Scenario: Whitetail buck staring directly at a bowhunter in a ground blind.
Bow: Mathews Halon bow
Range: 25 yards
Conditions: Overcast; 70 degrees; 10-mph wind, left to right
You have to love North Dakota’s early opener (September 1 in 2017) for archery deer – it’s the perfect match to put a velvet trophy on the wall. But why is this buck peering into your field-based Cabela’s pop-up ground blind? He might be on to you, but maybe not. With whitetails, you can never be sure.
Should you take the shot before a white flag appears, or choose not to shoot and then hope his danger level drops? What will it be . . . aiming point A, B or C . . . or pass for the moment?
A. Neck shots sometimes work. Sometimes they don’t. Hitting the jugular vein is easier with a straight-on angle, but this buck is slightly quartering-toward. Pass on this nightmare scenario.
B. The boiler room is tempting. This buck has an open chest, and if you’re an ace you can smack the heart – and a homerun. Unfortunately, you still have to take in the quartering angle. Take a pass because you could easily skim or miss the heart completely.
C. Yes it’s a big target, but a quartering shot like this one means you have to rely on your arrow plowing a wound channel through the gut. After that, you hope it clips veins on the way to a femoral artery bull’s-eye in the far rear quarter. It’s a no-go situation.
The best decision is to pass on all of these scenarios. Your odds of a long tracking job, or a lost deer, are simply too high. Maybe this buck will present a better shot opportunity. And if not, you never know what’s about to show from the brush patch behind.