About the Study Guide

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Every hunter wants to bring home the wild game he or she is hunting; true sportsmen strive for a clean and quick kill. To achieve these twin goals, it is essential that you understand the anatomy of wildlife and learn how to place a shot correctly.

Projectiles kill game differently depending on what they are shot from and the type of projectile. It is important to understand these differences to select the best shot placement.

  • Rifle bullets kill game by causing massive tissue damage and shock to the vital organs.
  • Handgun bullets, muzzleloader bullets, and slugs kill game by blood loss from the wound and damage to the vital organs. These projectiles travel too slowly to create the massive tissue damage that high-power rifle bullets create. Therefore, the larger the caliber or the better the expansion capability of the bullet tip, the larger the wound channel for quicker blood loss.
  • Shot pellets need to penetrate through the animal’s hide or bird’s feathers into a vital organ. The damage created disrupts the vital organ’s ability to function. On flying birds, the shot also must damage flying ability to bring the bird down quickly so that it cannot fly for some distance, resulting in losing it and wasting it unethically.
  • Broadhead-point arrows kill game by cutting through blood vessels or vital organs, causing massive blood loss.
  • Blunt-type, field-tip arrow points kill small game by shock to the animal’s body and vital organs.