Shot placement 2

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  • note how the heart is very narrow from frontal aspect, while from the rear it is hidden completely behind intestines. Also note that a 4 inch radius of scatter must be allowed for as a result of rifle innaccuracy, human error, or simply a light cross-wind
  • damage to organs and carcass highly likely from this angle - bad practice therefore
  • a clear shot
  • clear shot - recommended as best practice
  • area of collateral damage increasing as heart becomes obscured
  • organs obscure heart - it is highly dangerous and bad practice to shoot an animal at this angle
  • dangerous and bad practice to shoot from this angle
  • collateral damage likely - poor practice
  • a safe shot
  • collateral damage to organs, bone and carcass - poor practice to shoot from this angle
  • this shot is to be avoided - the heart is narrow from this angle and damage to organs inevitable
  • any line of shot taken away from 90 degrees broadside must consider bullet point entry point and the angle of the path of the bullet through the body
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roe clock
red hind
 

Bullet path and damage

The point at which the bullet enters the body and the subsequent path taken by the bullet through the body may affect the degree to which an animal suffers and the degree of carcass contamination caused by bullet damage.

Angles of Bullet Path Minimising Suffering Minimising Carcass Contamination
Broadside The recommended shot as it presents the largest target area involving the heart and other vital structures in the chest. The recommended shot as the bullet path through the body is unlikely to burst the stomach.
Frontal and frontal oblique The diagrams overleaf illustrate that the target area decreases as the deer moves away from the broadside position. In addition, practitioners should be aware that target area appears smaller with distance and will require a greater degree of accuracy to position the shot. The diagrams show that as shots become more angled from the broadside position the possibility of the bullet bursting the stomach and causing contamination and/or damaging the haunches or shoulder is significantly increased. There is no substantial difference in right or left fronal oblique shots.
Left / right rear oblique shots Left and right posterior oblique shots are not identical. Right rear oblique shots may pass through the liver before entering the chest. This causes substantial liver damage and extensive haemorrhage. Left and right posterior oblique shots are not identical. The rumen occupies a large area on the left side of the abdomen and this influences the angle at which the target area in the chest can be approached. It is likely that the bullet will burst the stomach as shots become more angled from the rear, particularly with left rear oblique shots. In addition, the greater the angle of the shot, the greater the risk of bullet damage to the haunches.
Shots uphill or downhill Shooting deer from above or below will have an effect on the direction of the bullet path through the body. Consideration must be given to the point of aim on the deer to ensure that the angled bullet path causes fatal damage to the main organs in the target area (see illustration to above). The bullet path of a broadside shot from above or below is unlikely to burst the stomach. Shots taken from above or
below but at an oblique angle, however,
will be subject to the same considerations as above for horizontal oblique shots.

 

Key to symbols

  • This symbol highlights a legal requirement. It is an offence not to comply.
  • This symbol highlights an action or task required in order to safeguard public safety, food safety and animal welfare.  
  • This symbol highlights an action or task required in order to carry out the task effectively.

see further key to these symbols