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Aim for the exit hole - By First Lite team member Ron Gaines

Posted by Ryan Callaghan on


"Aim For The Exit Hole"

If I could offer a suggestion or tip regarding shot placement on game, I would say "aim for the exit hole".  This is a practice that I use to ensure the best opportunity to make a clean, fast and humane stop.  One thing a lot of bowhunters do is practice shooting at targets on flat level ground with the target positioned perfectly broadside.  Many of us compete in 3D tournaments, which is good practice, but we are poised to focus only on the entry side of the target in order to score the maximum number of points.  As a result, we are conditioned to aim at the entry side of our targets, even when hunting.  I talk to hunters every year that say they made a perfect shot and lost their elk or deer.  I would be willing to make a small wager that the shot placement missed the major vitals in most cases.

As an illustration, let's say you have a nice mule deer standing slightly up hill facing to your left.  The deer is standing at 35 yards and quartering at a 45 degree angle.  As an archer we want to put that arrow as close as possible through the center of the major vital area.  From a physics perspective we need to visualize where that arrow shaft will exit the deer in order to hit the major vitals.  Once you know where the arrow will exit, you will have a better understanding on exactly where to hold on your target.  If we were using a 3D target positioned with this same scenario, you could not aim at the ten ring and be successful in hitting the major would hit too far forward.

When I practice for hunting I use two 3D deer targets.  I position these targets at every angle possible.  My total focus is to visualize the exit hole and then aim for it.  It can be a challenge to aim away from a spot that you typically shoot for, however, in the hunting field it can and will be the difference between success and frustration.

Good Hunting!

Ron Gaines for more tips and tactics check out the team page here.

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