Where Do You Shoot A Deer With A Crossbow: Ultimate Tips For Hunting

Where do you shoot a deer with a crossbow? We’ve received tons of questions like that basically every day.

To address such a puzzling issue, you must first learn more about some groundwork of how things operate.

Wait for no more but jump right in for further helpful details! 

Understand How The Crossbow Hunting Works

Crossbows are pre-cocked, typically include a scope, and are released by pulling a trigger like a gun. This feature is completely opposed to using your fingers, which is where it makes different sense compared to compound bows and traditional recurves.

The hunter might feel a little more at ease while shooting at a distance with the crossbow because it has a little bit more force and range than a regular bow. Additionally, the aid of optics and ease of handling like a rifle makes it a viable option for deer hunting.

In another aspect, crossbows also differ greatly from hunting rifles. Employing the latter, you can see the prey is almost instantly dispatched by the firearms. This means once you shoot the prey, it will have no other way but to succumb to the bullet’s impact.Things go distinctively when the story comes to crossbows. The prey at that point will suffer a hemorrhage and not yet reach the fatal line. There are also many chances that the distance will make you lose the opportunity to reach the target.

where do you shoot a deer with a crossbow

Where Do You Shoot A Deer With A Crossbow?

Typically, the best place to aim a deer with a crossbow would be the heart, lungs, neck, high shoulder, and head (or brain). We won’t say that for sure anyway since this kind of hunting also depends mostly on the shot type you employ. 

Using The Broadside Shot

Broadside is the term for the ideal and most common shot angle to take a deer when either side of the animal is directly facing the hunter. As such, being positioned parallel to a travel corridor or heavily used deer track is often where the hunter can seize such a fortune. 

Now as you adopt this shot, your sight at that moment shall provide a direct path to them. That is why you will want to aim straight to the heart and lungs, which are thought to be the deer’s most important organs. 

Does getting ready to shoot a broadside deer from the ground make any difference in such a situation? Yes, it does. So remember to prepare yourself and aim for an inch or two lower center mass behind the front shoulder.

This offers you some wiggle room in case the deer jumps the string and drops down, triggering the bolt to fly high or be a bit low and you misjudge the distance. Any caution will not go redundant. There are even high likelihoods you will behold it quite frequently because crossbows are typically louder than compound bows.

where do you shoot a deer with a crossbow 2

Using Quartering-Away Shot 

Shooting a quarter is your following best option as a backup.

The quartering away shot is made when the deer is angling away from the hunter with his head turned away and his rear end closest to the hunter. This shot assures a safe route to the liver, both lungs, and perhaps the heart.

You need again account for the deer’s angle while shooting this shot at it from the ground because it is, this time, a horizontal angle.

To put it simpler, think of a target point that is roughly one-third of the body away from the location of the far leg. Although a bullet or a huge head must travel through certain tight spaces, it must nevertheless make contact with the prey in order for hunting to terminate quickly.

Here is the recap in case you wish to put all the harsh details aside: When shooting at this location, pay attention to where on the deer’s back your arrow will share a closer connection, preferably towards the third rib cage region.

Also, remember that the deer can be at an angle that is too wide for this to be a morally acceptable shot. Recovery of the deer will then be considerably more challenging if the angle is too great because you are running the danger of only striking one lung.

Hence, to make an ethical kill, hunters must employ caution while choosing their shot.

Using Quartering-To Shot

If a hunter chooses to use the quartering-to shot, it must be accomplished flawlessly. Fortunately, this shot is a little bit simpler to execute effectively due to the accuracy and simplicity of a crossbow.

In this position, the hunter will catch the deer with its head being the section of its body that is closest to him and its rear being further away.

To take a shot at the quartering spot, the hunter must aim at the front of the deer which is just inside of the shoulder blade. As a result, the bolt will strike inside the shoulder, enter via the front of the first lung, and exit through the back of the second lung.

Unlike a quartering away shot, you are not given a clear view of the critical organs since the deer’s shoulders prevent any access to the crucial areas.

A fail-placed shot on a deer will need extensive tracking, which might take a long time. In the worst-case scenario, the outcome shall even be the deer never getting recovered. If you strike the shoulder blade, there is a probability that the deer will be hurt whether or not important organs are injured.

Using Brisket Shot

The brisket shot is sometimes referred to as the head-on shot or straight-on shot. You are most feasible to execute it when fired when a deer is walking straight at the hunter.

However, there are several drawbacks to this shot. The list includes its difficulty to see the vital organs clearly and the constant movements of the deer, leading to it being possible for a split-second spooking to undo all your planning.

That way, only the heart and the interior of either lung are available to the hunter as essential organs. This harshness causes such a shot to run the danger of completely missing and seriously hurting the animal.

When shooting for the brisket of the deer, aim at either side of the animal and below the ball on its chest in the direction of the brisket’s center. 

If the arrow hits this area precisely, it should either strike the heart or the lungs. Chances are that both of them are all ready for you to grab, too!

where do you shoot a deer with a crossbow 3

What To Avoid When Shooting A Deer?

Little did you know, there are some certain written rules you will need to get hold of when shooting a deer. Have a look at this checklist below and pave the way to access your wanting target more effortlessly!

  • Only use a quartering towards the shot if you are confident in your ability to locate the target and make the shot. This will reduce a lot of stress for both you and the deer.
  • If your bolt and arrow are not sufficiently long and powerful enough to totally penetrate the deer’s skull, headshots should be out of intention.
  • If you believe it will take more than one shot to kill the deer, don’t take the shot. A poorly executed initial shot can result in a deer that cannot be recovered or one that is severely hurt but may not eventually perish. Instead, be sure that your single shot succeeds and wins you the jackpot in a short amount of time.
  • Shooting should be avoided when your view is partially obscured by huge obstacles like trees.
  • When a deer is facing directly away from you, and you can only see its back, do not kill it.
  • Shooting a deer from more than 45 yards out is not advised since there is an extreme possibility the worst would happen.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Best Shot Angle To Shoot A Deer?

For larger game species like elk, deer, and bear, the broadside shot angle is the favored shooting angle for both rifle and crossbow hunters. 

How Far Will A Deer Run After Being Shot With A Crossbow?

When the arrow strikes, a deer frequently jumps or flinches before bouncing away. It rarely moves quickly and typically appears to lope. It could move from zero to one hundred yards before coming to a stop. A deer with an abdominal wound will frequently stop within 50 yards.

Read More: Do You Have To Unstring A Recurve Bow? Here Is The Answer


Now you know the answer to the question – where do you shoot a deer with a crossbow? It’s time to grab your pal and fulfill your journey of hunting!

In any case, bear in mind to do it in a gentle way so the shooting would not be so brutal to nature. Good luck with the fun, then!

Leave a Comment

Read more