Hunting for trophy whitetails is for sure one of the most exciting sports in the world. Though we all handle pressure differently, excitement
can and will affect hunters in different ways. Although well experienced hunters eventually find a way to calm their nerves to complete a well
placed ethical shot. There are allot of hunters that will always get the heart racing blood pumping shakes where others loose track of all
thoughts allowing the moment for a shot opportunity to slip by. So remember to practice for high stress situations while at the range or when
you are shooting your bow in the back yard. A hunters best way of practicing to prepare for making high pressure shots with a bow or a
firearm is to run in place for 20 seconds and then try to steady yourself to take a controlled shot.
From being a whitetail hunter for almost 30 years now I have personally experienced all of the above. It was only through time and experience
that has allowed me to be able to obtain the skills for being able to remain calm & patient while waiting for just the right shot. If that means
letting the animal walk to live another day rather than taking a risky or marginal shot? Then so be it.
Now from having been a guide for several year now. I have had many fortunes and misfortunes when it comes to seeing the effects of both
well & poorly placed shots. Therefore I am well in touch with the fact that we all are hunters having the best of intentions when it comes to
ethically harvesting an animal. But as the elements of encountering a trophy class buck will have it. The combination of a fast moving
situation fueled with adrenaline & excitement can and will wreak havoc on the greatest of hunters & hunting experiences real quick. So as a
guides and as a hunter, i personally feel that our 1st responsibility is to the animal by only taking/making the most ethical shot possible.
Making an ethical shot is the responsibility of every hunter that steps into the woods in search of a whitetail. Regardless of the size or the sex
of the animal, each time a hunter chooses to pull the trigger on an animal down, it is required by the hunter to make every effort possible to
put the animal down as quickly and as ethically painless as possible. Therefore whether it you are hunting with a gun or a bow it simply
means two things. Study the anatomy of the animal for which you are harvesting and hit the shooting range hard and frequently. By studying
the anatomy of the animal being pursued, each hunter will know exactly where the best spot to place an arrow or slug will be. And although
they are both lethal weapons for taking out a whitetail, they are two totally different types of weapons that can require two different areas for
Hunters choosing to harvest their deer with a bow and arrow is the situation where the animal dies by "hemorrhaging" (bleeding to death).
Hunters choosing to hunt with a firearm are using a weapon where the animal dies by "shock" (extreme damage caused by sudden impact).
So with each situation being different, there will be a need for a difference in preferred shot placement.
Archery hunters. Although there are a few other shot angles or placement areas that can and will be fatal to a whitetail. We all know that the
sport of ethical archery hunting requires the hunter to wait for either a complete broadside or quartering away shot. Those two shot angles
are the most responsible, the most ethical and the highest percentage shots for watching an animal quickly pile up within sight. So we ask all
of our hunters to please be patient and wait for the right shot while hunting here with us at Backwoods Whitetails. Because what can
sometimes seem as an opportunity lost can and will create new, better and sometimes even bigger opportunities.
Please note that regardless of what one has seen posted on youtube or facebook, the shots where the animal is facing directly at you,
quartering towards you or the ones facing straight away ARE NOT high percentage shots. We perceive these shots as being unethical,
irresponsible and will more than likely only result in a lost animal. And as for the power junkies that think it is cool & neat to try and blow
through the shoulder of a deer? Well in my opinion those hunters are just plain being dam disrespectful to the animal, damaging to the sport
and i have no place for hunters like that at our camp.
Firearm hunters may appear to have a greater advantage in some ways when it comes to angles of shot placement. But that does not mean
that gun hunters have less of a responsibility to take ethical shots. Because with a firearm, blood trails can/will be faint to non existent and
with having the ability/opportunity of being able to harvest animals at further distance. Using a firearm also means that responsible/ethical
shots & shot angles will decrease as the animal at a greater distance from the hunter. Being raised in a state where shotguns are the only
means of harvesting whitetails during the firearm season, quickly teaches one that a broadside shot is still the only real respectable, ethical
high percentage shot for quickly taking down an animal. Note that the best places for point of shot placement "with a firearm" is in the
shoulder area where the animal will absorb the entire shock of the bullet. Placing a slug into this area will highly impact the heart - lung area
as well as shock the spinal area normally causing the animal to drop in its tracks. Again, any firearm hunter will know that blood trails from a
shotgun can be sparse and difficult to follow. Therefore an animal dropped in its place means the less odds for loosing the animal.
Especially in the case of muzzle loader hunters where you will not see ever be able to see the reaction of the animal due to the overwhelming
cloud of smoke.