The Best Shot Placement for Moose


Do you want to know the best shot placement for moose? Learn to visualize where your bullet or arrow is going to go into the animal!

Moose are large animals, but that does not mean you can aim just anywhere and expect to knock down your game. You have a responsibility as a hunter and a human being to kill your game quickly and with as little suffering as possible.

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Study the image and look closely at the areas defined as blue color. Getting your projectile into this area you will get your moose. Be sure that your shot angle does not become so sharp that the bullet or arrow penetrates the area behind the liver (the orange area) because this is where the stomach is.

What is theBest Shot Placement for Moose?

Ideally a broadside shot thought the heart which is also through both lungs. Use the rule of thirds for a broadside shot. Line up the back edge of the front leg and visualize the body in thirds. Aim up from the chest on quarter to one third the total chest thickness (height) and you will be on the mark.

When we practice shooting, most of us shoot at bulls eyes. I know some of you will have shape targets, and some archers will shoot 3D, but by far the majority are shooting at dots.

Moose do not have bulls eyes painted on them!

We practice shooting bulls eyes, then we go into the field and shoot at shapes. You know somewhere between here and there… consider the angle… how about the wind… do you need to worry about the distance? How do we deal with all this?

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Pretend there is a bulls eye on the animal, pick out an exact spot and concentrate on it… make this your bulls eye and you will find the best shot placement for moose, or any big game animal for that matter.

What if Something Goes Wrong?

If you shoot any animal in the stomach you have a high chance of never finding it. An animal with a stomach injury can still travel a long ways… in the case of a moose that translates into many miles. A belly injury does not bleed or very little. There will not be enough blood to track.

What to do if you suspect you have shot your animal in the stomach?

If your shot placement was not good, for whatever reason…

Put on your patience hat! Wait! Seriously… wait for hours! Maybe overnight will be required before you take up the trail.

Proceed slowly and quietly. Remember that a stationary animal will see movement far quicker than you will see a stationary animal while you are moving. In other words when you are not moving you will see much more than you can than when you are on the move. So this hold true for animals too, especially because they spend their entire lives avoiding predators.

When you do start tracking, watch for tracks, a spot of blood or possibly disturbed rocks or sticks. Often and stomach injured animal if left undisturbed will bed down shortly after its injury. If enough time has elapsed the animal will stiffen making it difficult to escape. Difficult but not impossible, this is why you my track and proceed slowly.

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Injured Animals Travel Downhill

In general an injured animal will travel downhill and back in the direction from which it just came.


The path of least resistance is downhill and the area he just came from was safe.


Another trait of moose is to circle just before bedding down. Visualize the letter “P” but without closing the loop. They do this to get down wind of and watch for predators that may be following them.

On two occasions I have observed injured moose bedding down under a very thick bush where they later expired. I suspect they have chosen these locations for security against predators, because it makes them harder to spot.

Making use of a wind indicator is a good idea in order to detect wind.


Before you go…

In order to make your shots count, it is very important to practice.

Archers, I suggest you buy yourself some sort of Big-game 3D Target to practice shooting at. I have found the act of shooting at a shape rather than a bulls eye is better for archery practice.

Rifle Hunters, you should be practicing with a good sight-in rifle paper target out to the ranges you are comfortable with.


  • Learning the anatomy of a moose will provide the hunter with a better understanding for shot placement for moose.
  • When tracking moose, injured or not these points will help the hunter understand their habits so they will be better prepared and know what to expect.
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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>