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Old December 8, 2005, 08:17 PM   #1
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Join Date: November 30, 1998
Location: Middle Georgia
Posts: 428
I suck.

Yesterday, I went hunting to try and get another deer this year. I have shot two all ready and was trying to kill one for my neighbor and hunting buddy, he has not been able to hunt due to illness this year.
The day seem to be perfect low 50 temp. and over cast. On the way to the property around 3:30 pm, I came up on a doe that was eating on the side of the road. She never moved even when I stopped along side. I took this as a good omen.
As I got to the hunting area (a large field surounded be hardwoodes on three sides and a clear cut of pines on the fourth) I jumped two large body deer about 30 yards from where I park my truck. I got my gear and stalked around trying to catch them in ther field. No luck.
It was 4:05 pm and I knew that the last few times I have hunted the area I have seen deer just after 5:00 pm across an overgrown fence about 40 yards from my stand. None of those deer ever presented a shot due to the briars and weeds on the fence. So I set up today just over the fence, in a clearing in the middle of the briars. I was able to set up one good firing lane over the briars, sprayed cover scent and sat down to wait. Well, I did not have to wait long (about 4:45 pm) I spotted a doe at about 35 yards just moving thru my firing lane. I stood up and was sighting her in thru the scope when it hit me, buck fever, tunnel vision what ever you want to call it, The deer moved out of the clear firing lane with briars and limbs between me and her. I rushed the shot on a moving deer thru a small hole between briars and a tree branch. Of course I MISSED. I know better, I should have grunted to stop her or just look behind her. When I took the shot the doe just stopped and looked at me and then bolted off. I never saw the bigger doe behind her in the clear shooting lane until I fired my rifle. This doe ran past me into some small Pines. I waited about 10 minutes to go and check to confirm that I did miss the first doe. As I went to step out off the briars the second doe had stopped about 40 yards from me and was watching me, all I saw was her turn and flag me as she ran off. Well I guess I learned a good one here, I don't know if not having been able to shoot any thing since the first of November or what, but I got to caught up in it. Perhaps they will be back next week when I might get another chance to hunt the area again.
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Old December 9, 2005, 12:11 AM   #2
Rich Lucibella
Join Date: October 6, 1998
Location: South Florida
Posts: 10,204
True Confessions!

There is nothing I revere more than an Honest Hunter. I pride myself on trying to achieve that. It requires no intentional self effacement; just brutal honesty in the personal debrief.

Last year I perfectly nailed a 4 point Buck-let....after watching him for 10 minutes thru glass. I simply couldn't understand why the "stand" was shaking so. Wanna see "Buck Fever"? I was its Poster Boy.

Mistakes happen even with the best of intentions. The only way we get better is by recognizing the symptoms of a FUBAR in process. I say, "Good Job, Guy". Any hunter who claims this has never happened to them has not been in the field enough.
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Old December 9, 2005, 06:33 AM   #3
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Join Date: July 3, 2005
Location: Indiana
Posts: 149
To add to what Rich is saying. No matter how long you have hunted or how much game you have harvested, you will still get Buck Fever every once in a while. The funny thing is it does not have to be that large or a close record, can happen with just a small or average one also.
Chuck in Indiana
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Old December 9, 2005, 08:56 AM   #4
High Planes Drifter
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Join Date: November 29, 2005
Posts: 558
I still get it, not even embarassed. Last year after killing my second of the season I was so excited I didnt even notice the very large cut the scope gave me over my right eye till my Dad came to help me with my kill. He walked up and said "Scope bit ya, huh ?" . I walked around for days looking like Petey from the Little Rascals. To me that excitement is part of the experience. I'll miss it when its gone.
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Old December 9, 2005, 09:36 AM   #5
Long Path
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Join Date: May 31, 1999
Location: N. Texas
Posts: 5,896
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: if you're not excited about your sport, than why are you doing it? My mailbox this morning was stuffed with adds for pork tenderloin for $1.68/lb (going to buy some), and sirloin roast for $2.59/lb. Unless you live on a ranch and can shoot off your back porch, it's generally more cost effective to just "hunt" the loss-leaders at your local food stores to fill your freezers with cleaned, deboned, packaged meat.

Even though I do hunt on the cheap, there's no way that I generally justify my hunting as cheap meat. I hunt for the joy of hunting. I love the charge during the stalk and the kill shot. While there are other reasons to hunt (conservation, healthful reasons, traffic safety in some areas), the main one is the thrill of the hunt-- returning to our predator roots.

Man is a predator, just as a big cat is. Ever watched the body language of a cat (even a housecat) on the stalk? Pure concentration. That cat is completely engaged in what he's doing. Ever seen video of wolves or coyotes packing up to hunt? They are utterly jubilant in the chase, and are completely involved. There's no distraction. When you're hunting, you share that with the animal predators. That's exciting.

Sometimes the excitement gets your heart and respiration rates going a bit.

Thank Gawd.
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Old December 9, 2005, 10:13 AM   #6
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Join Date: June 19, 2005
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 3,482
It happens. But a clean miss is far better than wounding. Hey, at least you got to see some deer. A lot of hunters didn't even see 'em.

Interesting thing about deer -- you never know how they'll react after a miss like that. Sometimes they will bound away; other times, they'll run a short distance and stop to check you out (or even stroll back to the area). And after you shoot, other deer will sometimes appear a short time after the shot. Never what you would expect!
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Old December 9, 2005, 11:06 AM   #7
Art Eatman
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Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX; Thomasville, GA
Posts: 24,097
Fremmer, I read wildlife biologists' claims that a deer's attention span is around twenty minutes. After that, if a deer isn't further disturbed, life returns to normal.

I once had a very patient and cooperative buck remain unconcerned through eight misses. He was just a wee tad further away than I'd thought; about 150 yards further than my guesstimated 400. The muzzle blast of an '06 just didn't bother him at all. I finally figured out my own problem, slow learner that I was.

His mistake was coming 100 yards closer, and stopping at a time that the breeze settled.

Other times, I've vibrated off of an easy shot or two, with an ensuing amount of gritching and foul language directed at the dumb SOB who couldn't deal with the problem at hand...

, Art
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Old December 9, 2005, 12:35 PM   #8
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Join Date: February 19, 2005
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 5,275
Buck fever is one of the wonderful sensations of life. We like to think we're all cool, calm, and collected.... just business. If you can get that excited about shooting a deer or whatever game animal, then you're a HUNTER. Why else put up with the rain, snow, cold, or heat or getting up at 3:00 AM if you aren't excited about the sport?
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Old December 9, 2005, 12:49 PM   #9
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Join Date: September 23, 2005
Posts: 136
Seeing 4 deer in less than 2 hours seems like a good hunt to me Buck/Doe fever is a funny thing. This year I shot a nice size 3 pointer without shakeing a bit. I shot a doe a few years ago and was shakeing like leaf. Who knows why. Im glad you looked for blood, too many guys claim "I must have missed" but never check it out. You dont "suck", remember, they call it hunting, not killing. Good luck for the rest of the season
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Old December 9, 2005, 02:31 PM   #10
Join Date: November 27, 2005
Posts: 34

You don't suck. You're just honest with yourself. I have learned more from trips like yours than sucessful hunts. Keep up the faith.
No one can force me to run into a burning building, I'm a volunteer!
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