I see the term 'high shoulder' shot thrown around with increasing regularity. Some people say it's preferable to punch bone with tough monolithic bullets. Others like to anchor game for a quick DRT (dropped right there? Dead right there? What does this even mean anymore?) I'd like to share an observation I made while processing a friend's deer last week, and it has to do with anatomy. As I separated the neck from the body of an average sized white tail buck (estimated ~225lbs on the hoof), I was surprised to burry my 6" boning knife to the handle before encountering the spinal column. I drew a green line through the middle of the deer to illustrate how LITTLE vital tissue exists in the upper half, and how far back it really is. The red arrows show the location I'm referencing. What I particularly appreciate about this illustration is the blue line indicating the spinal cord. Unlike many illustrations, it's halfway accurate. My main point here is that a perfect 'high shoulder' shot isn't very high above the midline at all. Not if the spine is to be severed. ESPECIALLY not if vital tissue is to be encountered. I'm not trying to discourage the use, or change the name (I believe 'mid' or 'low' shoulder would be a more accurate descriptor for those seeking permanent 'hammer of Thor' or 'lightening bolt of Zeuss' results). My hope is that bringing attention to some basic anatomy will encourage shot placement based on biology instead of hype. Again, nothing wrong with the 'high shoulder' location, as long as it's not too high on the shoulder...!