Responsible hunting – how to achieve a safe and quick kill?
First of all, your target animal has to be in a position where it doesn’t pose a risk to other third parties or objects. Even the best shooter can miss a shot. Furthermore, your firearm and ammunition have to be of adequate caliber for the shooting. And finally, you need to be capable of hitting the target area on your quarry. All these steps are mandatory for achieving a quick and safe kill.
Being a safe, successful hunter with a well-deserved reputation for one-shot kills is a lot more about discipline than being a particularly good shot or having the latest big magnum in your hands. There are two things you have to know – where to aim and when NOT to shoot! There are three principal target zones on an animal that will deliver fast, humane death with proper shot placement. These are the chest, the neck, and the brain.
Brain and neck shot
A high-velocity projectile delivered to the brain will cause instant death. Likewise, a well-placed neck shot will sever the spine and the major blood vessels that supply the brain. The chest shot aims to destroy the heart and cause rapid death through loss of blood flow to the brain and massive shock to animals.
The chest shot
The chest shot is the most common shot taken when hunting. The ideal target zone should be about a third of the distance up from the bottom of the chest directly between the front legs. Placing a shot in this area will wreck the top of the heart. All the major blood vessels are connecting there. It will also take out the lungs at the same time. A hit that is a little off the exact center of the target zone will still be instrumental because the heart, its radiating blood vessels, and the lungs present a relatively large target zone. A high shot has a good chance of damaging the spine, which dips down surprisingly low in the body.
Don’t aim too low
A potential mistake for inexperienced hunters taking side-on chest shots tends to aim a bit too low and a little far back behind the shoulder.