The Best Place to Shoot a Deer: 5 Effective Areas For Clean Kills

I’ve always established that shooting a deer means you have to be in a strategic location. Either you’re on a comfortable ladder tree stand or down in a hunting ground blind, all that matters is that you’re at your best position to shoot a deer. However, you know where to place yourself when shooting deer, but what’s the best place to shoot a deer?

Is it on the head, stomach, or are there any other strategic parts to know about? After doing the research, I came across some interesting facts, so read on! I’ll be showing you the places to shoot deer for a one-shot kill!

The Best Place to Shoot a Deer

There are different factors that affect where the best place to shoot a deer is. The crucial factor is your distance from them, as well as your shooting skills and the meat you want to get from the deer after taking your shot.

With that being said, here are the five different areas you can shoot deer successfully, besides the head!

High Shoulder 

A good area to hit the deer is on its high shoulder, also known as a shock and awe shot. When shooting this area, it can snap the spine and short circuit the deer’s nervous system and/or break ribs. This shot is easier done when from a long distance (even farther than 500 yards), compared to doing brain shots.

I recommend doing this shot if you’re a beginner, as it’s easier to do and is popular with novice hunters. However, a lot of meat can be damaged or you can miss and spook deer, so be wary about how you shoot it.

Heart and Lung Area

Shooting the heart and lung area is also known as the boiler room shot, one of the best areas to shoot deer. When taking this shot by the side, be sure to aim above and from the back of its front legs. For those shooting in front, it might not be as precise, but still aiming for the heart and lung area can hit vital organs, killing the deer immediately.

This is a good shot to take if you’re shooting by its side. It’s also great if you’re too far away from a headshot (within a 500-yard distance)


If you do want to aim for a headshot, then make sure that you go for the brain. It can incapacitate deer and have them die instantly. However, it can be a tough shot and can only be done if you’re at a close distance from them (about 50 yards away). I only recommend doing this shot while the deer is calm, still, and you’re away from eyesight.

Make sure that you aim above the eyes, and if shooting by its side, aim at the same point. For those shooting from behind, aim for the back of the deer’s skull. Take note, this is a small target and will take a LOT of precision and skill to successfully shoot the brain.


This is another excellent shot that can incapacitate an animal or kill it immediately. If you’re scouting deer and see that the neck is in plain view where you’re able to shoot it with was, then this is an area to take your shot.

Another advantage is that you don’t have many risks of damaging any deer meat. Plus, it’s easier to take for novice hunters, rather than shoot vital organs and risk damaging its insides. It’s a good shot to take if you’re from a long distance and not confident in your shooting skills yet.

Double-Shoulder Shot 

For hunters who are within a 200 to 500-yard distance from the animal, go for the double shoulder shot. I recommend that you use a .308 round when doing so, shooting from one shoulder. The strength of the shot will rocket through its body, hitting the opposite shoulder blade.

As a result, it can snap the spine, incapacitating or killing the deer. This is better than the headshot, as it’s a bit easier to do and it actually pretty cool to watch. However, I only recommend this if you have a very powerful rifle.

Wrapping It Up

Shooting deer isn’t just about where you are or the weapons you use. It also matters the area of the deer you shoot it on, as this determines if it can be killed immediately and to avoid infiltrating the edible meat. Through knowing this, you can strategically plan how to shoot deer properly according to your hunting goals. 

Hopefully, this article on the best place to shoot a deer helped you out! So don’t wait any longer and look into these areas to make a strategic plan now.

If you have any questions or want to share your tips and experiences on shooting deer, then comment below. Your thoughts are much appreciated.

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