View Full Version : Waiting to shoot deer until it's breathing in, not out?

October 27, 2007, 09:28 PM
If it's cold enough that you can see the breath of a deer, then it occurs to me that it may be a good idea to not shoot when you see it breathe out, but rather wait until it breathes in, to make the lungs larger - anyone do this? This was never an issue until I started shooting this confounded recurve bow with no sights! :mad:

October 27, 2007, 10:10 PM
Nope, not down here. It might get cold enough to see that once a season here in S. TX. I have heard it before though. A guy I bowhunt w/ from Nebraska was telling me they seemed to run less w/ a full tank of air when you stick em. His theory was the lungs have more blood in em and they collapse better when they are full...not sure though. I'm no Dr...i bet someone out there on this forum is, and I'm curious what their take is...

Art Eatman
October 27, 2007, 10:49 PM
Since this is something about which I've never thought at all, I'll offer my totally unscientific opinion:

We breathe in to get more oxygen, right? So, if you can shoot on the exhale, the deer's gonna run out of oxygen sooner. Seems like that oughta reduce the distance Bambi can run...


October 27, 2007, 11:12 PM
I'm about the same weight as a grown buck(around here anyway).Sitting in this chair breathing normally the increase in chest size seems pretty insignificant.Considering the flight time of an arrow,I don't know that you could match the deer's breathing with impact anyway.

October 27, 2007, 11:27 PM
Never was much into bows, I'd rather end Bambis' life with 200 grains of goodness through a .30-06.


October 27, 2007, 11:34 PM
If the goal is to fill Bambi's lungs with blood quicker...
Shoot him with his lungs empty.

When he inhales, he will force a vacuum for a longer time on his body fluids, and have more space available for said fluids.

Possible downside of this two edged sword?
Less of a blood trail to follow near the impact, geographically.

October 28, 2007, 08:23 AM
Not being a scientist or a doctor, I don't know how much of a difference in target size it would make.....altho I doubt if it would increase the size of the kill zone of a relaxed deer significantly.

Being a bowhunter, IMHO, if you don't have enough confidence in your shooting ability that you're gonna wait till the target is a half inch larger at twenty yards........... you best not take the shot.

October 28, 2007, 09:26 AM
Hey first---

Some of us (namely, myself) have a hard enough time just hitting the darn thing well, regardless of whether the deer is inhaling or exhaling. And now you want me to time the shot on the inhale/exhale?


But seriously though, as a matter of theory and speculation on my part, I don't think it'll matter much. If you hit the vitals (and hopefully tear up the lungs), it shouldn't matter whether the deer has inhaled or exhaled before being struck. I don't know.......:o

October 28, 2007, 11:51 AM
Well, I have *heard* that the lungs expand much much larger - like 2 to 3 times the size on the "uptake" - I'd much rather HIT lungs full of oxygen than MISS lungs without.

Good point about arrow flight - this concept might work with rifles, but with arrows, it'd be all but impossible to time it just right, AND concentrate on making the shot.

The Tourist
October 28, 2007, 12:04 PM
Wouldn't the amount of adrenaline in a living body be more of a contributing factor?

For example, I was taught that (if possible) you should allow ten minutes to pass before giving chase. Most times, the deer will lay down.

If you start running after it, they also keep running.

October 28, 2007, 12:53 PM
Does not matter to ol 30.06 what condition the lungs are in or if bambi has inhaled or farted.

Charles S
October 28, 2007, 01:20 PM
First Freedom, as a fellow bow hunter I must admit I look for every incremental change that can give me an edge. I will wait until a deer that is walking broadsided to me takes a forward step with the onside leg in order to expose more lung tissue and the heart better.

Well, I have *heard* that the lungs expand much much larger - like 2 to 3 times the size on the "uptake" - I'd much rather HIT lungs full of oxygen than MISS lungs without.

While this might be true I highly doubt it. I am actually fairly knowledgeable about human lung physiology.

The typical human lung for about a 70 kg male will have a total lung volume (TLC) of about 6 litters. Someone who exercises will typically have a little greater lung volume. I would expect a 70 kg deer to have a large lung volume.

OTH that same 70 kg male will have a resting tidal volume (TV) of about 500 ml (1/2) a litter. This can vary a little with some, but for the most part the changes are rather small. I would expect a deers to be somewhat similar. Cold however will increase the basal metabolism and cause an subsequent increase in the resting tidal volume.

For the purposes of the calculations I will choose a TLC of 6 litters (however I feel like this is quite conservative, again I feel deer are designed to run and are more fit therefore they will have a much larger TLC) and a tidal volume of a litter. The change in total volume from inhalation to exhalation would then be about 16.7%. This is of course at rest.

It the deer is running however there will be a much larger change.

Also keep in mind that deer like men have two lungs so the change on each side will be evenly divided to about 8.5% I doubt this would translate to any significantly larger target area.

Honestly even if the change were worth it I simply am not good enough to time it out with a bow.

I hope this helps.

October 28, 2007, 01:31 PM
You can pinch its nostrils closed with your hand before you shoot;)

WildthatwillworkAlaska TM

Shane Tuttle
October 28, 2007, 05:55 PM
You can pinch its nostrils closed with your hand before you shoot

WildthatwillworkAlaska TM

That is just too dang funny. After reading Charles' thoughtful, insightful serious post, I get Mr. Smart Alek to provide the best comedy relief this board has had in a while...


October 28, 2007, 10:41 PM
Well usually right before my .270 barks the deer get a sense of impending doom and just lay down for me because they know that running from my immense hunting ability is futile.

Sometimes they see me coming and stop breathing out of shear fright and die right there without a breath to time the shot to.

October 29, 2007, 11:03 AM
Usually for me it works the other way - the deer or elk time my breathing and when I pause my breathing to shoot, they hit overdrive...

October 29, 2007, 05:53 PM
Them bows n' arrows were what put the Indians out of business!:D

October 29, 2007, 05:59 PM
Dav, now you'll have to time your breathing and the deer's breathing. :p Seriously though, the timing thing sounds pretty difficult to me. I have enough difficulty with my own breathing/pounding heart/sweaty hands, etc....

First is a good hunter. First, I'll bet you get more than 1 deer this season. Try it out and let us know if it makes a difference! Who knows, maybe it will.

October 30, 2007, 08:53 AM
Sounds like way too much to worry with to me. I try and keep things simple and focus on what counts- making the shot and watching them fall. I have never noticed how a deer was breathing, but have made alot of complete pass through shots on the lungs. Sometimes I get a blood spray like a rifle. Sometimes I dont.I think this may be due to the lungs pushing air and blood out like a popped balloon. Which way is better who knows. Dead deer either way.

November 24, 2007, 09:44 AM
ok. I read from craig boddington that if you shoot a deer right when it exhaled and has little or no oxygen in its lungs it should, in theory drop right there. But if you shoot right when it inhaled then it will run more even if shot with a rifle like .270 or 30/06.