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#3052626 - 11/28/12 01:27 AM shoulder vs liver/gut shots
catman529
spiderboy
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which is more common - accidental shoulder blade shot or liver/gut shot? I have yet to hit one in the shoulder blade but I have it more than one in the liver. thankfully it is a deadly shot but they don't always die very quickly and obviously not a shot I intentionally pick. But it makes me wonder now, am I shy of hitting the shoulder accidentally so I end up going farther back than I should? I know that in a couple instances my mistake was the deer was still moving but even on a still deer I have hit 2 that were standing still in the liver or lung/liver and they died but I wondered why I pulled the shot. Perhaps just user error by chance has hit them far back rather than in the shoulder. But I was wondering if anyone else has noticed the same thing or if it's different for everyone. Are shoulder blade shots, or liver shots more common among bad shot placement?
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#3052683 - 11/28/12 06:07 AM Re: shoulder vs liver/gut shots [Re: catman529]
richmanbarbeque
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Gut shot. Hands down.
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#3052852 - 11/28/12 07:14 AM Re: shoulder vs liver/gut shots [Re: richmanbarbeque]
TNDeerGuy
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While it certainly can/will happen to anyone, further back shots are certainly more common amoung those that are newer to the craft than further forward shots—with gut shots by far being the most common as richmanbbq stated. Amoung newer archers, subliminal thinking is what causes aiming too far back and practicing certain ways, and more often, can help train that out.
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#3053518 - 11/28/12 02:52 PM Re: shoulder vs liver/gut shots [Re: TNDeerGuy]
StalkingWolf
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Another tendency is to want to see your arrow impact the deer thus you drop your arm or move your bow to see the shot rather than concentrate on keeping the sight on the target until impact.
(Not keeping your form.)
I think that is one of the most common mistakes.

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#3053524 - 11/28/12 02:55 PM Re: shoulder vs liver/gut shots [Re: StalkingWolf]
UTGrad
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Which one is better?
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#3053531 - 11/28/12 02:58 PM Re: shoulder vs liver/gut shots [Re: UTGrad]
StalkingWolf
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I would pick the liver over the shoulder.
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#3053698 - 11/28/12 05:02 PM Re: shoulder vs liver/gut shots [Re: UTGrad]
TNDeerGuy
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 Originally Posted By: UTGrad
Which one is better?


Alot depends on that. Personally, I prefer the shoulder to the liver, for a couple of reasons—if I miss the shoulder, I stand a better chance of the animal having a quicker death and a shorter tracking job for me. Also, with my setup (energy and fixed broadhead) I'm confident about the penetration through the shoulder. If I aim for the liver, the animal will not die as quick of death and my tracking job will not be as easy...not to mention what happens if I miss the liver and get a gut shot—we all know the mess and probabilities if that happens. All that being said, I aim for neither—I aim for the pocket right behind the shoulder—if I miss, I still have a quick, dead deer on my hands.
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#3053739 - 11/28/12 05:38 PM Re: shoulder vs liver/gut shots [Re: TNDeerGuy]
Radar
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I have hit deer in the high shoulder a couple of times over the years and lost them , only to see them alive and well later on .
I don't care what you are shooting for KE or broadhead , if you hit a Mature buck in the thickest part of the shoulder , you will get little penetration . I have killed does shot in the lower portion of the shoulder with good penetration into the lungs , but mature bucks have a heavier bone structure .
I have recovered gut shot and live hit deer by letting them lay overnight , or several hours before taking up the trail . Most gut shots are fatal , many shoulder hits are not .
Neither shot is desirable and all efforts should be made to take out both lungs instead of a shoulder or gut shot . However , bad shots happen .
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#3053935 - 11/28/12 07:24 PM Re: shoulder vs liver/gut shots [Re: Radar]
UTGrad
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I would neither aim for the shoulder or gut obviously so maybe you misunderstood me TNDeer Guy.

I agree with Radar that a gut shot would be better than a direct shoulder hit IMO.

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#3053960 - 11/28/12 07:38 PM Re: shoulder vs liver/gut shots [Re: UTGrad]
TNDeerGuy
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 Originally Posted By: UTGrad
I would neither aim for the shoulder or gut obviously so maybe you misunderstood me TNDeer Guy.

I agree with Radar that a gut shot would be better than a direct shoulder hit IMO.


Nope, didn't misunderstand at all—I answered what you asked...I never implied you aim for either. \:\)

I completely agree that both shots are neither optimal or desirable—that's why most of us don't aim for them, but if I miss my desired target (heart/lungs), I personally would rather hit the shoulder.
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#3053994 - 11/28/12 07:50 PM Re: shoulder vs liver/gut shots [Re: TNDeerGuy]
Radar
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Hope you never lose a shoulder hit buck like I did . It was a 150-160 class buck in Fentress county . Still a heart breaker for me , but when I saw him chasing a doe the next day from the same stand .
I was releived that he was still alive and I almost got a second chance at him , but he was a little shy of that stand location .
RichmanBBQ was there on the tracking job .
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#3054061 - 11/28/12 08:17 PM Re: shoulder vs liver/gut shots [Re: Radar]
catman529
spiderboy
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Thanks for the feedback. I'd also choose a liver over a shoulder shot because pulling 65 lbs won't get me through a bucks shoulder. The original question is which bad shot is more common among the bad shots you have made, but I like to hear what y'all say about which bad shot is preferred if you had the choice.
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#3054135 - 11/28/12 08:49 PM Re: shoulder vs liver/gut shots [Re: catman529]
infoman jr.
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With me shooting rages, I'd rather have a good hole and penetration farther back than risk hitting the shoulder.
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#3055840 - 11/29/12 08:22 PM Re: shoulder vs liver/gut shots [Re: infoman jr.]
Hoss
TnDeer Old Timer
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Study some anatomy charts of whitetail deer. I am always amazed at how many bowhunters don't know the anatomy of a deer. The shoulder is not where most think it is. The lungs are not where they think it is. The liver is not where they think it is. They will argue that they know, but when push comes to shove they do not know it accurately. I am basing this opinion on 25 years of teaching Bowhunter Education.

The second part of the equation is learning to think in 3-D. A lot of bohunters that do know where the heart, lung, liver and shoulder are on a broadside deer cannot make the mental calculation on where they are in relationship to an angle shift. The best way to learn this is to practice. When you watch a deer video constantly imagine the shifting angle of the camera. A deer is not a 3-D target with its vitals stuck to the outside. A target is 3-D in structure but not in vitals location.

Take an International Bowhunter Education Program class. It will help to learn what you think you know. \:D


Edited by Hoss (11/29/12 08:23 PM)
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#3055885 - 11/29/12 08:36 PM Re: shoulder vs liver/gut shots [Re: Hoss]
Hoss
TnDeer Old Timer
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On a broadside deer aim about 4 inches directly above where the leg joins the torso. If you aim 3 inches behind the "shoulder" you will hit the liver and miss the lungs or only get a part of the lung. You may get the diaphragm, maybe. Directly above the leg 4 inches will put you in the center of both lungs if the deer is broadside and on the same level as you. Pick a spot on the deer at that point and concentrate on that spot. Pick a spot as small as you can see. The size of an aspirin is a good rule of thumb. Concentrate then exercise your best shot. The practice pays off and you are a happier bowhunter.

If the deer is not broadside or on the same level as you it gets a little more complicated, but if you KNOW where the lungs are you can still pick that perfect spot.



In this illustration the rearmost of the front legs is the left leg, the leg showing the blood vessels is the deers right leg.

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#3059099 - 12/02/12 06:25 AM Re: shoulder vs liver/gut shots [Re: Hoss]
102
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Hoss,
GREAT info. Love the diagrams.

In answer to the OP, the most frequent shot of the two mentioned, has DEFINITELY been the liver, for me, though I have hit several in the shoulder "girdle", scapular crest, scapula, and humerus. Some with good results, some bad.

But ALL of the deer I hit in the liver died. I did not recover all, but they all died.

Your question wanted to know which is most common of the ones I made, and which I preferred.

I definitely prefer the liver. I can find a liver hit deer, most of the time. As long as dogs, people, or coyotes don't push it.

We refer to liver hit deer as gut shot. Because most of the time, the arrow will also pass through stomach, lung, or intestines, or a combination of these as well as the liver. Though some elevated shots make it possible to hit liver only, it is rare.

Liver shot deer can die VERY quickly, or take several hours to die. It simply depends on luck and wether your head sliced a major artery on the path.

I have seen stomach hit deer die within seconds of pass through. But then, the arrow passed through the pyloric artery within the stomach.

I have also seen liver hit deer die within seconds of the shot. Again, major artery slicing involved.

I have also seen butt shot deer fall in sight. But the femoral artery or aorta was cut.

And deer hit too far back and high, just in front of hips (arrow smells like P-P) have fallen over in sight. This is a kidney shot, very deadly but too small a target.

Hard, thick, bony areas and mature deer and arrows do not mix well at all. Like Radar said. Avoid the shoulder.

And Hoss, personally for me, I do not like it when I shoot where you are suggesting and the deer reacts to the twang of the string. That drop has put many arrows smack in that leg bone. (one time I will never forget, that leg was attatched to a 130 class buck) . I shoot BEHIND the crease and angle a tad forward.


Edited by 102 (12/02/12 06:28 AM)
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#3061011 - 12/03/12 10:38 AM Re: shoulder vs liver/gut shots [Re: 102]
catman529
spiderboy
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thanks for the info Hoss and 102.

no question liver shots are deadly. I think I heard my buck crash within a minute of shooting him but I waited 45 mins to track the blood. he was stone dead when I found him, and yes the arrow did hit part of the gut too so I hosed him out when I got him home. big bodied 3.5 year old, glad I hit the liver and not the shoulder. with my poundage I would never have gotten past the shoulder blade.
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#3061218 - 12/03/12 12:34 PM Re: shoulder vs liver/gut shots [Re: catman529]
102
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Trust me cat,
I know of NOBODY that shoots enough poundage to adequately penetrat a 200 pound scapular crest or ball joint and recover the animal.

As I stated earlier, some gut shot deer fall in sight while others live for several hours. Just depends on blood loss.
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God, Family, Job, Bowhunting
Luck is where Opportunity and Preparation MEET!
When in doubt...back out!
SCAPAS.stay calm and pick a spot.

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#3062343 - 12/04/12 02:10 AM Re: shoulder vs liver/gut shots [Re: 102]
Hoss
TnDeer Old Timer
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102 thanks on the compliment on the graphics. I do not own the rights to them they are Property of the National Bowhunter Education Program.

I have not had much problem with deer dropping at the sound of my bow, as long as the deer is calm and not alerted to me. If a deer is suspicious or jumpy I may aim an inch or so lower but that is about it. The only deer I have hit in the scapula or in the spinous process was due to me executing a poor shot (I am not implying that is the case for you, it is just my experience). I do not like to hold much lower than 3 inches because if the deer doesn't drop then I end up with brisket or or sternum shot.
Most of my deer are taken from a treestand and in that case I want the exit to be in the crease or just in front of the crease on the opposite side. But you have to learn to imagine where that spot is when looking at the on side of the deer, and that takes some practice. So from a treestand my advice is to shoot for where the arrow will come out. If the angle is sharp, like where you would need to enter in the ham area to get that exit in the crease or I call it the elbow, wait for a little less of an angle. Even if that means letting this one walk.
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#3062370 - 12/04/12 04:43 AM Re: shoulder vs liver/gut shots [Re: Hoss]
102
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Registered: 08/01/02
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Loc: Tennessee

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Good advice Hoss!
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God, Family, Job, Bowhunting
Luck is where Opportunity and Preparation MEET!
When in doubt...back out!
SCAPAS.stay calm and pick a spot.

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#3062657 - 12/04/12 09:21 AM Re: shoulder vs liver/gut shots [Re: 102]
catman529
spiderboy
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I shot a doe 5 yards from a tree about 20 feet up in the tree. I definitely had the shot angle in consideration. Went in right behind the left shoulder and came out the right armpit/crease and cut into the right leg. Punched through the left lung and straight through the center of the heart, she went 60 yards.
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#3069630 - 12/08/12 04:18 PM Re: shoulder vs liver/gut shots [Re: TNDeerGuy]
tickweed
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Gut!
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