I have been seeing a lot of posts the last few years about high shoulder hits and/or lack of blood trails. I thought I would give my opinion about shot placement when using archery equipment. First off...the archery hunter can not expect to drop deer in their tracks. The deer will almost always run until the pumpstation goes dry. This time/distance will vary quite a bit depending on SHOT PLACEMENT. It is odd to think about it this way, but the two ways an arrow/broadhead kill a deer is either by filling the lungs with fluid, or by basically emptying the cardiovascular system. Of course, the lungs are a large target, and the most comon place to hit a deer. Now as the arrow penetrates the lungs it will sever arteries and drain blood into the alveoli (air sacs) until it basically suffocates the animal. The more arteries cut, the quicker the animal will expire. The high shoulder and high/back shoulder hits cut very little of the lung, and thus take longer for the animal to expire. Also, these hits are high in the chest cavity so it takes a longer time for blood to exit through the entry hole (minimal/non-existent blood trail). Along the same lines, but appied to the cardiovascular system it is possible to bleed out an animal from any artery. The larger the artery, the faster it happens. When we put these things together it only seems logical to put the broadhead just where we can get the most damage to both systems...and lucky for us they package this spot very conveniently. An arrow tucked nicely into the nook between the scapula and humerus has a good chance of damaging a good thickness of lung, and of course the heart.
When I take aim at a whitetail that is exactly where I want to hit...I aim for a spot ~3" up from the spot where the front leg intersects the bottom of the chest cavity. It seems too low every time, but I know this is what gets the results for me. I would rather miss low and have a clean miss than to miss high and hit it in the high shoulder/spine. Anyway...I know most of us know this...I just couldn't resist posting up for any young/less experienced hunters who might just need a little direction in shot placement. One thing I use to help get myself in the right mindset for the low chest shot is to hang my target where the bottom is about 2 feet off the ground, and then shoot at a dot about 4" up from the bottom. This seems like it keeps me thinking about the low hit success!
Happy hunting....now go sling some sticks!