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Where to Shoot a Deer


It’s whitetail deer season! If you haven’t bagged a prize hunt just yet, we’d like to invite you to book with us here at Montgomery Properties Ranch. We’re proud to offer access to some of the best all-inclusive prize whitetail hunts in America. Our noble beasts are carefully cultivated to produce healthy animals with broad antler spans that look great when mounted.

hether you decide to spot and stalk or use our luxurious hidden blinds, one thing is for certain: You need to know how to take your shot when the opportunity arises. This short overview of where to shoot a whitetail deer will help you take your trophy quickly, efficiently, and humanely.

whitetail deer hunting

Deer Are Unpredictable

You won’t find a “quick fix” solution that works in every situation. Why? Well, deer are notoriously flighty and don’t often line themselves up for the perfect shot. In fact, it’s far more common to have to take the shot you can get rather than waiting for the shot you want. We’ll start with the ideal, and then explain a few other methods to compensate.


Broadside is always best, but, unfortunately, the opportunity rarely appears. You’ll only be able to use this method when the deer are standing sideways to you with their rib cages perpendicularly exposed.

The general rule is to shoot just slightly one-third up the body and just an inch or so behind the shoulder. It’s fast, it limits suffering, and it prevents an injured deer from fleeing and slowly bleeding to death. It also minimizes damage to the hide and meat, too, ensuring you get as much as possible from your hunt.

Yet, what if the deer aren’t cooperating?

Quartering-Away Shot

This shot is best when a deer is standing facing away from you, usually with just a slight angle in a direction that exposes the side of the ribs slightly. You can’t hit straight through the lungs, but you can go in through the paunch and achieve a similar result. Aim for the front opposite leg through the stomach, around one-third up the body, for best results.

Quartering-To Shot

What if the deer is facing you in a similar position? This is when you want to use the quartering-to shot instead. Set your sights on the area where the leg meets the body; then adjust upward until you come close to the neck (around four to six inches).

This shot isn’t easy to take; there’s a lot that can go wrong. In fact, it’s almost inadvisable if you’re shooting by bow and arrow alone. With a gun, it’s best taken at close-range, but even then it can lead to significant carcass damage.

Straight On

white tail buck in field

Let’s say the deer is walking right toward you in the blind, straight on. This shot seems like it would be easy, but it can be remarkably difficult to land. Shots to the head with a gun will cause massive carcass damage, leaving you without a trophy to mount. Shots to the chest may deflect off the ribcage or sternum, especially if you’re shooting with a bow and arrow.

If you do find yourself forced to take this shot, aim for about one-third up the body directly in the center of the chest. Again, this is a hard shot; it’s probably not an easy achievement for a new hunter, but someone with good aim will land it.

Visit Montgomery Properties Ranch

At Montgomery Properties Ranch, we’re proud to serve America’s hunting community. Contact us directly for one-on-one hunting advice and find out why hunting with us is such an incredible experience when it comes to shooting a whitetail deer.