Don’t Give up Just Because You Missed

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Recently I missed the biggest buck of my life. It was a perfect six by six, symmetrical, really tall tines, and just really wide. I sat in a spot, and that morning had seen a doe on the run with a little buck following her and then the twelve pointer also came out chasing her. I shot at this massive deer, went over to where I had shot and nothing was there. I followed his trail and nothing. I knew that I had missed a buck of a lifetime. I was in shock thinking, how could have I missed the deer, what did I do wrong. I was disappointed, and didn’t really know what to think. I just wanted to call it a day and head home to think about the huge deer that I had missed.

But after a while I just started to tell myself that misses happen, and that the area that I was in, is a hot spot, and has a hot doe with bucks looking for her and hot on her trail. I thought that if I get back into the tree stand that I was just in, then maybe the deer would come back or another mature buck would come out looking for the doe. And sure enough not long after being in the stand a buck started heading straight at me. I notice this buck had a really wide rack and had six scoreable points. I pulled up, and let him have it. Let’s just say that he didn’t go anywhere.

I learned something that day. If you are in an area where there is a hot doe, no matter what, just be patient, don’t think that just because you shot at a deer like myself that your hunt is over. Because just like my hunt proved; I was disappointed, and my expectations for the day were low, but I got right back up into the same tree stand, and my patience and perseverance paid off.    


ManOfTheFall's picture

I know the feeling all too

I know the feeling all too well. I missed a huge buck once that sounded alot like the one you described. I looked around a bit and found my arrow and all I saw on the arrow were a couple of hairs. I went home and shot my bow 6 times. Left and right I was dead on but every shot was 6 inches high. I don't know how, but my sight was off and I was shooting 6 inches high. I readjusted the sight, got back out there, and got me one. Even if you miss because you messed up, everyone does it. Just get back up there and correct your mistake and get the next one. Thanks for the tip.

arrowflipper's picture

Attitude is everything

I'm glad to hear that you went right back up that tree and started over.  It's a lot like telling someone who has just fallen off a bike to pick it up and get back on.  Sitting around brooding and dwelling on it will only make the matters worse.  Missing is usually a matter of the mind and the best way of changing it is to go right back and do it differently.

For some reason, lots of people think that after you have taken a shot, no more deer will come to that area.  That's just not true.  That's one reason we keep a rifle handy while field dressing an animal.  I can't tell you how many times another buck has come running along while we're standing around talking and cleaning the other animal. 

Always be ready.  If you miss, don't worry about it.  Just get back up and try again.  In life as in hunting, it's not how many times you fall down or fail; it's how many times you get back up.

hunter25's picture

If I quit becaused I missed I

If I quit becaused I missed I would have been done for good a very long time ago. Especially when I was younger the buck fever had a very strong hold on me. Like you I have missed the biggest bucks I've ever seen but have continued on to be a pretty successful hunter. I wish I had the control then that I do now but hopefully I will get those chances again someday.

For some reason my kids don't seem to have the problems I did but I made sure they had a lot more practice and confidence before they started hunting.

I still miss once in awhile but you just pick yourself up and keep moving.

numbnutz's picture

Thats a bummer you missed, i

Thats a bummer you missed, i missed a doe on my last day off hunting this year. it would have been my first bow kill, but oh well theres always next year. it wasnt the first time i've missed nor will it be the last, you just gotta push through that kinda stuff.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

Very good tip, and great

Very good tip, and great timing for me to be reading it.

Just got off the phone with my buddy, and he just shot his first CA deer with a bow.  He said he shot at a doe early, and hit a twig.  He was ready to leave, but decided to stick it out.

Well, a little while later, 2 does come by.  He took a shot at the bigger one, and connected. 

Now he's on the way to the butcher.... lol

jim boyd's picture

It is a shame you missed the

It is a shame you missed the monster, that is for sure... but you did get the second one, so great work!

I could not agree more - if you see a hot doe - with ANY buck dogging her, you are in the right spot... it is like having a doe decoy, with heat scent all over her - and she moves!

It is the best spot in the house, if you are deer hunting, of that there is no doubt.

Sit tight and watch what happens - a giant can and will walk out on her tail.

A lot of times a hot doe will run around in the same area, just dragging bucks along with her.

If and when I see one... I get ready because there are usually some fireworks shortly after that!

Congrats on the deer.  

Tndeerhunter's picture

stick it out

Perseverance is the very essence of being successful as a hunter, IMHO. I'm not talking the TV guys who wheel in late Friday night, watch a video or three about the big bucks picked out for them to "hunt" and then the building excitement as to whether he's going to take that 160 or wait until that very sneaky 170 shows himself! As if by magic Mr 170 finally shows after Mr TV has been sitting THREE HOURS!! Mr T (V) then places the forend of his rifle atop the sand bags set there for him and shoots the 170 right in the breadbasket at 57 (lazed) yards. Now, out the gate by 5 PM Saturday. Another successful hunt! Nope, not what I was meaning.

Your story rings true with pretty much all serious hunters I think. What, give up cause it's 22* out? Stay home and watch the football game because it's raining? I think not! You've got to be there when it happens, or IT don't happen! You've got to pick yourself up, brush off the dukey you fell into and drive on. A hunter simply needs to keep on, keepin' on. 

If you couldn't tell, I loved that story!!