draw a bead on

[draw a bead on] {v. phr.} {informal} 1. To aim at; sight (with a gun).

The deer bounded into the forest before the hunters could draw a bead on them.

John drew a bead on the elk, but didn't have the heart to pull the trigger.

2. To take (something) as an aim or goal.

"I'm drawing a bead on the Literary Society president's office," said Tom.

3. To use as a target of attack; criticize.

Whenever a politician makes a mistake, his opponents are ready to draw a bead on him.