This is a real important part of having a great experience or a regrettable one. Shot placement comes with practice and patience. Practice knowing how far you can comfortably place a shot in the vital area. Patience knowing that the game will give you an opportunity to offer you a quartering away broadside shot.
It is important to practice shooting 20-30-40 yards and even 50. Get comfortable placing your shots and more important know what your limitations are and how far you can go to deliver a kill shot. The choice is ultimately up to the hunter, but keep in mind that if your practicing at 40 yards and a trophy buck comes along at 60 your going to have to make a choice. If you wound this animal are you going to find it? What about letting it go and not spooking the critter so that maybe the next day or season you have an opportunity at the trophy animal again.
Practice shooting from a tree stand, from the ground, kneeling, standing, far to your left and far to your right, practice with your safety harness on so you know what it feels like to have something in your way as you draw back. Practice holding at full draw for 2 minutes and then shooting. Let the animals walk if I can’t make a shot on a motionless animal. If your practicing on a a motionless target then your probably going to wait to shoot a elk or deer at a moment of pause. I don’t advise shots at running animals with a bow. Your kill shot will be clean and ethical on an animal that is standing(not running) broadside and quartering away.
So what do you do now that a trophy Mule deer or Elk come in front of you and you patiently waited for a quartering away shot and took it. Placed your arrow in the double lungs, watched your arrow pass through,. Now STAY PUT! You watched what the animal did after the pass through (double mule kick may indicate a kill shot).
Did your arrow stick in the animal and break away on some brush as it ran off? Did it completely pass through and is stuck in the ground? The next few moments will tell you a lot about the shot you just made. Keep track of where the animal ran of to. Sounds like crashing in the brush or coughing, a loud slump or simply running and running. Stay Put! Wait at least 30 minutes if not more to allow the animal to quiet down and tend to its wound. Getting up and chasing after it will make the critter run away. Stay Put and wait. Watch the animal if possible.
Wait, and tag your trophy Elk. Or someone in Colorado may just beat you to it.