How To Shoot Deer
Here we'll discuss how to shoot a deer, from a good distance, to deliver an effective, one shot kill. Whether hunting for sport or food, you need to be able to shoot and kill a deer with a single shot. As hunters and decent folks, we need to prevent unnecessary suffering. You must also respect the deer, who possess sharp hearing and a keen sense of smell.
- Proper caliber rifle. Select a rifle caliber that will deliver a sufficiently deadly punch. If you want to shoot the deer with a black rifle, select a 6.8 SPC or 7.62 caliber weapon. If you want to shoot the deer with a bolt action rifle, select a 7.62 caliber or 30-06. Do not select a high caliber rifle, since it's an over kill.
- Proper ammunition. Select a good expanding bullet. Avoid amor piercing and overly powerful ammunition. In 6.8 SPC, 110gr bullets are ideal but be sure not to use target loads. If using 7.62 or 30-06 any full metal jacket bullet or hollow point bullet will work well.
- Zero the rifle. Zero the rifle with the ammunition you selected. A previous zero that yielded center shots may not work with your hunting ammunition. Zero the rifle with 3 shot strings and be sure to consistently hit the center. Take note at the distance to know how to adjust the scope at closer or further ranges.
- Spotting the deer. Aim your scope above the shoulder. You want to hit the deer in the side, drawing an imaginary line through the chest cavity, hitting the hearth and/or lungs. Account for terrain and don't shoot from too far away. Tress or rocks may block your bullet and the deer could move. Do not engage the deer at more than 200 yards in wooded terrain. Be patient.
- Shooting the deer. Control your breathing. Before you are ready to shoot, hold your breath and focus on the deer. Gently pull the trigger back, applying consistent pressure until the shot breaks. Keep the rifle on target and keep your eyes focused on the deer. If you need to take a follow-up shot, do so quickly but without sacrificing accuracy.
- Maintain safety. After shooting the deer engage the safety. If you succeeded and the deer is down, take a moment to make your rifle safe before heading over to the deer. Remember that safety is more important than getting to the game.
Shooting a deer isn't hard but takes skill and practice. Spend time practicing at the range before you go hunting. Practice the art of shooting a deer and you'll come home with a trophy instead of a sorry story.