Don't Miss High
By Ken Piper
Ninety percent of the shots missed at deer are high. If you shoot at a deer and he just stands there looking at you, chances are good that the shot went high. When you get excited about taking the shot, you're more likely to jerk the trigger, and that makes the shot go high.
When I aim at a deer with a bow, I aim at the lower one-third of my target area, which takes care of any tendency to shoot high.
Bowhunters talk about whitetails "jumping the string," which means they're reacting to the sound of the bow. I've learned about this the hard way because I've had a lot of bow shots go just over deer. I've looked at slow motion video of those missed shots, and the deer don't really jump when they dodge an arrow. They simply react to the sound so quickly that they duck down and turn to run. As they do so, the arrow misses high.
By putting my sight on the lower one-third of the deer's lungs, it will usually be a good shot, even if the deer ducks before the arrow gets there. If the deer doesn't react to the sound, I'm still in the fatal zone by aiming low, and my exit wound is lower in the deer's body, so I'm more likely to have an immediate blood trail.
If you're hunting with a shotgun, there's even more of a tendency to shoot high because most shotguns don't have nearly as crisp a trigger as a rifle. It takes a pretty good pull to make the shotgun go off, and you wind up shooting high.