New Jersey Hunter Safety Course


Taking a Shot

A responsible hunter must know when it is appropriate to take a shot, to hit the vital areas for a quick, clean harvest. These are different big game shots a hunter might encounter in the field.

Front Shot

Up-front shot

It is very difficult to hit the vital areas in an up-front shot, since the bullet would have to travel through bone to hit the vital organs. Also, since the animal is staring straight at the hunter, the slightest movement from the hunter will send the animal running. Bow hunters should never attempt this shot, and firearm hunters should be very careful if attempting the shot. In most cases, it is advisable to wait for a better shot.


Quartering-toward shot

Since the animal is still looking in the direction of the hunter when it is quartering-toward, this is still not an ideal shot. However, the vital organs are more vulnerable on this angle. If the hunter is already positioned for the shot, a quartering forward shot can be acceptable. Again, this is not a shot to be attempted by bow hunters.


Broadside Shot

In the broadside shot, the bullet or arrow can easily pass through the rib cage to hit the heart and lung area, and the hunter has a wider target at which to aim. This is one of the best shots for firearm and bow hunters alike.


Quartering-Away Shot

The quartering-away shot offers a clear path to the heart and lungs; and if it is on the right side, will travel through the liver as well. This will result in a very quick harvest of the animal. This is a good shot for a firearm or bow hunter.

Rear Shot

Rear Shot

The rear shot offers little to no chance of hitting any vital area of the animal. NEVER fire at an animal that is heading straight-away from you.