View Full Version : Missed A Buck Last Night

October 30, 2000, 08:53 PM
I feel very sheepish as I recall this. Last night I had a shot at a six point buck and missed. I do have an excuse, however. I was using my brothers muzzle-loader and have fired it, but definitely don't like the trigger. It's a Traditions Buckhunter, by the way. All my rifles have had trigger work and break very clean. The shot I was offered last night was at about 70 yards and the buck moved just as I shot. I know that I should have hit it and that's what really ticks me off.
Now the worst part! My brother-in-law got one tonight! Talk about insult to injury! I can't take it! I think I'll take the rest of muzzle-loader season off and just wait for regular firearms season.

Art Eatman
October 30, 2000, 09:56 PM
Well, that'll teach you to meddle around with strange stuff. Shoulda had yer own dang gun!

Terminology is interesting. "Last Night" implies after dark, to most folks. Hunting deer at night is just a trifle bit disapproved of by most Game Departments, right? :) (I know, I know. Wuz just a bit taken aback by your phrasing.)

But, hey! It was all the gun's fault, right? Why quit now? Use your own perfect-trigger critter and have a Bambi dinner!

:), Art

Al Thompson
October 31, 2000, 07:21 AM
Truthfully, a clean miss is OK in my book. I've made a few. I *much* prefer those to knocking them down and losing them. Luckily I haven't had that happen.. Yet...


Henry P
October 31, 2000, 08:07 AM
I've missed a couple myself. One shot was so easy I was surprised when he didn't fall down, and didn't think to shoot again. Checked it out, no blood, no sign of a hit whatsoever, tracked him as far as I could, still no sign of a hit, and finally lost him. I'm pretty sure it was a clean miss. Felt kinda sheepish too.

October 31, 2000, 01:39 PM
Two years ago on my last hunt of the season I missed a freakish 6 point (4x2) cull buck with a very unique rack. Cake shot, aiming for the neck ~40 yards away, with him looking right at me. The deer took off, and as I sat there for a few minutes cursing myself, I heard noise coming from the direction where the buck had run off. Thinking I might get a second chance, I got ready. I made out a deer moving on the other side of a clump of trees. As I watched him through the scope, he bent his head down walk under a tree, I saw his rack. Instead of the buck I missed, this was a much bigger 9 point buck. I took the shot, and he ran about 15 yard befor piling up on a cactus. He's the biggest buck I've taken.(18.5" wide).

Last year, on my last hunt of the season, I ran across that same freaky-horned buck. And this time I didn't miss.

October 31, 2000, 03:38 PM
If you are not sure of the shot dont take it.
if it's so late that you will have to look for blood w/ a flashlight, its too late to shoot.
If your weapon/ ammo will not drop a deer 90% of the time in his tracks then you need to hunt in the morning so you have ample time to track the deer or you need to hunt close in so all your shots are 50 yd.'s or less.

there is nothing more that i hate in this world than going into the thick to put up a ladder stand and finding a deer that was gut shot and is half eaten by maggots.
the guy who's land i hunt on now shoots way to late at too great of distances and i have already spent 3 hours in the woods tracking a doe for him. NO BLOOD. we just started making big circles in the woods because he said he was sure he hit her. well we found her and she was lung shot and hid in some briars and died about 200 yards from where he shot her through the lungs w/ a 270.
very irresponsable.

Opusxx, if you feel the need to discuss my editing, feel free to write. Giz

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Al Thompson
October 31, 2000, 04:26 PM
Opus I agree with you. But it happens to the best of us. A good friend who is a superb shot using an '06 smacked a spike a few years ago. We looked for him for hours with no luck. No blood, nothing.

Found the spike two days later - he had gotten in some thick brush and was invisible.

It's going to happen to everyone sooner or later..


Art Eatman
October 31, 2000, 06:18 PM
I've never seen perfection. Not even when I shave.

When shooting a deer, I try for perfection. I have a high batting average, but no perfection. In some 40 years, I've only lost two deer that I know were wounded.

On the first, I saw hair "puff" right at the heart, on a broadside shot--75 yards with a .270. He went to his knees. He jumped up. About 30 years back, and I haven't found him, yet. My father and I worked for some two hours, and never even found a spot of blood nor hoofprints for "which way did he go?"; we're pretty fair trackers, too.

On the second, I pulled a tad low and left, and instead of a quartering chest shot, broke a foreleg. It sounded like a good hit; '06 at 60 yards. The deer went down like a nice, cooperative dead deer. As I walked to within 15 yards, he jumped up and ran. I put the scope on him and got 4X sunlight in my eye. Blindness tends to crimp your style. And he was gone to the brush...

It's all well and good to talk about not shooting a late-evening buck, but often that's the only time of day you'll have a chance. That's one of the main reasons for a scope--good seeing at dusk, to identify the deer and make sure it's a deer and not a person. All in all, though, for our group of of some ten lease-hunters, over a ten-year period, I only recall one night-tracking episode--and it was successful. But that's another story.

:), Art

October 31, 2000, 06:59 PM
Hey, opusxx,
By last night I didn't mean "night" It was about 20 minutes before sundown. New Hampshire hunting regulations allow you to hunt 'til 1/2 hour after sunset. There was still plenty of light, I JUST MISSED, okay! Also, as stated, it wasn't the first time I've fired the muzzle loader, just the first time I fired it at a deer. I didn't take a shot at a running deer as you imply, it moved as I shot. I have hunted for years with safety and ethics being my prime concerns. Bagging game is secondary.

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October 31, 2000, 09:25 PM
I understand why you edited my remarks towards opusxx but you must understand my reasons for those inflammatory comments. It is apparent that there are those on this board who see themselves as high and mighty and can do no wrong while they sit in judgement of the rest of us. Please accept my appology to those TFL'rs that understand that none of us are perfect, even in the pursuit of perfection.

Al Thompson
October 31, 2000, 09:52 PM
Patrick - check your email..


November 1, 2000, 12:36 PM
too bad i did not get a chance to read your inflamatory remarks befor they were edited.
everyone misses, i understand that. deer move, i understand that. deer take hits that would drop elephants and still run, i understand that. men take shots they know they are not capable of making because they get buck fever, i understand that ,too.
adrenalin does strang things to the body and the mind. you see a big buck and your pupils go "BOING" you "see" better, or so it appears more light. EGO says " I CAN make this shot". and after the hammer falls and you walk to where the deer stood you think "wow, that was alot further than it looked" and "boy it's getting dark".
this season i shot a spike behind my left shoulder about 60 yards away using #1 buck. he had his head down and i put the bead right on top of his head. somewhere between the time i pulled the trigger and the shot hit him he lifted his head and i blew both front legs off at the knee's. he squeeled and pushed himself into a thicket. it was so thick in there that i almost couldnt see him to kill him. it was still fairly light outside of the thick stuff but thats not where he was.
if it had been 15 min. later i would not have been able to locate him w/o a flashlight.
i dont like messy kills.
that is the first deer in 13 years that i killed that messy.
what my point is, is this,
dont let your desire to kill something get ahead of your ethics and better judgment. there is always the grocery store. its not like you are survival hunting out there.

November 1, 2000, 01:05 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by opusxx:
he had his head down and i put the bead right on top of his head. somewhere between the time i pulled the trigger and the shot hit him he lifted his head and i blew both front legs off at the knee's. [/quote]

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR> get ahead of your ethics and better judgment [/quote]

Here's my Question Opus**, You see a deer at about 70 yards. Nice buck, just standing there. It's light enough to shoot, what do you do?

OR you see a spike, at about 60 yards, head down, grazing, perfectly unaware that you're there, what do you do???

I'll tell you the answer, YOU SHOOT!!! In both your story and Patricks the deer was not moving. It was just standing there. That's the best shot you can ask for, inside of 100 and still. Do you not shoot because it MAY move???? Even you yourself said that the deer moved "sometime between when I pulled the trigger, and the shot hit him." So whjose fault is it?? Both you and partick excecuted the best possible shot under the circumstances, and thats all we can do. We can't go around passing up shots on the off chance it might "move" a little. Heck, I'll even shoot at moving deer. That deer is moving, tops, about 30mph, and your bullet is between 2500 and 4200 fps. Just be prepared.

My brothers first deer, a doe in idaho, Came out of a thicket about 70 yards ahead of us and started trotting up a hill. We tried whistling and she wouldn't stop, she started to run. At about 100 yards My brother kneeled down, aimed, POW, she cartwheeled, it hit her in the neck, while she was in the middle of a jump. know why he hit her in the neck? because she was running, and he thought he would have to lead her, but to his surprise, the second he tightened the trigger she was already dead.

We shouldn't critisize other peoples judgment on if they can make a clean kill. I botched a good kill on a cow elk. It made me sick and we tracked her for the remaining 2 days of the hint, but the shotwasn't leaving any blood, except when she would bed down, so she got away.

The point is, I know I screwed up, and patrick admitted it too, he don't need people pushing THEIR set of ethics down their throat. Wanna hear about night shooting? If I can see the animal, and get a bead on it, I'm gonna shoot it. We carry flashlights in our day packs, and will track it if we need too, and if we don't find it, we'll go track it in the morning, the sun WILL return, it has been for 10 millions years. Call me unethical, but I practice good shot placement, and try my best.

November 1, 2000, 02:00 PM
Thank you for stating my case better than I could.

Opusxx, As far as "buck fever" goes, THIS WAS NOT A CASE OF BUCK FEVER AND THERE WAS PLENTY OF LIGHT! I don't know how to put it any clearer, I JUST MISSED!!!!!! I am not a sniper but I can put all my shots on a paper plate at 100 yards offhand. I think that that is good enough for hunting by almost any measure. I have taken several deer and other game over the last few years and am reasonably competent. I am also human.

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November 1, 2000, 05:38 PM
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Al Thompson
November 1, 2000, 05:55 PM
That's it.