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Where to Shoot a Deer with a Bow−All Popular Bows, Optical Sights & Placements Covered

bow hunting tips for deer hunting


Are you ready to have some nice meat and a great time for you and your squad in the woods? Do you know where to shoot a deer with a bow and how to hunt your tasty prey down? We will discuss this secret with you as well.

Looking to hunt down an Elk or a whitetail in your area? So, we will give you all the best tips on hunting down your prey with a bow.

What else? We will give you the best tips on choosing bows that work best. In addition, you will get tips on which bows would work for you and which you should avoid.

At the same time, you will find out the best placements for different types of deer. Moreover, you will learn about how to choose the right optical sights for your hunting.

Table of Contents

Where to Shoot a Deer with a Bow for a Humane Kill

As hunters, we have heard about how this amazing sport is inhumane. Yet, people keep arguing that it is against nature and should not be legal for unknown reasons.
But this out-of-the-world sport can be a real thrill and adrenaline pump for a sportsman. So, let us mix both up, a humane kill alongside a great time and perfect dinner.

How to Make a Humane Kill?

So, this one is the easy part that you can learn if you have ever studied biology. It is easy to tell that the vital organs are the parts you should damage for a humane hunt.

So, this is the formula that applies to all angles you may get to kill with. Therefore, these are the angles you should have a grip on when looking to kill.


How To Shoot A Deer With A Bow?

Deer Looking Your Way

Slightly Looking Your Way

Perpendicular View

Avoid Strong Muscles

Target The Lungs And Heart Area

Easiest Angle To Kill Humanely

Hit The Vital Organs

Damage The Vital Organs

Target The Vital Organs

Avoid This Angle If Possible 


Make Sure You Avoid Hitting Bones


Avoid Strong Muscles


Best Way To Kill It In The Tracks

Where to Shoot Deer with Bow Facing You?

There are 4 to 5 different points of view you might face most of the time for your game.

A Deer Facing You

Now, the next situation! Where to shoot a deer with a bow facing you? Well, it can be a less ethical kill in many cases, but the same formula applies here.

Ensure you avoid the animal’s strong muscle and bone areas and hit the vital stuff. Once you get that part, you have the hunt in your hands.

Avoiding to shoot from this angle is the best idea, as you may not get an easy kill. Moreover, you can injure it without getting a kill at all.


how to hunt deer with bows

Where to Shoot a Deer with a Bow Slightly Looking in Your Direction?

So, in this one the deer would be slightly looking in the direction of your position area. In other words, her front legs are facing your direction. But its face is not in your

So, you can have a humane kill when the game slightly faces your direction. You must target the lung area and try to damage the vital organs.

This way, you have the best chance of shooting to kill if you can damage the heart and the lungs.

tips to hunt deer with bows

The Side View (Perpendicular)

This one is the easiest chance to kill the game humanely. Just aim for the heart-lungs area, and you have the best opportunity. This perpendicular position is easy to cash and shoot to kill.

You should know where to shoot a deer with a crossbow and other weapons.

So, where to shoot a deer to drop it in its tracks with a bow? This is the best chance to kill the deer in its tracks when you can see it from the side.


how to hunt deer with bows


Compound Bow

Recurve Bow








Easier Than Recurve Bow

The Sound It Makes Can Be Make The Deer Run Away

Gives A Lot Of Thrill

Difficult To Shoot With

Easier To Use


Great For Beginners


Needs A Lot Of Practice

Needs Less Practice


Creates Too Much Sound


Works For Small Range Areas



How to Choose a Deer Hunting Bow?

Using a compound bow is easier than a recurve bow, and you can hit your target better. Therefore, it is a great choice if you are a beginner in the bowhunting world

You should know the weapon’s draw weight and the state laws you are playing in. It is the weight that such a weapon can produce when fully drawn to shoot.

Check with the dominant eye if you are looking for a compound bow. Try to check it with both eyes and use the one that helps you kill the animal easier.

The Differences Between Bows

Hunting with this weapon can be a bit tricky, so you should know the info to find the best equipment. When choosing among different types of these weapons, you must know the following:

The arrow speed that a bow offers is a must-consider before purchase. An arrow speed of 400 FPS (Feet Per Second) is great.

Make sure you choose the right axel-to-axel lengths with the best stability and accuracy. Short bows would work best for professionals, so keep them in your mind.

  • If you want to kill a game in a vast area, try using 5-pin sights.
  • The sound these weapons make can be a difficult thing to avoid. But ensure that your bow does not make a huge sound when shooting.
  • This sound can be too intimidating for the deer you want to shoot. It would alert it and cause it to run away.
  • Bow sights and pins are a must as well. You can shoot 20 to 40 yards with a 3-pin bow sight easily.
  • This ability would change for the different bows you use and the draw weights.
  • Arrow strength is important for a kill and for state laws too. So, find out the strength you need and what your hunting state allows.
  • Try to use a minimum draw weight of 40 pounds to have an easy and humane kill.
  • Try to practice with drop-away arrow rest and whisker biscuits to find which one works for you. Containing arrows is easier when you have a whisker biscuit.
  • Your bow should have an adjustable draw weight to allow better results. At the same time, you should use string silencers and dampeners.
    If you want to kill an Elk, try 60 to 70-pound draw-weight bows.

    Once you know where to shoot a deer with a bow, you can save time and get fast results.

  • hunting different deer species with bows


Are you Old School? Try Recurve Bow!


A recurve bow may not be easy to shoot with or kill, so you should try it only as an enthusiast. However, people who love hunting with this bow can go for it as it is a difficult method. You can read further about recurve bow hunting here.

Make sure that you try practicing a lot before you go into the real-world shooting scenario. It is a bow smaller than a straight limb, which was the old bow for those who do not know.

So, you can handle it better than an old traditional weapon that Red Indians used. When you release your arrow, such a weapon can cause a lot of sounds.

Experts love hunting whitetail deer with this one, so you can use it for that. Ensure that you know the animal before you go for this hunting method.

The thing is, the more you know your game, the better you can use this kind of arm. Try to use your best stealth skills; if you lack them, try developing them.

This kind of game pursuit is for short-range stuff, so know this before choosing the animal. You can try using 45 pounds of draw weight when looking to hunt a deer.

If you have a better draw weight, you can reach the vitals easily, so a humane shot. Try a 45 to 50 pounds draw weight weaponry for 20 yards or less range shooting.

Remember that area you are hunting in can be a determining factor for a kill or a miss. Ensure that you have a small area to kill within and that the game is close when using a recurve.

15 to 17 yards is best for a whitetail with this method.

bow hunting tips for huntiers


How to Hunt a Deer with a Recurve Bow?

So, the tip design of such a weapon is important, and a pyramid-style bone-busting would work well. Avoid using cone-shaped tips, and hunting from a higher point can be handy. Here is a blog on recurve bow deer hunting you can use for better results.

Cover with blinds, and the broadheads should be sharp to penetrate the vitals. Moreover, you should avoid hitting the leg bone as it should be in the forward position when shooting.

In such a scenario, you can hit the vital area and kill with a humane hit. Never aim if the game is looking away, and draw the same length of bow every time.

Try using a 10 grains per inch arrow, which can help you generate maximum energy to propel the arrow. Also, you should have the same information for such a hunt. Make sure you know where to shoot a deer with a bow.

Try using fox scent, and the equipment should be soundless. Moreover, cut only a few branches but create a good view. Clearing the area will also help you let the bolt travel faster and easier.

deer hunting and bow sights


Deer Hunting with a Compound Bow

Hunting your game down with a compound bow can be less difficult yet thrilling. In addition, it is an easier weapon to use with a better aiming ability and power.

Recurve bow and compound weapons differ in many ways, including their shapes.

Try to reduce the draw weight on a compound bow if you don’t need it too strong. Your game size matters, and so does the draw weight. Set the draw weight according to the game size.

Make sure you know your draw length and how much you can spend on such an arm. Then, practice with it before you go into the woods for the real stuff. You can know where to shoot a deer with a bow once you understand all the main things in such hunting.

Know the sound it generates and use proper gear like a good camo and binoculars.

How to Choose and Use a Crossbow for Expeditions?


The crossbow is a more advanced bow version that can be handy for a deer hunt. Make sure that you know the following crossbow tips when buying and killing with it:

  • So, have a lifetime warranty, and you must know the state laws. You must comply with the state laws you are hunting in any area.
  • Also, the arrow weight should be around a 300 to 350-grain range. At the same time, you should try a heavier bolt (arrow) if looking to kill a bigger game.
  • So, the heavier the bolts, the better penetration you can have.
  • Make sure, your safety is your biggest priority.
  • Consider it always loaded, and do not point in an unsafe direction.
  • Learn if a fixed blade or expendables will work. You can use both for a mid-sized game.
  • Remove the bolt when climbing your tree stand and mounting it. The best way to avoid any mishap is loading when you are in the shooting position.
  • When cocking or removing the bolts, always keep them in a safe direction.
  • Use accessories for safe loading and keep the safety on when cocking.
  • Ensure that you practice a lot before a real-life scenario and practice for all situations.
  • Also, you should ensure you know where to shoot a deer with a crossbow.
  • Ensure safety should always be on by pointing in a safe direction. Moreover, your fingers should be under the barrels.

These tricks work alongside your other tactics; you improve everything when you know where to shoot a deer with a bow.

bow hunting deer


Stalking a Whitetail for Bow Hunting

So, when you enter a deer area, you are in constant threat of the game knowing about you. So, make sure you use the best scents to avoid them smelling you from a distance.

Moreover, you should know the area well and try to find a place to use your tree stands. A tree stand should be close to the animal’s habitat, and a water source area may be perfect. Finally, before you leave for the hunt, ensure that you know the area’s weather.

Also, you should equip yourself with the best gear when preparing for the field. Knowing the area’s weather is also crucial because of the gear you should try. Deer like eating food that is close to them and easy to get.

So, you should look for an area with a lot of food the animal likes. Deeres like to communicate with the scent they have in their bodies, so be aware of that. They leave a scent, and if you can get a trace of it, you can kill them easily.

Remember that this animal breed is not very choosy about the food, but they avoid exposing themselves to get it. Instead, try to look for the rubs they make on trees with their antlers in their habitat.

Some More Tips for Hunting Deer with Bows

When in the field, ensure you are careful not to scare away the animal.


Tips To Remember When Using Bows


  • So, There should not be any obstacles between you and your hunt when using bows.
  • Be in the best position to kill your game even when using treestands
  • Also, use camouflage clothes when in the terrain
  • Make sure that you practice loading your weapon and do some sighting in
  • And, keep safety glasses and first-aid kits
  • No Obstacles in The Way
  • Use high-quality scopes and dampeners when looking to hunt. We will talk about scopes in the same article to give you a great idea about what to use.

Also, you can upgrade to aluminum arrows once you have made some nice kills. Using these bolts can help you with crossbow hunting. Also, try using metal jacket bolts for better accuracy when hunting a deer.

bow hunting deer


Stand Placement is Important

Firstly, you can use rub lines, trails, and tracks to place a stand at the right position and point. However, whitetail deer can be difficult to track, so be careful about that.

Also, make sure your stand gives you the best position to kill with a bow you have. You should know where to shoot a deer with a bow from a tree stand. This information would make your work and dinner easy.

Practice Loading the Weapon for Deer Hunt

You can try using hand cocking and ensure not to scare away your potential game. Avoid creating a lot of noise when on the tree stand. At the same time, you should have a nice comfortable camo according to the weather.

Bow Sights

The thing is, bow sights can be the difference between a hit and a miss. So, consider using the following sights for your bows when hunting deer.
Types of bow sights

  • Single-pin bow sights
  • Multi-Pin bow sights


Compound Bow Sights

So, there are two types of bow sights you should know about when hunting deer game.

Single-pin Sights

Such sights have one fiber optic pin and have sight tapes. There are multiple sight tapes in such a weapon, and you can choose from them. Make sure you work well with the trick of knowing where to shoot a deer with a bow.

However, you should choose the one that best suits the type that works well for the arrow and bow range. It is impossible to adjust your sight when using this kind of bow sight.

Multi-Pin Adjustable Sights

Try to find the ones with a moving sight body, and you can find those with a fixed set of pins. These pins can move with the body of such a sight.

Use them according to the distance you are looking to achieve to hit. Choosing 3 to 5 pins sights is good, and you should know the number of fixed pins.

So, you can dial by choosing any sight from the fixed ones, while the bottom pin is the best one to go for. Make sure you know the one that suits your setup by turning to your sight tapes.

The trick of knowing where to shoot a deer with a bow works here, too, so know it well.

Choosing Crossbow Sights

So, there are several variations in the scopes you can use with a crossbow. Try using the features that help you get the best view and magnification you need.

For instance, fixed-power scopes for crossbows typically come from 3x to 6x magnification. Therefore, these bows are useful for several types of hunting you would be looking to do.

Make sure the light reaches your eyes when looking through your sight. So, you should buy a product that can give you ample light to see.

Use a scope that allows a wide image when you see through it. This image is important for you to hunt in a way you can use for an easy hunt.

The scope you buy should be resistant to elements like fog and water. Try the one that has a lifetime or at least a 5-year warranty. This warranty can help you have the right security for the money you spend.

Eye relief refers to the distance you must place your eye from the eyepiece on the scope to see the target properly.

Your sight should come with all the accessories you should have to keep it safe and working well. Among these are lens cloth and scope caps. These two are essential to clean and protect the product for years of use.

So, never go for a product that does offer these accessories, and try to use them regularly. You should know what game you will kill using this scope for better selection.

The distance you are looking to shoot also determines the sight efficacy, so be sure about that. It should have an inner coating to ensure it does not create any glare for your eyes. If the product is causing glare, it can be difficult to hunt with.

Know the terrain and change magnification when out to hunt.

Longer sights give more magnification but are difficult to carry. You must also use crosshair illumination to allow you to hunt in darker conditions.

Using a 3x magnification is best for shooting 40 yards or farther targets. So, it is the best choice for the different terrains you are looking to hunt in.


all types of bow hunting deer tips



How to Stay Safe When Hunting a Deer with a Bow?

Make sure that you take first-aid kits and safety glasses. Removing obstacles from crossbow limbs is necessary, and use a safety rope when on a tree stand. Moreover, put on a harness for your body.

Stay as undetectable for the game as possible to avoid any safety issues or mishaps.

What are the most important things to avoid when hunting a deer with a bow?

Always remember to never wrap your thumb around your crossbow. Do not ever carry or stalk with a loaded crossbow, and do not shoot without the right situation to shoot.

Do not climb up or mount off a tree stand with a loaded bolt or point crossbows in any unsafe or potentially unsafe direction.

What are the most common types of deer hunting Bows?

In conclusion, you can find three different types of deer hunting bows in the US. There are crossbows, compound bows, and recurve bows.

Which is the easiest bow to use for hunting?

So, the answer depends on varied factors and your expertise. It might take some time to learn if you are a newbie in hunting with any bow. But using a recurve bow is considered hard.

What is the best placement of a deer for a humane kill?

All you have to do is to target the vital organ area behind the front legs is the best placement for deer hunting. You should avoid hitting strong muscle areas when killing with any weapon. This rule applies to bow hunting as arrows are usually not strong enough to penetrate bones.

What is a humane deer hunt?

So, a humane deer hunt is killing the game by hitting the area it will die the quickest. Such a hit is less painful for the animal you are killing.

Why deer hunting with a bow and arrow is considered thrilling?

So, deer hunting is always a thrilling experience, and using a bow for it can create a real adrenaline rush. The reason behind this excitement is the adventure you can have with such a hunt.

What are the best safety tips you should follow when hunting with a bow?

One of the tips you should follow all the time with any weapon is to consider it is loaded all the time. Moreover, you should avoid mounting or getting off a tree stand with a loaded bolt.

  • Never keep the bow facing in an unsafe direction, and keep the safety on.
  • Do not shoot the bolt without a clear chance to hit and kill an animal.
  • Make sure you know the weather of the terrain you will enter for a hunt.
  • Keep survival kits to keep you safe against any unwanted situation.

Can you hunt an Elk with a crossbow?

Yes, you can hunt down an Elk with a crossbow, and it needs to be a strong one. Make sure you use the right tactics, like scent when going for a kill.

Why is wind direction important when hunting deer with a bow?

Wind direction can alert the animal by carrying your scent to them. Using the right hunting scents is a must to ensure you avoid letting them know of your presence.

How does an Elk’s eyesight work when you are in the field?

An Elk can spot any unusual shapes and can see any quick movements. So, make sure you refrain from making any quick movements or exposing yourself to its vision.

What kind of hearing do deer have?

Deer are known for having a sharp sense of hearing, and you should also avoid alerting them with a scent.

What kind of clothes would suit a deer hunt in the woods?

Camo gear is the best clothes you can wear in the woods when going for a hunt. Make sure that the camo is by the environment you have.

There are many other things that you should remember, like using a scent and the right pair of shoes.

What are the best hunting sights for 40 yards and beyond?

Using a 3X magnification is best for 40 yards or beyond hitting targets. Try to use these sights for hunting a deer that can hunt in a close kill.

What is the importance of sight for hunting a deer?

Sights are the optical accessory that allows you to view your target well. When you use this one, you can hunt any animal easier with less chance of missing it.

That is why you should try using the best sights to hit a deer or any other game for a kill.

How does a bow sight help you in hunting?

You can use a bow sight for hunting your game without straining your eyes. It allows you to see your game clearly and hit it with better precision.

How to use peep sights on a bow?

You can use different peep sights according to the hunt you are looking to have. For example, try using a smaller aperture when you are looking to kill during the morning or any other daytime.

Using a small peep can help you aim well, as your missing chances are fewer. At the same time, you can keep the pin in the center using a smaller one.

How does a peep sight help you when shooting with a compound bow?

You can use a sight bow to see through the hole in your bowstring. It allows you to align your vision like a rifle peep works.
Using it can help you target your hunt well, allowing you to have a line between your eye, the pin, and your game.

What is the best distance you can sight your crossbow?

So, you can start your process at a 10 yards distance which you can adjust further. So, try targeting with a sight that is at 20 yards.

Final Thoughts

We talked about some of the best tips for deer hunting with all the popular bows. We also touched upon hunting tips, sights, and methods to find a bow to hunt. There are three most popular bows that you can try for hunting a deer or an Elk. Using compound bows, crossbows, and recurve bows is a common practice.

The use of recurve bows is the most difficult way to hunt. While using crossbows and compound bows can be handier. We also talked about the best optic sights for bows you can find for hunting. Single-pin and multi-pin sights are two of the best you can find.

We also gave you some common tips for hunting a deer and choosing the gear. In addition, you can read about choosing any of the three types of bows. Moreover, we discussed how to hunt deer with any of the three we discussed. Happy hunting!