Scenario: Whitetail buck rutting on the edge of standing sunflowers

Bow: Mathews Heli-M

Range: 15 yards

Conditions: Cloudy; 25 degrees; 20-mph wind, left to right

During the whitetail rut, nothing happens as planned. Here’s more unscheduled chaos to add to your roster. This buck busted out of the surrounding sunflowers looking for love. He even has a sunflower stalk lodged in his rack to give to his next Juliet. He’s hot to trot and coming right under you, but hopefully he’ll see your decoy and stop. Get ready for auto-pilot shooting.

So which shot option do you think is best, A, B or C? Or should you wait for a better opportunity?


A. Quartering-toward shots are never a first choice, but this one isn’t as extreme as it first appears. The window is wide open, so let your arrow in to do some whitetail-stopping housework. Your goal here is to take out both lungs. On second thought, there’s more to this shot than meets the initial observation. This buck is moving and shot placement here might do more harm than good.

B. Now you’re thinking. You need some lead to match the fancy footwork of this buck. Plus, you’ve raised your shot placement to account for the steep angle. You definitely need to take out the lungs high on the near side so the broadhead exits through the lower lung on the far side. Do one more calculation: Is this too much lead?

C. You’re pretty speedy with that calculator, or are you on auto-pilot like me? Quit thinking and get ready to release the string on your Mathews. This buck isn’t moving that fast, so a short lead out in front of a high lung shot will do the trick.

Are you still indecisive? If so, wait for a better shot. If you chose anything but option “C,” you and I are in disagreement. Watch the video below to see how I put the power moves on this sunflower buck.

Images and video by Mark Kayser

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