Brain and neck shots. Though instantly fatal if placed correctly, these shots are rarely taken because the target is small and the risks of a non-fatal wounding shot are high. They are also discouraged because excessive damage to the cape (skin) is likely.
Behind-the-shoulder lung shot. This is the shot that American hunters often prefer because it offers the largest target while ruining very little edible meat. Most PHs discourage this shot because while not necessarily tougher, African animals are often constantly anxious because of the presence of predators, and a lung shot will often require more tracking than the shoulder/heart shot.
- With a broadside presentation, come up the back line of the foreleg.
- Divide the animal into horizontal thirds between belly line and back line. Just behind the shoulder in the middle third will be a central lung shot.
- Extreme care must be taken to avoid hitting too far back.
Shoulder/heart shot. This is the shot preferred by most African PHs. The margin of error is not so great as the lung shot, but the target area is still maximized. This shot will break one or both shoulders and, even if the heart is not penetrated, will take out the massive blood vessels leading to the heart, causing instantaneous and catastrophic loss in blood pressure.
- With a broadside penetration, come up the center of the foreleg and one-third the body width into the shoulder. This shot will break heavy shoulder bone and take out either the top of the heart or the vessels above the heart.
- A hit slightly high or back will still be solidly in the lungs, but it’s important to stay below the horizontal halfway point.
- The greatest risk with this shot is hitting too far forward, catching nothing but brisket.