well today is opening day of deer season here in New Mexico, and did i blow it big this morning. I had my dream buck at 45 yards and had no shot! I just couldn't pull the sting. i really hope i get another chance at him.
I am sure you will get a shot Smitty. Stick to it, and you'll see it again.
Just curious, when you say that you couldn't pull the string, do you mean that you didn't have an opportunity to? Was he looking your way? Or, do you mean that you indeed did get buck fever, and froze in the moment?
I get buck fever even with does, but I have often imagined what would happen if my dream buck walked out. I hope to have the chance back in Vermont this year, but we'll see. I will settle for any legal deer, like I always do.
I presume that with him saying that he didn't have a shot and couldn't pull the string is that there was no shot and he didn't even pull the string back.
As far as buck fever a few years ago I was bow hunting and spooked a large and I mean large 5x5 mule deer buck out of his bed. He took off like a shot and I figured that I would never see him again. I started to walk in the same direction that he had run and as I came around a tree there he was standing there broadside at 30 yards. To this day I still don't know what I did but when I took the shot I watched the arrow wobble up and over his back and then he was gone. All I can figure is that I only pulled the string back a few inches and never anchored it at full draw. But that is just speculation. I have always said that the day that I don't get buck fever is the day that I stop hunting.
He was looking right at me and it didn't help that he is a 4x6!! It was a stand off for almost 3 minutes. i should have tried to pull the string back, but i just didn't want to make bad shot. these canyons i hunt are unforgiving.
It hurts to watch them walk away but many times not taking the shot is the only right thing to do. Push things too hard and take the chance of spooking them out forever or worse possibly wounding one by trying to hurry too much.
As far as buck fever goes it still seems to show up on me once in awhile when I least expect it. Usually if I'm hunting a new animal or using a new weapon that I have not hunted with before. I nearly started shaking on my whitetail hunt last year but fortunately had a few minutes to get my breathing under control before I actually took the shot.
Smitty, that is being a true sportsman. Better to not shoot and hunt another day than wound an animal. It has or will happen to all of us if you hunt long enough. Keep trying and hope you bag him next time.
Understanding wind currents and thermals in hilly, broken terrain can often be incredibly frustrating. I've found that collecting and storing milkweed seed pods during the late summer has made me a better hunter in the bluff country that I hunt. These little feather like seed dispersers will float on the lightest of air currents and will show you what the wind is not only doing right at you're location but more importantly down range. I like to use the off season to float them...