Where To Aim On A Deer For One Shot Kill!


The deer hunting season is closing in on us. It’s high time we learn the correct place to shoot a deer. In hunting, we don’t support cruelty. That’s why we try to shot the animal no matter what type of animal it is. If you can one-shot it, the animal won’t suffer from pain.

It’s not easy to learn all the techniques of shooting a deer in a single day. Let’s start by learning where to aim at a deer.

Where To Aim On A Deer With A Rifle

Many professional hunters have suggested many different spots that can kill the deer in one shot. All of them have their own pros and cons. For example, you can just headshot them. It will kill the deer instantly.

But, by doing this, you can’t harvest the animal’s brain. There is also a huge risk of missing the shot or accidentally breaking the jaw of the deer. It won’t kill the deer but it will wound it and it will run away to spook the pack.

If you have good shooting skills, shooting at the head is still the best option for you. If you don’t want to take the risk you can follow the “broiler room” rule.

This rule means you shoot the deer at the heart or the lungs. Making the deer get into shock and death follows after. If you puncture the lungs it won’t be able to breathe. If the deer can’t breathe it can’t squeak to spook the other deers.

What are the cons then? There is a high chance you miss the lungs completely and end up breaking the ribs. Or you could just puncture one lung and leave the other completely intact. It won’t instantly kill the deer, it will give the deer time to escape and run away.

You can’t miss it, you don’t have the room to miss. It will cost you money and time. Both which is quite valuable to us. If you can nail the heart shot, the deer will instantly go into cardiac arrest. It will paralyze the deer and die shortly after.

Where To Aim On A Deer With A Crossbow

A crossbow is not as powerful as a rifle. You can shoot at up to 2600 FPS or even more with a rifle. Where crossbows struggle to hit the 500 FPS mark.

You have to strategize where you want to shoot with a crossbow. Crossbow hunting is short-range hunting. You need to get as close as you can to the deer.

We are talking about less than 50 yards distance. The impact will be higher as you close in on the deer. You should always aim at vitals. If you want the arrow to go through the lungs of the deer, you need to aim about 3 to 4 inches from the front shoulder.

If you nail the shot, the deer will fall flat within the first 10 seconds. It will immediately paralyze the deer. Stopping on its tracks while making sure other deer doesn’t get the hint.

With a crossbow never aim for the head. They are not powerful enough to pierce through the skull. Unless you are talking about 10 yards of the distance then you can shoot at the head. Investing in a 3D practice target is a good idea.

Where To Aim On A Deer At 200/300 Yards

200-300 yards is an awkward distance for deer hunting if you ask me. Most of the time we tend to aim at a target over 500 yards, or as close as 40 yards (with a crossbow). As the distance is over 100 yards, that means we are talking about rifles.

With a rifle, it’s easy to hit a 300 yards target. A deer is a huge target walking with a bullseye market on its side. Anyway, as we were talking about a certain range. At this range, you are at risk of letting other deers hear about your shot. That’s why you only have one chance and you have to make it count.

Take your time to steady your breathing and make sure the rifle is not moving. Now, you have two options to nail the deer at this range. You have confidence and quite good at headshots. Or you go for the usual safe shot. But both involve the risk of bullet drop and windage.

You need to manually compensate for those. We are not James McAvoy, we don’t get to bend bullets on the field.

Due to this reason, I always recommend going for the heart. If you use a high caliber shot, it should pierce the ribs and the heart. Sure you will miss some ribs meat. But the hunt will be a success. That matters more to me than a single rib.

Where To Aim On A Running Deer

This is the trickiest part of deer hunting. My god, I missed so many shots due to them running away. This will test your patience, your shooting skill, how well you can read the wind, and everything. I am not going to bore you with physics and details but as an example.

If the deer is running at 20MPH at 100 yards and your bullet travels at 2900 FPS. You need to shoot it around the nose and chest line. It will hit the vital organs and paralyze the deer on spot. You can calculate the distance on your own with many theories available on the internet.

In short, You always need to shot the deer in front. The bullet will impact the deer in mid-air. Once you mastered this skill, no deer shall escape your might.

Where To Shoot A Deer

Killing the animals in a single shot is the goal of every hunter. Most of us know the “broiler room” rule. Aiming at the lungs or the heart. But are there any other rules? Or any other places where you can hit and kill the prey in one shot?


We asked several deer hunters this question. All of them replied, “it depends” on many things such as distance, bullet type, even meat retention. 


Once in an interview a sharpshooter and professional hunter for over 21 years Grant Woods said, you can’t afford to miss and let a wounded deer run around, it will cost you both money and time, especially when a wounded deer will run around and spook the other deers. Wise words I must say. 


A bullet in the brain instantly makes the animal paralyzed, shortly death follows after. It’s the safest bet to kill an animal when you don’t want to harvest the brain.


There are several parts of the body where you can shoot and kill the deer with one bullet. We all know the deer will die if you hit the heart or the lungs. But for that to happen you need to consider a lot of things beforehand.


The wind needs to be in your favor, it would be best if the animal is still, meat retention should be-low, your shooting stability should be good, etc. 

High Shoulder

This is the ultimate awe and shock shot. If you are using a big bullet from a fast shooting gun, the bullet will break the spine and rip through the nerve system. Making the deer paralyzed on spot.

There are cons to this shot as well. As you are targetting the high shoulder, you will waste a ton of juicy meat in that area. If the bullet hits some of the ribs count them as useless too. Ultimately losing a lot of value on the deer. 

But if you are hunting for yourself and family this is a good spot to shoot the deer on.


The most common place to shoot. You can eliminate the breathing capability of the deer, leading to death. It won’t even have the air to gasp and make noise to alert other deers. This is the safest choice if you ask me. 


You can just compensate for the bullet drop and shot accordingly. If you are shooting the deer at a horizontal angle, pretty sure you have almost no chance to miss the shot. Unless you are terrible at operating a hunting rifle.


There are cons to this area too. The main con is, if you miss one lung and only clip the other one, the deer will end up surviving. It may later die from excessive blood loss, but it will escape and your hunt will be ruined. 


It’s the safest choice to shoot. If you land the shot the deer will die instantly on the spot. Landing the shot here is the main challenge. 

Instead of regretting like Thor in Infinity war, make sure to go for the head next time. 😀

Going for the head has its cons. The main con is, you can’t salvage the skull. The second con is, you can’t use the brain to make many dishes. Don’t taste shame me, brains are tasty if you know how to cook right. As a brain lover, I don’t often go for the head if it’s not 100% necessary.

The third con is, you can miss the shot, break the jaw of the deer, and have the risk of failing the hunt altogether. No matter where you shoot, make sure you don’t miss it. There is no room for error in the field. 


That was a lot of information to stomach. But I hope you did. It took me a while to write it as simply as I could. Make sure to follow TargetChaser for more accurate hunting reviews and guides. If you couldn’t understand anything, don’t be shy to go down in the comments.

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