Picking a good, clean shot depends on your level of experience and proficiency.
I asked Mike Roux an outdoor writer and Pro-staff member for Lohman Game Calls
his thoughts on shot placement. By the way, Roux just happens to be the chief
technologist of nuclear cardiology at Blessing Hospital in Quincy, Illinois.
Roux always encourages hunters to aim for the lungs over a heart shot. He believes
the benefits of a double lung shot are vastly improved when compared to a heart
"From a physiological standpoint", Roux explains when there is trauma
to the heart the body automatically responds by shutting itself down. This causes
the blood in the body to move slower.
In other words, all the arteries, veins and major organs retain the blood they
currently possess. When a deer is hit in the heart,
blood circulation decreases and less blood exits the body. Therefore, a heart
shot deer may not bleed as much compared to a lung shot.
Conversely, Roux states: that, "on a double lung hit, the wound causes
the heart to beat harder. This is mainly due to the loss of blood pressure.
As the body tries to compensates for the loss of blood pressure to supply the
brain with blood, the heart pumps harder. Whenever the heart beats faster, more
blood is lost and a hunter has a better chance of finding the animal".
By no means do I suggest that a heart shot is not effective. The fact is, a
heart shot is lethal. This is simply a good rule of thumb to remember whenever
you are picking your shot. The lungs also provide a larger target area that
gives hunters an easier shot as compared to the smaller sized heart. With this
information in mind I asked Roux his opinions on the "waiting game"
after a confirmed hit? Like most of us, he suggested waiting 30 minutes. Whenever
hunters push deer, the type of shot and the amount of adrenalin within the animal
determines how far a deer will run. The further away a deer runs often times
lessens your chances of finding the animal.
What is the difference between a gun and a bow and arrow hit?
Unlike a bullet hit, Roux explains, "When a deer is hit with a broadhead,
many times he doesn't know he's hit, he just knows something is wrong. There
is no adrenalin surge associated. The deer weakens from blood loss and lies
down. If you give him enough time to "bleed out", that's where your
blood trail will lead. If you track too soon and jump the deer, or he sees or
smells you, this is where a rush of adrenaline keeps him moving. Increased adrenaline
can cause a deer to escape from you and move quite some distance after the bleeding
has stopped. This can make deer pushed too soon very hard to find".