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

Vital organs of a deer

The most effective shots are delivered to an animal’s vital organs—heart and lungs. In large game animals, these organs lie in the forward body cavity behind the front shoulder. A lung shot is the most effective shot for big game.

The area of the vital organs also contains major blood vessels and arteries. A shot in this area causes considerable bleeding. If the animal doesn’t die immediately and tries to flee, it will leave a blood trail that’s easy to track.

Aside from being a good marksman, the key to a clean kill is patience. Hunters should limit shots to the vital organs only. If you do not have clear shot to the vital organs, wait until the animal presents the best possible shot.

Vital organs of a turkey
Vital organs of a black-tailed jack_rabbit
Vital organs of a ring-necked pheasant