How and Where to Shoot a Deer Instantly

how and where to shoot a deer

Many times I am asked numerous interesting questions by friends, strangers and novice hunters about my obsession for hunting. Each time I end up on the same reply; hunting for wild meat is my passion. Not just because of the thrill and adventure it gives but also because wild meat is what I am crazy about. Unlike other sources of meat, wild meat is hormone-free and natural. My personal favorite has always been venison (deer meat). It’s a great source of protein. To get the full benefits of it, the hunter must know how and where to shoot a deer. Many of you must be thinking why I said so? Let me explain.

If a fresh and tasty meat is what you are looking for, you must learn to gun down the animal in the first shot. The sooner you down the animal, the better taste it promises. The animal killed in more than one shots can easily produce lactic acid and adrenaline. Both of these may affect the taste of the meat. All of you out there, whether you are a beginner hunter or an experienced one, your first priority should be to be a responsible hunter. Do not let the animal suffer a lingering death. Let me guide you on how to kill a deer in a single shot.

Steps to Follow Before Hunting

Before going into the details of the right way of shooting a deer, the hunters must follow these few necessary steps to make sure they have the best hunting experience.

Step 1: Season of Hunting

Doing things legally is what I always recommend. It’s not that you can hunt for deer in any season you like. Each hunting area offers a different season. That you must inquire before planning the hunt. Simply log in to the website of Department of National Resources of that state, to get the basic information about the hunting season there.

  • Note: Out of season hunting of animals is illegal as it may endanger the wildlife population in that area. Anyone committing this illegal activity may face penalty defined by the state law.

Step 2: Get Your Hunting Permit

Before deciding about how and where to shot a deer, get all the information about hunting permit from the state Department of Natural Resources.  Without a hunting permit, no one is allowed to hunt legally.

Step 3: Hunting Dressing Tips

  • Your hunting clothes are commonly determined by the weather. For summer, hunters should wear light weighed dress and cold weather gear for winter hunting (Wear the clothes in layer for keeping yourself warm in freezing temperature).
  • Choose the camouflage pattern keeping in mind the type of area you are hunting in.
  • Your personal safety also matters. For that I would advise you to wear men’s blaze orange vest over the hunting suit. It would help distinguishing you against the foliage and other hunters (if any) would easily detect you in the wild.
  • Choose the most suitable type of hunting boots from insulated, uninsulated and rubber boots for hunting.
  • Make sure that your clothes are washed in a scent-free soap. Any strange odor may alert the animal of your presence and you may miss the target. In addition to it, do not forget to wear a face mask and gloves. That would also help in controlling your scent.
  • Note: Avoid drinking alcoholic drinks, eating fatty edible items, using scented soaps, deodorants and perfumes for about 24 to 48 hours before the final hunt.

Step 4: Right Weapons for Hunting the Deer

I have always preferred using a rifle in deer hunting. And got the best results. So I personally would suggest a rifle as the best weapon for deer hunting. Rifles come in different calibers. Starting from 243, up to a 30-.06 or 30-30, are some of the best ones for hunting all type of deer. Deer slugs are another great option to kill the deer at one shot. You can give it try.

Lastly, using a bow for hunting the deer is yet another great option. But the hunter must be skilled enough for using it. It’s not my personal favorite as it comes with a legal limit of about 45 pounds draw weight. And that would allow you to aim your target for 20 to 60 yards of distance maximum. And in hunting, you never know how much distance you would have to face.

How and Where to Shoot a Deer?

Once you are done with all the above mentioned steps, now is the time to reach your hunting destination. Sometimes, it takes many hours in waiting for the deer. You have to sit quietly and wait. As deer are more likely to appear in the silent areas of the wild. Once you have located the deer somewhere around you, make sure to take the right position to get it killed in a single shot.

What I have learned from my personal experience is that you can’t hunt a deer in a single shot so easily. There are many factors associated with it. These may include;

  • The distance between you and the animal
  • Angle of the deer
  • Type of weapon
  • Your shooting skills
  • Meat retention

Hunter’s Position

You can shoot the deer in a standing position but my personal recommendation is a crouching position where your knee and thighs give a nice support to your elbow of the arm, holding the rifle.

Right Shot Placement for a Deer Hunt

Check out a few best placements for hunting down the deer.

#1 – Above the Front Leg

The highly recommended area for a deer hunt in a single shot is just behind the shoulder. It includes the heart and lungs. The most accurate position for shooting is 5 to 7 inch above the chest. For that you must be in a position where you can have the broadside view of the prey. Just like in the image below.

  • Note: There are great chances that the animal is not killed immediately. Sometimes it recovers and runs away. And hunters have to chase it through the wild. So be prepared for that too.

#2 – In the Head

For getting the deer down in the first kill, shooting directly in the head is the best option. The perfect area to shoot is right behind the eye of the deer. Only experienced and skilled hunters can deal with such a tricky shot. This way also ensures lesser or no damage to the meat (quite contrary to other ways). But again, there are equal chances of missing your target, especially for the beginners. So be prepared.

#3 – Shooting in the Neck

Another common method is shooting the deer in his neck through the spine. Many of my fellow hunters opt for this method. But I hesitate in trying it. The reason is simply the torture; the deer has to face. Most of the deer are not dead instantly with this method. Rather they are left paralyzed and hunters have to shot it again or simply slit its neck. Like I already told that I dislike a lingering death of the prey, I do not go for this lethal option. But you are free to make your choice.


Hunting down a deer without the right placement and positioning of the shot is quite tough. It should be the first and foremost responsibility of every hunter to save their prey from suffering and pain. And try to kill it instantly. It would ease the deer’s misery and save you time. And that is simply possible by practicing, experiencing, and knowing how and where to shoot a deer.

You may want to seek training like THIS to hone my shooting skills further.

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