Obviously game animals don’t always stand perfectly broadside. It is essential that the shooter properly visualize exactly how the animal is standing—envision where the vitals lie, and adjust the sight picture accordingly.
- Quartering angles. On quartering angles, try to envision exactly where the center of the chest lies.
- “Divide the light.” On angles other than broadside, both front legs will be visible, and there will be daylight showing between them. Divide the space between the front legs in half—“divide the light.”
- Come one-third to one-half the horizontal width into the body.
- Envision the center of the chest. Aim behind the shoulder for quartering-away shots, or aim from the point of the shoulder to inside the shoulder (between shoulder and neck) for quartering-to shots.
- Frontal shots. The frontal or facing shot is always tricky because the target is small, and if your aim slips to one side or the other, there is risk of the bullet “sliding” along the inside of the shoulder without entering the chest cavity. However, if the distance is reasonable and the shooting position is steady, the frontal shot is deadly. Aim at the center of the chest, one-third up from the brisket.
- Going-away shots. On unwounded game, never! However, to prevent the escape of a wounded animal, the going-away shot or “Texas heart shot” is not an uncommon option. This is because, after receiving a bullet, most animals will instinctively turn away to escape.
- Since this shot should be reserved for potentially wounded animals, the animal is usually moving when this shot is fired. Aim for the largest target, just under the base of the tail. On most antelope species, a bullet tough enough for African use should penetrate forward into the chest cavity.
- A hit slightly high may break the spine; a hit to either side will damage a hip or the pelvis. Once an initial hit is made, recovery of the animal is essential; potential loss and longer tracking than necessary should be avoided. So, while unethical and risky on unwounded game, on wounded animals don’t hesitate to take this shot.