How To

Tuesday’s Take Your Best Shot: Archery Mule Deer


Scenario: Mule deer bedded on steep slope; stalked by bowhunter

Bow: Mathews Halon

Range: 35 yards

Conditions: Sunny; 45 degrees; breezy 15-mph wind, left to right

October bowhunting often pits you against hidden, antisocial bucks bulking up for the upcoming rut. Your 4 hours of stalking paid off, and now you’re within striking distance of one such individual. It’s breezy, but you know your arrow won’t be affected more than a few inches from wind-drift. Where do you aim to put this giant on your wall? Check out the possible aiming points A, B or C shown below, then take your best shot.


A. It’s a big target and wide open. Slip one under and to the right of the chin, and you could possibly cut the jugular vein. You might even break this buck’s neck. Ponder it, but also consider another option.

B. Hidden in the shadows is this buck’s sweet spot. The near front leg is folded back, but not far enough to cover access into the boiler room. This might be the best option, so aim just above the elbow.

C. Wow! The hip is huge, sunlit and has that big femoral artery running on the outside edge. Hit that artery and you’ll see red. Miss it, however, and you could be in for a long tracking job.

Made your decision? In “Jeopardy” style, you’d answer, “What is option B.” You need to put your arrow right above the buck’s front elbow and make it disappear into the shadows. Visualize the position of the far leg, line up the two, then cut loose a G5-tipped projectile.

Image by Mark Kayser

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