We have all gotten advice, tips and other suggestions from other hunters about taking certain shots while archery hunting. I, personally, know many archery hunters who would skip the frontal shot, but I know many who would not pass up a frontal shot. As a matter of fact, here are some questions by Aron Snyder with Outdoor Life that he suggests asking yourself before taking any frontal archery shot:
1) Can you hit a softball-size circle every time at 20 yards under any conditions? Breathing heavy, adrenaline flowing 100 miles per hour, typewriter leg, up hill, down hill? If you can’t, don’t try it!
2) What’s the animal’s mood? Does he know you’re there? Is he giving you the sneak look, or is he looking for a cow behind you? If he looks edgy and knows somethings up, don’t shoot.
3) What angle and position is the animal? Is he slightly cornering to you (this is what I prefer), laying in a bed or facing straight on?
4) Do you know where to aim in all of these positions? Do you understand the anatomy of the animal? If you don’t, don’t take the shot.
5) Do you have the right equipment, more specifically, are you bringing enough kinetic energy to the party? I draw 80 pounds and shoot a 500 grain arrow.
Snyder went on to state that those questions eliminate approximately 80% of hunters from taking those frontal shots, but he also stated that he has “taken 15 elk with a frontal, with some as close as 4 yards and others out to 23 yards. In almost all of those scenarios there was an incredible blood trail to follow and a short recovery.” So, it’s all about your abilities and your confidence in your abilities.
Snyder also says to keep in mind that when you do take a frontal shot, “the thing you need to remember about the frontal shot is that the opening in the animal’s chest when it’s facing you isn’t much wider than the width of a softball. When the animal is quartering, you can still make a good shot, but you have to shoot through some ribs. They are not very tough to get through, but it does increase the chances of only hitting one lung and if that happens, you’re probably going to be in for a long tracking job.”
Here’s one time when the frontal shot was effective.