Editors Blog

Best Shot on Deer Aided by Energy & Angle

The best shot on a deer can be made even better if you have the right angle and plenty of kinetic energy. I found that out once again yesterday after collecting my third buck of the 2018 hunting season. This hunt occurred here at home in Wisconsin. As you might recall from previous blogs, my other two deer came from Florida and Wyoming.

I say best shot on a deer, but as you will see from the video, it wasn’t the best shot when all was said and done. I was hunting up high in a Redneck Big Country blind when this beautiful 8-pointer appeared among the corn rows. After watching him for several minutes, I decided this gift from above was plenty satisfying for this hunter. Readying my TenPoint Nitro X crossbow, I took careful aim and touched off the shot. 


Before taking the shot, I visually confirmed that I had clearance on both sides of the blind’s window. Unfortunately, I underestimated. Although I did, in fact, have a couple inches of clearance, the crossbow’s limb slightly slapped the side of the window frame at the shot. The result was my arrow went about 3 inches due left of where I was aiming on that buck. This was a textbook example of a hard quartering-away shot. Put that arrow anywhere — and I mean anywhere — through that stomach cavity, and the SEVR broadhead would obliterate everything in its path.

But what about at this angle (3 inches left)? Thankfully, the same was true. The arrow entered the buck just barely in front of his right hip bone. It exited almost picture-perfect near the armpit crease on the left side of the torso. 

All tolled, the buck ran maybe 150 to 175 yards. We backed out of the hunting area overnight and found him that next morning. But a word of caution here: Just because the angle is good and the broadhead is beyond lethal, an angle like this doesn’t always provide the greatest of blood trails. That’s what happened in this case. The trail was there, but it wasn’t super easy to follow. That’s because fat and stomach contents plugged the wounds — not to mention the higher-up entry wound. Hunting will never be foolproof. Even if you make the best shot on a deer, you still need to prepare yourself to be patient and meticulous in the recovery efforts.


So, the angle was a good one — dare I say almost the best shot on a deer that one could take while crossbow hunting (minus the window gaffe on my part). That’s only part of the equation. The energy of that crossbow arrow is what really sealed the deal with a complete pass-through. How was that achieved? Well, the Nitro X flings arrows at an astounding 440 feet per second. The Evo X shaft and SEVR broadhead have a combined weight of 445 grains. That equates to a mind-numbing 191 foot-pounds of kinetic energy. They say speed kills. It does, especially when it’s packing a punch like that.

From first glance, this looks like a horrible shot on a deer. It wasn’t. Look at the accompanying video for more perspective. (photo by Dan Schmidt)

The exit wound on Dan Schmidt’s 8-point buck is almost picture perfect, but again, view the accompanying video for more perspective. (photo by David Gilane)

For comparison’s sake, my Mathews Triax (which I used to shoot my wide Florida buck in August) is set at 54 pounds of draw weight. I’m shooting Easton FMJs in the Deep 6 configuration and, again, 100-grain SEVR broadheads. The arrow/head combo weigh 395 grains. The bow is shooting about 280 feet per second, which means it’s producing about 70 foot-pounds of kinetic energy. 

The final analysis? The angle of this 8-pointer was no problem for my crossbow. I would not be attempting that same shot with my compound — unless the deer was a whole lot closer. But even in that event, I would be striving for a slightly less severe quartering-away opportunity.

Until next week, shoot straight, be safe, and enjoy every moment the Creator gives you in His great outdoors!

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