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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone with tips on where to aim in different quartering shots on a Whitetail? I usually struggle with symmetry calculations in the heat of the moment.

I feel like a quartering to shot with today's high power crossbows would warrant aiming low at the chest. If the deer is at a hard enough angle that is. Distance obviously plays a factor too. My brother in law had this shot last year but tried aiming exactly where he'd want the arrow to go in rather than exit. Hence the subsequent gut shot that followed. We found it, but it wasn't pretty.

So I feel like quartering away at a similar angle would warrant aiming not only where you want it to exit, but also behind the ribs, almost favoring the back.

Obviously these are not ideal scenarios, but I would like to be prepared for the once in a lifetime duke.
 

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Draw an imaginary line through the animal and vision the exit hole. Hard quartering angles can be tricky as sometimes the broadhead will ride the edge of the rib cage depending on what head you are using. In most cases, waiting for the animal to give you a better shot alleviates the problem.
 

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Quartering shots from elevation can be tricky since you are dealing with two angles. The higher you are above the animal and the closer the animal is to you limits what will be cut as the arrow passes through. Many of us have experienced what looks like a perfect shot when in reality it is a one lung hit with a long blood trail following.

Because of this I limit my stand height to no more than 15' and will wait until the deer is more than 20' away before shooting.

Quartering away is a better shot than quartering toward, and even then if to get an exit by the off front leg requires an entry behind the last rib I will wait for a better angle.
 

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I agree in principle with you (SOA). I put a 1" orange sticker on the top of the heart and shoot it just like in practice with one caveat. If I sight-in on the ground, I use a 15 foot training ladder stand for elevated practice to be sure elevation doesn't change point of aim. I still aim at the heart. Point of impact on the body changes, but the heart stays fixed. The heart and great vessels are surrounded by lung. It is a rare shot that is precisely aligned with the mediastinum and slips unimpeded between the lungs.
 

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Aim at the center of the kill zone inside the deer or its core. Picture it in your mind anyway you wish.

Think of it like shooting a apple seed peach might be a better example. You always shoot for the seed regardless of the angle or height.

Quartering to shots or away. If the Peach seed is blocked or to far away. Pass and wait on a better shot. If your unsure its always better to pass and play another day.
 

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Also take into account the deer might move at the shot...I say this here many times..Maybe it's just me but my deer move some before arrow impact. Sometimes..Like last seaon with that huge old buck,,with one sub Boone and Crocket antler..I swear on a stack of Bibles he was walking broadside to me. I was 14 ft up in a solid ladder stand,,on a rest off to my left..Walking buck,,,yet he some how turned toward me some at the shot...Ended up with one good lung and off far back edge of opposite lung....Blood poured out most of the way luckily but he still made it ,,up hill to a hundred and 40 yard death..
 

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That's one major benefit with the new range finding scopes, I'd think. They automatically compensate for the height for very precise shots needed in this instance.

I haven't bought one yet, but may have one before season opens this year......
 

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Never took frontal shots but from D even from high in the tree I hit pay off spots.
 

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Just envision getting your arrow thru BOTH lungs. Therefore, envision the exit hole as well as the entrance hole.
 

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You need to aim higher up on the deer when in an elevated position in order to get the arrow through the middle of the vitals. Same as the pic above showing where to hit on quartering angles to get the arrow through the center, just on the different axis. Closer the deer is to your elevated position and the higher up you will need to aim. If the deer is only 5-10 yards from your stand, you may even need to aim right next to the spine to get the arrow to go through the center of the vitals, and this is why many feel it is not ideal to shoot deer that close when elevated.

 

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You need to aim higher up on the deer when in an elevated position in order to get the arrow through the middle of the vitals. Same as the pic above showing where to hit on quartering angles to get the arrow through the center, just on the different axis. Closer the deer is to your elevated position and the higher up you will need to aim. If the deer is only 5-10 yards from your stand, you may even need to aim right next to the spine to get the arrow to go through the center of the vitals, and this is why many feel it is not ideal to shoot deer that close when elevated.

I think that's where I messed up a couple years ago when I lost my deer. I was about 20 feet up and the deer was at 35 yards. I got excited, as usual, and aimed right for the lungs, forgetting to aim higher. I had a complete pass through, but jumped it twice trying to recover. I backed out for a while and lost the blood trail!

I HATE when that happens........Lesson learned, for sure!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I feel your pain. Lost a couple to bad angles when I was younger. Pushed one last year during gun season. This time I called in a blood tracking dog. Worth the money. Guy worked on donations. Dog was amazing. Almost no blood, but the dog was on the trail. Found it 650 yards away across the street on a neighboring property. Hopefully I never have to use a dog again, but certainly will to make an ethical recovery.
 

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Thought I lost one with slug this year from number of things, too high in tree, lay of land too steep from where they came, wrong side for good hold. Ended up with low paunch shot very little blood. Normal tracking dog gent couldn't come next day. Went at noon next day found nothing for over an hour about gave up then stumbled upon some blood. Trailed for about 4 hours for about half a mile. Set home her pain as walked a bit then stopped and the blood would stop for 50 yards before I could pick it up again; multiple of times same scenario. Lucky I had hunted the area where I lost the very last blood but knew the deer pattern and sure enough found her still good. Try harder with crossbow after that for perfect angle. Should have let them passed with the slug. Next doe with crossbow was a quick and short track.
 
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