How Does An Arrow Kill An Animal? : Anatomy Of Arrow Lethality




Key Takeaways:

  • If the shot is placed precisely, the arrow will penetrate the target organ and cause harm to the main organs and blood loss. 
  • Aluminium, carbon, and broadhead arrows are the most commonly used types of arrows.
  • An animal can be easily killed in a variety of ways. Its lungs can collapse, or you can shoot an arrow through its organs.

There are a few things to consider when using an arrow to kill an animal. An arrow’s performance is influenced by different factors. Accuracy, speed, kind of arrow, sharpness, and composition are some of these variables. Many often think about, How does an arrow kill an animal?

In short, it’s easy to damage an animal’s vital organs when you shoot accurately and hit the target. Their oxygen supply is turned off, which weakens them and may be lethal.

How Does An Arrow Kill An Animal

Yet, there’s more to think about. You need to know the right way to kill an animal and several additional things. Safety is likewise crucial. Now let me get started.

Can An Animal Survive An Arrow To Different Parts Of The Body?

Surviving an arrow wound depends on different things. These include how deep the arrow goes in, how bad the injury is, what kind of arrow it is, and the recovery process.

If an arrow isn’t treated right away, it can cause serious harm or even death. Here are some body parts that are crucial for survival.

Injuries to the head and neck can cause serious damage. These parts are very important, like the brain, spinal cord, and blood vessels. 

Can An Animal Survive An Arrow To Different Parts Of The Body

Injuries to the chest and abdomen can be very serious. Exposure to them can damage vital organs, such as the lungs, heart, liver, and blood vessels. This can result in severe bleeding.

A question can pop up in your mind-can you survive an arrow to the stomach?

Yes, it is possible. But depending on various conditions, including the depth of penetration, the severity of internal damage, and receiving medical attention quickly, it is possible to survive an arrow to the stomach. For the best chance of life, prompt medical intervention is needed.

The severity of the damage determines how likely you are to survive. It depends on the injuries and how quickly you get medical help and successful recovery.

So, an animal can survive from an arrow to different parts of the body.

How Does An Arrow Kill An Animal?

There are several factors through which an arrow can kill an animal. Here are some of the same methods:

How Does An Arrow Kill An Animal


In this method, an arrow is specially designed so that the arrow can penetrate the vital organs of the animal’s body. The shape of the arrowhead and how hard it was shot affected how deep it went into the animal. As a result, severe damage occurs to the vital organs and is lethal to the wounded animal.


The sharp head arrows easily penetrate the animal’s skin and cut the tissues and blood vessels. When an animal is injured, it damages their blood vessels and causes bleeding. Too much blood drops can be fatal.

Organ Damage

Accurate shooting can harm an animal’s major organs, like the heart, liver, and lungs. This sensory organ can be deprived of oxygen. As a result, the animal becomes weak. After a time, it can be dead. A head shot makes an animal injured which won’t go with a humane kill.

At this time, a question could be  arised in your mind-Can you survive an arrow to the liver?

Yes, it is feasible, However, several other variables come into play as well, such as the position and extent of the incision, the degree of liver damage, and the speed at which medical assistance is received.


The side of the bow the arrow goes on is very important in hunting. It is totally depending on your shooting and bow type. When an arrow suddenly goes into an animal, it can shock their system. This can disrupt their body functions and even kill them.

Hunters need to aim for ethical kills. They try to reduce the animals’ suffering.

To kill an animal, it’s important to use the right broadhead, shoot accurately, and have a suitable bow.

However, a  quartering away shot is applied by the skilled archer for a humane kill. So, for a humane kill and to reduce the unnecessary suffering of animals, you should practise a quarter away shot. This shot placement will be favoured for your bowhunting.

Different Types Of Arrows With Their Lethality

The deadliness of an arrow depends on many factors, like its arrowhead, weight, and speed. Here are some different types of arrows with their lethality:

Carbon Arrows

Lethality is very high for proper strength, speed, and accuracy. You can use carbon arrows for both shooting and hunting purposes. It can be used for larger game competitions also.

Aluminum Arrows

The lethality rate is moderate to high. You can use it in modern archery for its lighter arrows and durability. You can use it for both shooting and hunting.

Wooden Arrows

The Lethality rate of wooden arrows is moderate. You can use it in traditional archery competitions. 

Broadhead Arrows

The perfect location for a shot is frequently referred to as a broadside shot in bowhunting. Because it minimizes the possibility of striking bone or other barriers while offering an excellent opportunity to target crucial organs. Broadhead arrows designed for hunting. It can cause high lethality in animals.

Field Point Arrows 

The lethality of these arrows is moderate and used for target practice.

Bowfishing Arrows

The lethality of these arrows is low and moderate. The design of bow fishing arrows enables people to shoot fish.

Judo Points Arrows

The lethality rate is lower, and professional hunters use this type of arrow for small-game hunting.

Bodkin Point Arrow

Lethality is moderate to high. You can use it for armour piercing in warfare.

Yet, Must be aware of your safety concerns. If you are a beginner, take guidance from expert archers.

Different Ways That An Arrow Can Kill An Animal

An arrow can kill an animal in several ways. The effectiveness depends on various factors. Here are the several ways:

Different Ways That An Arrow Can Kill An Animal

Collapsed Lung

An arrow can penetrate the chest cavity and cause a collapsed lung. Resulting in the death of an animal. So, the question is, can you survive an arrow to the chest?

Survival is possible to survive being shot in the chest, but survival relies on several factors, including the precise structures hit, the depth and trajectory of the wound, and medical treatment time.

Central Nervous System Disruption

An arrow can affect the nervous system if it hits the right spot. The disruption of the central nervous system can lead to the lethality of an animal.

Vital Organ Damage

Sometimes, an arrow can hit the major organs such as the lungs, liver, and heart. Thus, it causes serious damage and quick death to the animals. To ensure a humane harvest, you have to make ethical and successful shots by having a thorough understanding of the anatomy of major bones.

It is quite improbable that someone will survive an arrow to the head due to the significant danger of serious and frequently fatal injury to vital skull structures. So, the survival rates are very low.

Blood Loss

Proper shot placement helps to penetrate the arrow to the skin and can cut the blood vessels. Because of massive blood loss, severe bleeding can cause the death of the animal.

What Factors Affect The Lethality Of An Arrow?

Many factors to consider in the lethality of an animal. Here are some factors:

Arrow Velocity

Usually, fast arrows go deep into the skin.The speed of an arrow relies on the weight of your bow, the length of the arrow, the weight of the arrow, and other factors.

So, your proper arrow speed can lead to deep penetration easily.


Accuracy is a very crucial factor in killing an animal. Aiming at major organs can lead to faster death. To improve accuracy, consider the bow’s draw weight, minimum arrow weights, and your skill.

Bow Draw Weight

The draw weight of the bow determines an arrow’s potential energy. The heavier the draw weight, the more kinetic energy is stored in the arrow. More kinetic energy increases the arrow speed and results in enhanced penetration.

Type Of Arrowhead

There are many types of arrowheads, including broadhead and field points. Broadhead arrows are made for hunting. Field points are only for shooting.

Arrowhead Sharpness

The sharpness of an arrowhead is important for how well it can pierce and cut. A sharper arrow can cut the tissue.

Shot Placement and Distance

Short placement is a very important factor in lethality. An accurate shot to vital organs such as the lungs and heart is likely to result in good blood trails. It ensures your quick and humane kill.

Distance is the main factor to consider when hunting. Longer ranges of distance can lead to poor accuracy for wind effects.

But first, you need to know this hunting tool well. Then, choose the one that suits your needs for accurate shots.

Some Tips For Safely Hunting With Arrows

Here are some tips through which a hunter can hunt with arrows:

  • Point the bow only in a safe direction. If you shoot an arrow in the wrong direction, it can be harmful to other people. So, it would help if you always pointed the bow at your target animal.
  • Be aware of what is in front of you and behind your target. Otherwise, the bow should be dangerous to other people who are present in front of your target.
  • It would help if you used high-quality arrows that are suitable for hunting. Must check bends, cracks, and other damage before use.
  • Select the right type of arrowhead for your intended purposes. Wrong arrowhead selection can lead to damage to your bow and other injuries.
  • Target the animal around a suitable range. Longer distances can lead to poor accuracy, resulting in injury to others. Move quietly and slowly to hunt mule deer. Because it has excellent hearing and eyesight.
  • Never knock an arrow until you are ready to shoot. An inaccurate shot can lead to poor accuracy. As a result, it can damage your equipment.
  •  Quartering-away shots should be practised for humane killing.
  • You can also use a broadhead-tipped arrow which improves the chances of quick and humane kill when hunting game animals. 
  • Try to hunt with a partner hubby to increase safety in your crucial time.
  • Properly holding the arrow in your draw hand is important for your accuracy and safety. So, be aware of holding the arrow.
  • To be safe, wear blaze orange clothing so other hunters can see you.

Some Of The Ethical Considerations Involved In Hunting With Arrows

Here are some of the ethical considerations:

Some Of The Ethical Considerations Involved In Hunting With Arrows

Accuracy and Precision

  • The vital ethical considerations in archery hunting are accuracy and precision.
  • Well-played shots can result in the animal’s death. 

Yet, inaccurate accuracy and aimed shots can cause unnecessary suffering.

Effective Range

  • Ensuring an efficient shooting range is essential while using arrows for hunting. 
  • A shorter distance can lead to improved accuracy. 
  • Therefore, quick and humane kills occur.

Respect For The Animal

An ethical hunter must always show respect for the animals. So, always try to reduce the risk of unnecessary animal suffering.

If you’re a hunter, you need to obey the rules and regulations of your job. Thus, you should have a legal licence and tags and follow any restrictions on hunting methods.

Benefits Of Hunting With Arrows

Here are some benefits of hunting with arrows:

Ethical Harvesting

At the time of hunting, you use an arrow. That can provide a more humane and ethical way of harvesting.

We can reduce an animal’s pain by quickly shooting it with a well-aimed arrow.

Precision and Accuracy

When you hunt with arrows, you will be more accurate with your shot.


Hunters need a high level of skill, physical fitness, and powerful muscles for hunting. You will find satisfaction in the task of perfecting your archery.

Connection With Nature

You need to be aware of your surroundings. Arrows are less lethal than bullets. It reduces the potential risk of hunting. You can know the wildlife for hunting.

Final Words

A precise shot may penetrate through the animal’s tissue, blood vessels, and organs, disrupting the oxygen supply and causing the animal to die. 

How does an arrow kill an animal? To explain it another way, the efficiency with which the animal can be killed by penetration depends on several factors, including the weight, type, and speed of the arrow. A humane kill must minimize the animal’s suffering. I think you have got your answer. Yet, as an ethical hunter, you must show respect for the animal.

Stay with Archery Magic to get such arrow hints.

Bob Magic

Written by

Bob Magic

Meet Bob Magic, the archery maestro. A National Champion, “Coach of the Year,” and gold medalist. Bob simplifies archery, ensuring your bullseye success. Whether you’re a newbie or a pro, let Bob’s magic guide your arrow.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest posts

  • When Is Bow And Arrow Hunting Season? [Each American State]

    When Is Bow And Arrow Hunting Season? [Each American State]

    A few days ago, some of my friends and I planned to hunt with a bow and arrow. All of them were beginners in archery, and only I was experienced in hunting. When I asked them about hunting season with bow and arrow, none of them had any idea about it. So, they asked me,…

  • Where To Hit A Deer With An Arrow? [Effective Shot Placement]

    Where To Hit A Deer With An Arrow? [Effective Shot Placement]

    When I was 13, my friend Jack and I took a course about hunting with a bow and an arrow. Our archery master was a man who always inspired us to show respect to the animals of the ecosystem. One day, Jack and I were planning to hunt deer, so we asked our archery master…

  • How Many Arrows Should I Take Hunting? [Right Ratio]

    How Many Arrows Should I Take Hunting? [Right Ratio]

    Suddenly, my friend Henry called him at his home a few days ago. I didn’t know the reason to call me. When I reached his house, he took me to his room and told me he wanted to hunt with bows and arrows. He didn’t know how many arrows would suit him to hunt successfully.…