and it will render the animal unable to walk (maybe, I have heard of animals going off on their hind legs before).

Its just that I don't think its a very lethal shot. Yes you may hit the lungs, but in my opinion it is better to holder near center lung and low where the heart is, this way any imprecision will still hit the lungs. Contrarily, holding on the shoulder, if there is even a hair of imprecision above or forward, you have not hit any vitals...which is not good.

Grizfire
May 27, 2009, 09:25 PM
Grizfire, are you saying that you aim exactly for the center of the large lower (triangle) part of the scapula? Do you also hit the spine sometimes?

No way, I aim above the elbow, behind the shoulder...thats not my quote btw.

Grizfire
May 27, 2009, 09:28 PM
Hit a high shoulder shot and you anchor the deer, period, at least in my experience. I've walked up to a couple and put one in the head to finish 'em.

So it doesn't actually kill them, you need a second shot?

MCgunner
May 27, 2009, 09:45 PM
So it doesn't actually kill them, you need a second shot?

I've had a few kick around in a circle for a bit before croaking. I've put a couple down with a head shot from my carry gun rather than let it suffer a minute longer. I have no doubt it would have died shortly, but I put it down. It don't always KILL 'em DRT, but I've never had one go anywhere after having any of it's front appendages taken out, either scapula or lower. The only time I've ever put one down that was dead before it hit the ground was a CNS hit EXCEPT for that .30-30 shot I mentioned earlier. That bullet went right below the spine, behind the scapula, high lung shot. All I could figure was the pressure wave effects on the spine. But, buddy, that deer was lights out on impact.

One shot, out in West Texas (trans pecos) was on a doe. It was angling 45 degrees, a quartering shot facing me with its left shoulder forward at 150 yards. I was shooting my surgically accurate .257 Roberts and put one right on the forward edge of her shoulder. Also, I was shooting off the rim of a dry wash and DOWN at the deer in the wash. The bullet entered the shoulder, hit and penetrated the scapula and bounced off the bone and up into a vertebra in between the shoulders which shattered and I heard a LOUD "SNAP", and then bounced off that vertebra and down through lungs to an off side rib which it shattered and then wound up flattened out like a pancake under the skin. That deer is another one that fell faster than I could see her fall, dead in her tracks. I had no clue HOW until I quartered her up, LOL. That was a 100 grain game king.

SPW1
May 27, 2009, 11:42 PM
If I need to make a quick shot I will aim for the off side shoulder joint assuming a broadside or quartered away shot. Where the scapula meets the humerus. A shot in that general area will take my bullet through the lungs and across the top of the heart where all the big blood vessels attach. I never aim for the shoulder blade, that is to high for an ideal shot in my opinion. I have seen deer shot there by others and I am not to fond of the results although with a high powered rifle it will usually put them down anyway. I find a large number of people who say they aim "behind the shoulder" particularly newer hunters, are aiming too far back and can get into the liver or guts pretty easily. Of course if I have a rest, am using a rifle, and have plenty of time I will generally take a shot about one third up the neck where the spine, jugular, and windpipe are closest to one another. Less mess.

moosehunt
May 28, 2009, 12:29 AM
Indeed, there is some descrepancy in regard to what is being referred to as the shoulder by different parties. When I refer to the shoulder, I mean the joint where the scapula joins the humerus. I thought that's what we all were referring to, but I see obviously not so. Consequently, my comments are based on that premise. The "high shoulder" shot, which falls in Grizfires circle is getting up into the vertebrea, definately a stopper, though maybeso not a rapid killer (nor is my shoulder shot). If you hit what I call the shoulder (that scapula/humerous joint), the game is over. The animal will not leave the immediate area. That is precisely why it is the prescribed shot in places like Africa (and on mean guys of any make or residense). It is not good for meat reclaimation or even quick death, but it does prevent travel. I rarely use it intentionally, as I have too much of a meat gathering background, but it is fairly large in respective area (target), and it does end the program.

wankerjake
May 28, 2009, 01:56 AM
I always thought shoulder shots referred more to the front leg than the scapula. What you can't really see in the third picture is the form of the front leg. Imagine the leg being there, and the humorous. Depending on the angle, a shot thru the front leg will potentially break the humorous and take out heart/vasculature and lungs. Anyway I usually try and get just lungs as I am usually hurting for meat here in AZ. My idea of a shoulder shot was errant I guess, I just thought y'all were shooting the front leg and not the actual scapula. With a good bullet though I'm sure it works pretty well. Sure does waste a lot of meat though.

~z
May 28, 2009, 10:19 AM
Dr. Tad, the quote you ref was mine so I guess I should answer.
Yes, I aim for the intersection of scapula and spine. It does destroy some meat but leaves that tasty pump in place. We make several hundred #s of sausage each year and those bloodshot shoulders go right in the grind so there is no meat loss in my book. I should mention I only use this shot at extended ranges, for the short stuff I prefer the 1/3 way down the neck shot. You guys worried about ruining meat are messing up the best part with your heart shots!!
~z

moosehunt
May 28, 2009, 11:54 AM
Yep, the pump (and tongue) are the best parts! I try and avoid holes through the pump, indeed have few dead critters with that delicacy damaged.

H&Hhunter
May 28, 2009, 11:55 AM
If any of you guys ever find yourselves in Africa that behind the shoulder stuff is going to get you in a whole bunch of trouble.

Watch the video that FITASC666 posted. That information is 100% correct and once you learn to do it you'll start getting far more bang flops on your kills. Not only does that shot drop animals of any kind far faster than a behind the shoulder shot it also gets lungs and it usually will rupture the ascending major vessels of the heart. There simply is not a more effective body shot than a high shoulder.

The reason that we in America are taught the behind the shoulder method is that we are still hung up on the advice of our colonial fathers who were using soft lead and round balls. In their cases a small caliber round ball would not reliably break bone so a soft tissue hit was the best option.

People ask me if the lungs and heart are further forward on African game. The answer is in some cases yes. But the real reason that Africans have learned to shoot for the high shoulder is that when hunting stuff that can and will readily and happily kill you back it becomes rather important to drop stuff on the spot so that it doesn't get a chance to exact it's revenge. A double lunged behind the shoulder cape buffalo can live for a very long time and still be able to kill you when you find it several hours later. The imperative for a quick kill / stop becomes obvious in these situations.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
May 28, 2009, 12:03 PM
OK, sounds good.

BUT, is the "high shoulder" the intersection of the scapula and humerus, or is "high shoulder" higher up, on the scapula itself? Why is it called "high shoulder" instead of just "shoulder" shot, if it's not ON the scapula? Would the joint of the scapula and humerus be the "low shoulder" or just "shoulder"? :confused:

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
May 28, 2009, 12:35 PM
Update:

Look at point 1:12 into that youtube video..... clearly the bullet path they are calling high shoulder is directly through the dead center of the large triangular portion of the scapula.

But then oddly, he goes on to shoot a good 4-5" BEHIND that point and calling it the same shot. :rolleyes:

MCgunner
May 28, 2009, 12:40 PM
People ask me if the lungs and heart are further forward on African game. The answer is in some cases yes.

Yes, in the case of feral hogs OR Javelina, two common American game animals. Shoot either behind the shoulder, and as I found out with the first one I ever shot, you're going to be in for a long blood trail and a lot of excitement in the end. A hog or Javelina ain't no cape buffalo, but it can still mess up your boxers! Bad thing is, when those animals run, they head for the heaviest cover and you are on your hands and knees following a really pissed off hog in heavy cover. It's pretty scary.

~z
May 28, 2009, 01:43 PM
Tad, I believe what he was trying to demonstrate in the video is that with that shot you have a wider margin for error for wind drift.

Good info H&H, never considered the colonial implications of the behind the shoulder shot.
~z

moosehunt
May 28, 2009, 04:18 PM
Obviously H&H and I are in agreement--perhaps he said it a bit better. If meat is not the big concern (I'm often guilty, but that doesn't make it right), a shoulder shot (breaking humerus and on into lungs) is the way to stop the program. If I'm shooting at a big bull elk, meat isn't #1 on my mind, hence a shoulder shot. Game over.

Vern Humphrey
May 28, 2009, 05:24 PM
2. Do you ALWAYS, SOMETIMES, or NEVER also hit a lung with this shot? Ever hit two, or just one, or neither?

Yes. Generally a shoulder shot (or a shot in the leg, just below the joint) will do considerable damage to lungs and heart -- for larger game, a premium bullet like a Nosler Partition Jacket is advised, so it will have plenty of mass to penetrate after hitting heavy bone.

One benefit of this shot is that bone fragments add to the effectiveness of the bullet.
3. (related to #2) Does this shot ALWAYS, SOMETIMES, or ALMOST NEVER require a quick coup de grace follow up shot?

There's no such thing as "always." In general, a hit in the leg just below the shoulder joint will almost always put game down, and the animal will usually be dead before you walk up to it.
4. Does this shot always require a full broadside, or can you get away with a quartering toward or away? If so, how much on quartering away, and how much on quartering toward - 15 degrees, 30 deg, 45 deg, 60 deg, what, on each? And still have it be an effective shot? Requires a smaller angle of quartering toward or away than a heart/lung shot, before feeling confident to take it, or about the same?

For a rear quartering shot you should aim through the animal, to hit the leg on the far side.
5. (related to #4) Do you always hit both shoulder blades, or just one, or what?
As I said, I try to break the leg below the shoulder joint. This simply requires slightly adjusting the aim from the classic heart/lung shot. Simply aim 2/3s of the way down the body behind the joint, then shade it forward to hit the joint.

You can break both legs only if the animal is perfectly lined up.

6. How far do they run, on average, with this shot? If it depends, then what does it depend on?
I have had animals fall down a steep slope, but they rarely run any distance with one leg broken and the heart and lungs taken out.

7. Would you ever take this shot with a bow, with say, Muzzys, or gun only?

I would not try to break a leg with a bow -- take the classic heart/lung shot behind the leg with a bow.

8. Do you have an opinion as to whether, *generally speaking*, it is more desirable or less desirable than a neck shot, when given a choice?
A neck shot is a very bad choice -- the animal has to present just right, the neck is a small target, and if you miss it, you don't do enough damage to put the animal down.

The heart/lung shot shaded slightly forward is a much better choice.

41 Mag
May 28, 2009, 06:12 PM
The last three deer I shot I aimed for different spots on the shoulder area but I will try to explain as I answer you questions as best I can with a keyboard.

1. Most importantly, can someone post up an image with a dot showing exactly where you aim for the shoulder shot, please?

With the provided link to the pictures, using the first one with the red dot, The difference was my deer was standing slightly more towards me, and I aimed to the area where the base of the neck junctions the shoulder blade. At the shot the deer simply crumpled. In looking at the diagram above you can see that my shot passed just under the intersection of the spinal junction of the neck and back bone as well as took out the opposite side lung and most of the heart. This particular area is very vulnerable to the hydrostatic shock from a bullet moving through it. With all of the nerves it quickly incapacitates the game and they hit the ground.

2. Do you ALWAYS, SOMETIMES, or NEVER also hit a lung with this shot? Ever hit two, or just one, or neither?

Sometimes yes sometimes no, it depends on the actual angle of the game. With a little more towards a quartering shot the chances of hitting both lungs go down verses more of a broadside shot.

3. (related to #2) Does this shot ALWAYS, SOMETIMES, or ALMOST NEVER require a quick coup de grace follow up shot?

I have never had to make a second shot on deer or hogs using this shot placement.

4. Does this shot always require a full broadside, or can you get away with a quartering toward or away? If so, how much on quartering away, and how much on quartering toward - 15 degrees, 30 deg, 45 deg, 60 deg, what, on each? And still have it be an effective shot? Requires a smaller angle of quartering toward or away than a heart/lung shot, before feeling confident to take it, or about the same?

My basic reason to take such a shot is to put the animal down on the spot, meat is not an issue at this point in time. I generally use or try to use this particular area in very dense forest, or when conditions do not favor following up on something that has run. I have no issues with the angle if I can put it through the base of the neck or junction of the neck/spine, and still get through to a lung or heart. Quartering towards or away, the angles might change but the intent is still the same, to put the game on it's nose right where it stands.

5. (related to #4) Do you always hit both shoulder blades, or just one, or what?

Sometimes I do not hit either, as mentioned it depends on the actual position and movements of the game.

6. How far do they run, on average, with this shot? If it depends, then what does it depend on?

If they do run, which some try but do not succeed, it is only a few yards at most.

7. Would you ever take this shot with a bow, with say, Muzzys, or gun only?

I would not attempt this type shot with a bow simply due to the ability of the arrow to skim under the hide over the top of the shoulder blade instead of actually penetrating through it. Also there is, as has been mentioned, a LOT of heavier bone in this area which will also hamper penetration.

This said, I aimed for a spot similar to the first one with the red dot on it, for my first archery buck. Difference being his onside leg was in front instead of back like the one pictured. At the shot he ducked, and the arrow hit him squarely between the shoulder blades and through his spine. He did rock three feet or so sideways, but recovered and headed off in high gear, not going around the small trees and bushes but through them. I knew it was a good hit due to the way he was running, but we found no blood what so ever. The buck made it close to 80 yards and piled up in some 6' tall grass on a pipeline. We tracked him as best we could and still couldn't find him. That evening the buzzards had found him when my friend returned, and I finally got to him about 10:30 that evening. Needless to say he wasn't good after laying there in 80+ weather. However the shot destroyed a couple of vertebra, and exited just in front of his offside ham, leaving gut to plug the hole. The shot was at 22 yards and penetrated through almost 3' of deer and still exited. I did not open him up to look, but based upon the initial hit and the direction of travel, I hit the backside of the offside lung as well as the liver on the way through.

8. Do you have an opinion as to whether, *generally speaking*, it is more desirable or less desirable than a neck shot, when given a choice?

I try to use this type shoulder shot only for a true trophy deer, other than that I would just as soon let them walk on by, or hit them between the ribs. I have taken many shots to the neck, only due to knowing the anatomy very well. I knew exactly where I was shooting and what the result would be. Most of my shots to the neck are withing the white circle under the chin, with them standing looking straight at me. this is not a recommended shot for newer hunters, or folks who haven't boned out their own deer taking note of how things are located. For seasoned hunters however it is a viable option which generally does them in on the spot. I have shot deer in the spot marked in the second picture from the link and had mixed results. When they are looking straight at you it's hard to tell if there is a little bit of uphill or downhill angle to the body. If the rear is lower, there is a good chance you might shoot right through the deer and not hit anything vital at all. Been there done that saved by a quick follow up. With the rear end higher, there is a chance your going to make one hell of a mess and still have to track your deer.

These might or might not be answers your looking for but they are from my field experiences through the years. I have take many deer and hogs from many different angles, and I always try to learn something from them all. I do inspect the damage inflicted and analyze the shot after getting the hide off and having them dressed out. It helps not only from my hunting knowledge but also in developing the loads I use, or the arrows, broadheads, and bow I shoot.

H&Hhunter
May 28, 2009, 06:31 PM
Alrighty guys here is what I am trying to explain. The picture below is a depiction of what in Africa would be called the “vital triangle“. Put a bullet anywhere in there and you are in business on just about any animal on the planet. This shot also likely will break or shock the spine and often takes out both front legs.
http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y187/GTAllyn/Deershotplacement1.jpg
The depiction blow shows roughly the area of the lungs in a North American animal
http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y187/GTAllyn/deerhotplacment2.jpg
This depiction shows the roughly where the heart is and roughly where the ascending major vessels are. Remember that rupturing the vessels above the heart often kills quicker than a hole through the actual heart muscle.
http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y187/GTAllyn/deershotplacement3.jpg

And finally I am not trying to tell you guys where to shoot your deer. Anything forward of the diaphragm will kill any kind of deer. This shot simply anchors them very effectively. And becomes more relevant with larger game. This is simply another option . As far as meat damage goes. It does more meat damage than a behind the shoulder shot however it does less than you might think, it mainly gets some high shoulder and neck meat which is negligible IMHO.

KenWP
May 28, 2009, 06:55 PM
The problem with shooting the shoulder is if you aim high its a miss and with some of the cannons ans such people use the whole front quarters comes out ruined. If your useing a decent gun it only ruins half of it. As to the heart who eats such a thing. Tastes like heart to me. I throw it to the beasts of the feild and let them choke on it and sometimes it's all blowen to peices anyways so they don't have to chew so hard.

H&Hhunter
May 28, 2009, 08:07 PM
The problem with shooting the shoulder is if you aim high its a miss

And the problem with a heart shot is if you AIM low it's a miss. The secret to all of this is to aim where you want to hit.:rolleyes:

Grizfire
May 28, 2009, 09:57 PM
The secret to all of this is to aim where you want to hit

ha ha, yep. Easier said than done, at least for me. This is why I go behind the shoulder to give my self plenty of wiggle room, and still hit vitals. The shoulder shot could put your round in an area where no vital organs are located, with only a slight pull to the front or above.

I'm no African hunter, and I see what you guys are saying about making a shot to stop the animal from running off.

usmc1371
May 29, 2009, 12:07 AM
I have had good luck with the "high" sholder shot on deer, elk, and black bear. NO they were not all dead when I got to them, but they were ALL with in a couple feet of where they were when I shot them. I like this shot when animals are maybe a little farther than I think, if the deer is 325yds not 275 I still am in the low sholder/heart area. If I hit a little high well its all spine and that animal will hit the ground befor I come down out of recoil.

AKElroy
May 29, 2009, 12:21 AM
I get asked to attend a fair number of cull hunts, so my opinion on this is effected by having more meat than I need. I always look for a shoulder shot, and I RARELY have quarry take a step, much less run when that shot is well placed in the center of the shoulder. I generaly hunt deer with a .270 or 7 mag. In south Texas, our local whitetails rarely hit 100lbs., so the shoulder shot explodes the joint & just liquifies the heart & lungs. This nearly always ruins both shoulders, but you still have backstrap & hams to harvest, and the quarry drops where you shoot it.

AKElroy
May 29, 2009, 12:57 AM
4. Does this shot always require a full broadside, or can you get away with a quartering toward or away? If so, how much on quartering away, and how much on quartering toward - 15 degrees, 30 deg, 45 deg, 60 deg, what, on each? And still have it be an effective shot? Requires a smaller angle of quartering toward or away than a heart/lung shot, before feeling confident to take it, or about the same?

If I can wait for a 20 - 30 degree quartering away, then I can probably save the offside shoulder & that is ideal. Likewise, if they quarter towards, I generaly hold that shot & wait for broadside or better. Bad things happen when you blow that joint deap into the body of the animal from a steep quarter towards angle. I was on a cull hunt a few years back; the land owner had a decent 8 point whitetail in a 20 acre high-fenced pen for his 13 year old son to shoot. Bless his heart, he partially cut the deers neck with a non-lethal shot, and then emptied his .220 swift as he tried to take out the animal in a flat run. Since we were in a pen, the animal would run to the end of a 300 yard high fence, then run back, turn unpredictably and run back again. The owner asked me to take the buck, and the only shot I had was to wait for him to turn at the end of that fence 300 yrds away. That shot hit his back left hip, blowing out that joint at a better than 30 degree angle into his body. In cleaning the animal, we found bone fragments IN nearly EVERY PART OF THE ANIMAL, mixed with what used to be his digestive track. That animal had nothing recoverable & was a total right-off. Quartering away is ideal, but I would pass on any quartering toward shot unless it was the only available followup to prevent a run-off loss.

AKElroy
May 29, 2009, 01:08 AM
Easier said than done, at least for me. This is why I go behind the shoulder to give my self plenty of wiggle room, and still hit vitals. The shoulder shot could put your round in an area where no vital organs are located, with only a slight pull to the front or above.

If you hit shoulder with any respectable loading, you ARE hitting vital organs. If you miss forward, you take a clean, effective neck shot. If you miss backward, you take a clean heart lung shot. You hit shoulder, you still take out heart & lung as well as mobility. You can't loose unles you hit 18 inches back, in which case you need to quickly harvest the shoulders & tenderloins & bury the rest.

MCgunner
May 29, 2009, 10:27 AM
I have an aunt that always wanted the brain. She was the only one in the family that ate it. LOL

alsaqr
May 29, 2009, 10:32 AM
I usually do not make shoulder shots because of the loss of meat.

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