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A Guide to Crossbow Shot Placement

Crossbow hunting techniques increase your accuracy, strength, and coordination. Since this form of deer hunting may be new to you, knowing where to aim and how your outerwear can impact the shot's placement will make a difference this season. With practice, you'll spare the deer discomfort and increase your likelihood of recovery.


How Does Hunting Outerwear Affect Your Aim?

A deer's natural home is usually heavily wooded, with crosshatching from branches and leaf patterns constantly in their sight. When they see the solid shapes of clothes and people's faces, they know to be on guard. Their movements will be unpredictable, or they may run away. While it's still possible to make the shot, you're more likely to wound the animal than relieve it with one bolt.

Before heading out, purchase camouflage outerwear to adopt the patterns deer find familiar. Most hunters prefer pullovers or jackets to prevent shivering, which negatively impacts shot placement. While modern hunting outerwear is light while still warm, the extra layer can alter your shot placement. It can change your anchor point and form, shifting your aim by degrees even if your sight's aligned. Wear your camouflage jacket during target practice to adapt to any changes.


What Are the Ideal Deer Hunting Shots? 

Broadside Shot

Once you have the proper outerwear, it's time to strengthen your aim. Ethical crossbow hunters prefer the broadside shot. The deer stands sideways, providing a full view of their vital organs, and offering the most leeway with your aim. Even if your aim is off by an inch or two, the broadside shot will still likely cause vital damage to their heart or lungs. They'll pass quickly while also decreasing the tracking distance between you and the deer. 

Quartering Away  

There are instances when a broadside shot isn't feasible. Instead, the whitetail or mule deer might be facing away from the hunter but at an angle. The aiming spot is farther back and will vary on the degree that the deer is quartering away. While there's a smaller window to strike vital areas, crossbow hunters can still make the shot if the angle is less than 45-degrees.

Traditionally, people will try to shoot a bolt from behind the deer's front leg or from the opposite front leg, where there's still a vantage point of their heart and lungs. However, many other hunters have had success shooting while directly in line with the deer's leg.

When selecting a shot placement, determine the bolt's path to the exit point on the whitetail's far side. Then, aim at the near side so that the shot lines up with the exit point. This increases the likelihood of striking through the deer's vital areas and preventing glancing shots.


At Over Under Clothing, we make comfortable outerwear and reliable field gear that allow you to maintain concentration on the hunt. For more information on our American-made products and shipping options, call us at (904) 619-0577.

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