Editors Blog

When in Doubt, Shoot Every Deer Twice


Nathan Askew is not only a top guide at Northern Missouri Outfitters; he’s a certified Professional Hunter who spends six months each year guiding elephant, leopard, cape buffalo and plains-game hunters in Botswana, Mozambique and South Africa.

Deer & Deer Hunting subscriber Dan Pastuska and I had the honor of hunting with Askew several years ago during Missouri’s annual gun-hunt.

And when Pastuska got his chance at an 8-pointer of a lifetime, Askew was more than pleased to learn Pastuska didn’t stop at one shot.

“I had been in the stand for nearly five hours when I looked over my shoulder and saw antlers sticking out of the CRP about 150 yards away,” Pastuska said. “I quickly lined up my cross-hairs and fired. The buck didn’t even act like he was hit. He ran a little ways, then stopped, so I shot again. He kept running, and I kept shooting.”

Pastuska fired four shots, and three of them hit their mark. The buck didn’t drop with the first shot because the bullet hit a hit small twig. That
resulted in a gut shot.

where to shoot a deerLEARN WHAT TO DO FOR A GUT SHOT

However, thanks to Pastuska’s quick reflexes, the buck died in a deep ditch just 10 yards from where it stood during the final shot.

“You’re the kind of hunter I would like to have on every one of my safaris,” Askew told Pastuska as we hauled the buck out of the ditch. “You wouldn’t believe how many times I see guys shoot once, then watch as the animal runs across an open area and out of sight.”

When asked to offer a top tip for gun-hunters, Askew barely hesitated before saying, “Shoot every deer twice; no matter how good you think you hit it the first time.”

Askew said he recommends the same advice even when the animal drops in its tracks.

“When a buck drops, put another one in him as quick as possible … or at least be ready to,” he said.

“Sometimes you just never know where that first shot hit. I’ve seen many instances (in Africa) where a huge animal will drop, and the hunter puts down his rifle and starts celebrating.

Then the animal gets up, runs off and leaves little or no blood trail.

when to blood trail a deerFor more information on how, when and where to pick up a blood trail of a wounded deer, check out our exclusive blood-trailing guide.


Seasoned deer hunters know it is imperative to know where their arrow or bullet struck before taking up the trail of any whitetail. For the first time ever, D&DH’s Shot Simulator allows you to take as many “do overs” as needed to get that information! In this state-of-the-art animated program, you can position the deer exactly as it was when you were hunting, “take the shot,” and then learn exactly which organs were hit. Position yourself from tree-stand height or ground-blind level and position the deer at any angle. After the shot, click on the navigation bars to peel away the hide, skin and bones to see which organs were hit. Then, use our instant trailing guide to help you decide what your next move should be. Wait 30 minutes … or wait 10 hours? We will provide you the best course of action!

Dan's pick: Shot SimulatorWhether you’ve yet to harvest a whitetail or have taken more than 100 in your lifetime, this animated program is a must-have for any deer hunting camp!

This downloadable version is available to you upon checkout.