True, the shoulder shot will spoil a bit more meat, … But the high shoulder is a great way to drop em down. Animals such as this call for high-quality ammunition and hard-hitting rifles in addition to good marksmanship. The only reason I really don't shoot for high shoulder is because of the meat that would be ruined. Big animals such as moose require careful shot placement. Last three bucks I killed involved shoulder shots and two were instantly killed. If you hit any more than just the very bottom edge of the scapula, you go above the lungs (into the spine or "the void" ;-) ), unless the arrow deflects, or it's a downward, quartering to shot. Today’s magnum rifle caliber’s are more than capable of breaking through shoulder bones and achieving double lung penetration. Only a high shoulder shot will drop them instantly. The target area is big, but so are the bones and muscles in the shoulder. I have to mention Beendare's second photo. An elk can go a long way with a high lung shot. I zero 3 inches high at 100, which gives me about a 250 yard zero and I can put the shot aimed into the high shoulder on an elk at 400 yards and still hit lungs/heart. Shot Placement. As for elk taking 3 or 4 shots and standing there, I have NEVER seen nor shot an elk that instantly went down with a shot placed behind the shoulder. One of my hunters last year shot a bull right behind the shoulder, he was likely going to go down in about 4.7 seconds, but he reloaded real quick and put one high shoulder and folded him. The shoulder shot is the way to go if you have a bullet that will break bone reliably and if you are shooting something big that may object to the proceedings.” So remember, for the quickest, most effective and humane killing of a deer, aim at the shoulder, hold steady and put the hammer down. Being a few inches off could result in a shot that misses the lungs entirely. It's an extremely effective shot. Due to the large hip and leg bones on the rear quarter of an elk, a straight-away shot is not typically a high-percentage or advisable shot. I've made that high shoulder shot with everything from the 257 Roberts to the 300 Win Mag.In most cases bullets were Nosler Partitions, but have used some others as well. While elk will present hunters with other less-ideal shot opportunities such as a quartering toward shot, these shots are not recommended as there is a high chance of hitting bone, resulting in little to no penetration of the vitals. I shot and killed elk with 165 grain Fusions before I started reloading, now I shoot 165 grain accubonds. Pick an aiming point directly in line with the front leg about one-third of the way below the animal’s back. Bowhunters should avoid attempting to penetrate bone whenever possible aiming just behind the should blade approximately 1/3 of the way up the body cavity from the lower chest. 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