Does A Neck Shot Kill A Deer?

There are many diverse viewpoints on how to kill a deer in the world of hunting. The neck shot is one technique that is frequently contested. While some hunters contend that it is too tough, many contend that a neck shot is the fastest and most compassionate technique to dispatch a deer. So, does a neck shot kill a deer?

There is no doubt that a shot to the neck can be challenging. It’s difficult because the deer’s neck is a small target and frequently moves.

Yet, if you are a proficient shooter, you may be able to kill a deer with a neck shot. A properly executed neck shot will instantly paralyze and kill the victim by severing the spinal cord.

A deer is not usually killed by a neck shot. The deer can be hurt and pass away later, or it might escape and go missing. Let’s go in detail!

Does A Neck Shot Kill A Deer?

The target must be a crucial location, although there are several possibilities. The majority of hunters will attempt to place the bullet where it will impact one lung in the chest region to be safe. Some shoot a little lower on purpose to target the heart. 

Some aim higher so they can hit the spine. There are also people who enjoy neck shots for two different reasons. First, the animal stops in its tracks when the spine is successfully struck. 

Although there is a lot of meat on the neck, not much meat is wasted with a neck shot, especially a high-neck shot. Elk neck meat, which is measured from the top of the neck to the brisket, can weigh up to 30 pounds.

Making a crossbow shot at a deer neck is exceedingly challenging. The crossbow’s bolt is not very aerodynamic, and the deer’s neck is a very small target. This indicates that the bolt will typically fall suddenly after being fired.

So, when making this shot, it’s crucial to aim high. Setting up a target the size of a deer’s neck and practicing firing at it from various distances is the best approach to practice this shot.

Some individuals think it is a quick and humane approach to dispatch the deer. Some think that killing the animal in this manner is inhumane and cruel.

It appears that a few variables, including the size of the deer and the kind of arrow employed, may affect the answer. For instance, one study discovered that a deer was not always killed by a small-caliber arrow to the neck. Only four of the 15 deer that were shot for the study were actually completely killed. All of the other 11 deer had to be later put to death.

Furthermore, a different study discovered that arrows to the neck did not always result in a deer’s death. In actuality, only four of the 11 deer who were shot in that study were completely dead. All of the other seven deer had to be later put to death.

Thus it would seem that killing a deer with an arrow to the neck might not be a quick and painless process.

Where Is The Most Effective Place To Shoot A Deer?

Aiming for a vital organ like the heart, lungs, brain, major artery, or spinal cord will help the bullet kill the deer quickly and completely. Keep these seven locations in mind as a deer approaches and you decide where to shoot it.


One can lose an aorta or perhaps the heart with a shoulder shot. Aiming for the deer’s shoulder point and a third of the way up from its belly will yield the best results for this shot. 

This shot kills the deer quickly, saving you the trouble of having to chase it down, in contrast to lung shots, which cause the deer to slowly lose air and flee. Yet, this shot necessitates a closer stance and a strong rifle with shoulder-penetrating force.

Quartering Toward  To Shots

Quartering toward is quite identical to quartering away, with the exception that the deer is facing you. In this posture, aim for the sternum that is closest to the deer’s shoulders. This will quickly kill because it will reach the heart and lungs. It’s best to only shoot a deer behind the shoulder when it’s quartering away from you.

Moving in quarters

A shot becomes more difficult while the deer is quartering away while making a three-quarter-degree rotation. In particular, a shot from behind the shoulder is necessary when the deer’s head is turned away at a quarter turn. 

To reach the heart, lungs, or a significant artery, aim just beyond the shoulder and one-third of the way up from the deer’s belly line. Aim for the farthest offside shoulder for tighter quartering away positioning. 

This frequently entails shooting through the stomach first, directly beneath the rib cage. Remember that you should only attempt this shot with a high-power caliber. Instead, wait for a better shot angle and be patient.


The heart or the area above the aorta are your greatest targets when the deer is facing you and its chest is showing. You must aim where the neck and the chest converge in order to strike these crucial organs. A deer will be promptly killed by this shot. But, you might need to wait until the deer’s head pops back up to allow a straight shot if it is grazing or drinking with its head down.

From High Position

Target higher on the deer close to the chest cavity so that the heart or lungs are struck by the bullet. Aim through the shoulder blades so the bullet strikes the spine and other nearby vitals if the deer is not necessary right beneath your stand but is a bit ahead of you.

Straight Away

Straight away is the position that is opposed to head on. There aren’t many good choices when the deer’s rump is directly in front of you. A larger caliber bullet with controlled expansion that is aimed directly under the deer’s tail will be needed for this location. 

In essence, you will be striking the deer’s heart or lungs after passing through its intestines. If you can wait patiently, you can avoid the drawbacks of this shot, which include its messiness to begin with.

Best Advice For You

does a neck shot kill a deer

Every hunter hopes to bring the deer they are after home. It’s imperative that you comprehend and master the art of placing a shot for a clean kill in order to accomplish these two objectives.

The heart and lungs of an animal receive the shots that work the best. These organs are located in the deer’s chest cavity, just beyond the front shoulder. The most potent shot is one to the lungs.

Major arteries and blood vessels can also be found near the critical organs. This area bleeds heavily after a gunshot. The deer will leave an obvious blood trail if it tries to run away rather than dying instantly.

A clean kill requires patience in addition to accurate shooting. Hunters should only shoot at critical organs. Wait until the animal offers you the finest opportunity to take out the important organs if you do not have a clear shot at them.

Final Thoughts

We discussed the neck shot. Does a neck shot kill a deer? The answer is no. All you need to do is be patient and make the right decision for all shot places. Let’s focus on hearts and lungs. Hope it helps!

Leave a Comment