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Old November 10, 2012, 07:04 PM   #1
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I want to cry

So there I am fellas, 5 minutes of good shooting light left, the biggest 9 point I have ever seen in my life standing 35 yrds broadside in a soybean field. I draw my bow take careful aim and hit my release. No slap from the broadhead hitting ribs, no "deathkick" from the deer, He just takes off running. I slouch back into my stand not knowing what to think. About 10 mins later I climb down and go find my arrow. Not a spot of blood, not the slightest hair, I replay the shot in my head, clear shot, no wind, buck that was oblivious to my presence. It was a clean miss. I dont know what happened. I take a 30 yrd shot when I get home and dead on. I am at a loss for words fellas. Any of you ever found youselves in this posotion. Really hope I am not alone here.
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Old November 10, 2012, 09:06 PM   #2
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Is it possible that the arrow drove right through the deer?

Go back during the daylight to that same spot, and take a look around. Cast about for the trail of the deer, look for blood sign. Track it if it is there.

If not, you've done what you can.
Hiding in plain sight...
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Old November 10, 2012, 09:18 PM   #3
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I did search for blood not only in the field but also at the trailhead at which he quickly departed for close to an hour. Nothing at all
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Old November 10, 2012, 09:38 PM   #4
Brian Pfleuger
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We've all missed. There are tons of reasons. Used the wrong pin, bent at the shoulders instead of the waist, slapping the release, any number of mistakes. Yes it sucks. A lot.

Trust me. It won't be the last time.

Plus, a clean arrow and no deer beats a bloody arrow and no deer, every time.
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The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
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He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.
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Old November 10, 2012, 10:15 PM   #5
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I have had more opportunities at BIG deer this year than ever before. But I only got one shot off and it was at 40 yards at a decent mulie on halloween. He ran off 3 legged and I thought for sure I had hit him. Upon finding my arrow there was no blood on it whatsoever I watched the deer in my bonis as he ran away no limping, no blood on his side, and he was bouncing just fine. I cleaned off the broadhead and there was a few hairs in one of my blades (i use grim reapers). The best I can figure is I pulled my shot low and just nicked his leg.
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Old November 10, 2012, 10:29 PM   #6
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a clean arrow and no deer beats a bloody arrow and no deer, every time
Exactly. Yeah it sucks to have missed on one of "those" deer.....those special deer that we can't seem to forget, but it's much better to get a clean miss than a messy hit. Track a few badly hit deer in the dark and you'll be thankful for a clean miss. Missed one last year, shot clean over her back and sunk the arrow in to a tree. Stomach did the bowtie while I chewed myself out for rushing the shot, knew it was off as soon as I released. Very happy in the end for the miss.

Who knows, you just might get a second chance if you're lucky.
---Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.---

---Enlightenment is the ability to take infinite pains---
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Old November 10, 2012, 11:06 PM   #7
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Must be catching.

A friend of mine called two nights ago and told me he missed the biggest buck he's ever seen in his life. AT THIRTEEN YARDS.
He's been hunting for forty+ years and has a basement full of mounts with ten or eleven veeery respectable bucks. I say this cause when this guy says this is the largest deer he's ever seen...this is a big buck.

He was hunting out a blind at the edge of an apple orchard. A small buck was eating apples and got very nervous looking back over his shoulder. All of a sudden this mammoth buck comes into view walking right up behind the small buck. Small buck leaves and the big boy takes over eating in his place.
Standing broadside, again at thirteen yds., my buddy pulls his compound bow back and when the bow cammed over, it hit the top of the blind. Deer looked straight at buddy. Buddy panick's and lets the arrow fly completely missing the deer. Deer runs about 50yds into the orchard then buddy watched him walk off into the sunset. He is sick to say the least.

I told him since the deer stopped running and started walking, keep on him as the buck wasn't that spooked.

It happens.
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Old November 11, 2012, 09:49 AM   #8
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Its called "buck fever" and everyone has had it at some time or another.
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Old November 11, 2012, 10:59 AM   #9
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A buddy once told me how he missed with his first shot and the next ones were all... "DUD ROUNDS"... I heard his one shot as we were in the same woods... I then heard him hollering obscenities to the deer gods for 10 minutes as he headed to the trucks...

Me being lazy, I was pretty close to the trucks already so i met him at the sheet metal...

He tells me of the miss and duds... he was shaking pretty bad so I asked for his rifle... Out of habit, I commenced to "clear the firearm"... This was either a Win94 or Marlin 330 sumthin'... I opened the action and a fired cartridge popped out... Cycled again and a live round from the bowels pops out then 4 more...

Seems in his heightened excitement, and LACK OF PRACTICE on "follow up shots" had him all a twitter and all he had done was operated the hammer and dropped the hammer on the already fired shell numerous times... He completely forgot to cycle the action...

We laughed about that for 3 months after season and for the next several opening day gettogethers for a few more seasons...

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Old November 11, 2012, 01:36 PM   #10
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Is it possible that the arrow drove right through the deer?

In bowhunting, a clean arrow means a clean miss. As for missing, there can be a myriad of reasons when using a bow from a treestand. The angles presented when shooting from a treestand and your position when taking the shot are a couple. So is the wearing of clothing that may have inadvertently hit your string or made for a slightly different anchor point. A small unseen branch or twig or just excitement. The chance of missing is why it's called hunting. The increased chance of missing is what differentiates bow hunting from gun hunting. If we never missed or went home empty handed, there would be no challenge and no reason to be that proud that we mount the head and put it on our wall. Be happy you missed clean and that you or someone else still has the chance to hunt and take the animal, instead of a poor shot leading to a long and painful death and a lost animal.
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Old November 13, 2012, 08:38 AM   #11
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I have only had a shot at a deer with my bow once, and it was also my first shot at a buck ever. I missed it, cleanly, high. I was pretty angry with myself, but was happy that it was a clean miss. It was the only deer I saw that day. About a half hour before leaving the woods, I was getting fed up with all the squirrels around. I put my broadhead away, and knocked one of my target arrows. Put the arrow right in the boiler room of the squirrel!

I missed a deer, but plugged a squirrel. It's amazing what buck fever will do to ya.
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Old November 13, 2012, 09:01 AM   #12
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Big bucks, like displaying Tom Turkeys are bigger in size, so sometimes look closer in distance than small/average deer and non-displaying birds at the same distance. With a bow or scattergun, this small deception in range can mean a miss.
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Old November 14, 2012, 07:24 PM   #13
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Missing: That's why the call it huntin, Not killin. Don't feel too bad, We've all missed that "perfect shot where nothing can go wrong" once or twice.
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Old November 14, 2012, 11:31 PM   #14
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I remember my first bow shot at a deer. Broadside doe 20 yards out totally unaware of me. I drew, completely forgot everything I had diligently practiced for months, and let 'er fly. No blood on that arrow either.
.44 Special: For those who get it, no explanation is necessary. For those who don't, no explanation is possible.
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Old November 15, 2012, 12:03 AM   #15
Deja vu
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My uncle use to say that some times the hand of god reaches in and stops the bullet (or in you case arrow).

Who knows why you missed... only advise I have is to practice lots.
Shot placement is everything! I would rather take a round of 50BMG to the foot than a 22short to the base of the skull.

all 26 of my guns are 45/70 govt, 357 mag, 22 or 12 ga... I believe in keeping it simple. Wish my wife did as well...
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Old November 15, 2012, 11:21 PM   #16
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Last Year I was hunting during the rut...
And along came a deer I will never forget, Mr. One-Rack...

Well this particular Mr One-Rack had been seen by my friend before on opening weekend. My buddy had seen and shot a decent 10 pointer being followed by an even bigger bodied and racked deer. Only thing was, this deer only had one side of his rack intact. I heard the story and knew I wanted this Mr One-Rack for his uniqueness...

So during the rut I'm hunting a doe spot, a field with close to a dozen persimmon trees. (where I shot my doe)
Well it's getting late and I'm looking downhill and from the corner of my eye I see movement. Only problem was that it was coming from the other direction...
Out comes a big doe and Mr One-Rack! I see one side had only a little antler sticking straight up...and the other side, Waaaay outside his ear! Cannot even tell you how many points. Well we have ourselves a little standoff and I swing my gun around, aim, and squeeze the trigger. Off lope those two dad-blasted deer! Tails up, not even hurrying that much...just surprised the heck out of them.

I was beside myself with confusion and I knew my gun was, "On" so why was there no blood?
100 dollars and three hours of tracking dog later (kudos to the trackers, they were great), I learned the most important generalized lesson of my first hunting season. No blood=no deer, and thus a shot and clean miss is better than a blood trail that runs cold.

My friend had a hit-and-no-recovery this year. Same friend that shot the 10 last year... well he shot and hit a much bigger buck. We think it was a high shoulder or brisket shot. The blood ran out and even where the deer bedded down, there was only a palm-sized blood spot.

Well 100 dollars and three hours of tracking dog later; you know the story here dontcha?
Anyways, great job by the trackers and dog, followed that trail for 500 yards. And only getting a single drop every 20-30 yards...eventually that ran out
We feel that the deer made it out without mortal wounds and will be there next year.

Did you know...
The dog tracks each deer individually by a gland in between it's hooves. The dog wasn't tracking blood, but rather the footfalls of the deer...

Last edited by nocturnal; November 15, 2012 at 11:28 PM.
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Old November 16, 2012, 02:38 AM   #17
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When shooting from a tree stand you need to draw the bow horizontally, then bend at the waist until you come on target keeping the bow perpendicular to your chest. If you do not, you will shoot over every time. I learned this the hard way on a bull elk at 15 yards.
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Old November 16, 2012, 03:47 AM   #18
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Oh man, you kiddin? I miss deer just about every year with my bow. Its one reason I hunt with the thing.

Thirty yds huh? I'm betting that deer "jumped the string". He heard your shot, and before the arrow got there, he dropped and pivoted and was gone. Slo-mo has proved an alert deer can do this. Easy. They don't dodge the arrow, they react to the sound. Also, I believe a deer past 20 yds that is looking at you when you shoot, can startle and react to the flash of the bow limbs snapping forward.

Thirty is about my limit with a bow. Half that is better, much better.

And, I'd rather have a clean miss any day. A badhit/lost deer is the WORST thing that can happen.
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Old November 16, 2012, 03:46 PM   #19
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I once let an arow fly at a bull elk only 25 yards away, standing broad-side. Never could figure out how that arrow got lodged 20' up in the tree 5' to the left of the elk? I think that arrow is still stuck up in that tree!
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Old November 24, 2012, 06:28 AM   #20
Mike / Tx
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I have had it happen more times than I care to remember, but not just on deer, hogs as well.

Two years ago I climbed up in my stand, had the wife stay there in the truck until I was tied off. She starts to drive away as I pulled my bow up. Got the bow up, removed the quiver, and hung it on my scew, then set my bow on it's stand. I had my day pack in my lap and when I looked down to get my mask and gloves out, there at the bottom of my ladder, stands a REALLY nice 10 point.

He stands there watching the wife ease her way out of the pasture, all the while I am getting juiced up for sure. He eased out and stopped behind some brush long enough for me to get my bow and an arrow knocked, and then proceeded to walk out to my 30yd tree, stopping perfectly broadside with his head obscured behind the tree. I remember every detail, drawing, counting tdown to the proper pin, setting my thumb in behind my ear, gently squeezing the trigger on my release. I watched the arrow fly true, the deer jump and run, only to find a piece of broken arrow after a good 45 imnutes of VERY anxious waiting. There was a bit of hair, and a rank smell on it, but nothing else. All I could picture was him breaking it off on the side of the tree as he left. Now I was sick to my stomach. No blood, no nothing except his tracks in the sand along the edge of the pasture. Two hours later we went back out and went over everything in detail once again. Standing where the deer was when I shot, I found an unusual scratch on the ground in the dirt. Then in looking back towards my stand I caught a glimps of something shiny and found the other half of my arrow laying some 4 or more feet back towards my stand.

Putting it all together, we surmised, I shot low, the arrow went into the ground under the buck, as he went to run, he had to have gotten one rear leg in fron and the other behind the arrow in order to break it as he left, which was why he jumped. When the arrow broke it sent one half flying out into the pasture in front of him and the other half spinning out to the side. Nothing had any blood on it what so ever, and the smell was the rank smell of the musk glands which would have been on both his rear legs for sure. In running it through my head over and over again, I remember doing everything on the mental check list, but I don't rememebr looking through my peep.

I know for a fact this deer lead a charmed life, as I have a game cam picture of him just before Thanksgiving of last year, and he clearly has a huge gash right across his whithers where he had almost ducked someone elses arrow. He also had been hit right on the bottom of his right side antler by someones bullet. He wasn't quite as lucky however, when my daughter dropped the hammer of her 25-06 on him. He now resides on the wall as one of, if not, the biggest bucks we have ever taken from our little 100 acre place.

If you look closely above you can see the reddish pink portion, where his back is freshly opened up right on top of his shoulders.

Unfortunately he had broken off some of his right side, even so he was a thrill for us to see who got to him first.
Mike / TX
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Old November 24, 2012, 07:04 AM   #21
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I feel your pain. Believe me! When I first started hunting with a rifle, I got others to zero rifle/scope for me.To make a long and very painful story short, I missed 3 deer in a 2 hour period late one afternoon. All 3 broadside and less than 40 yards. Needless to say I didn't hunt with the rifle any more that season. I found out later that my hunting buddy had zeroed it to hit 6 inches high at 100 yards. I didn't cry, but I did cuss a whole lot

Last edited by TheNatureBoy; November 24, 2012 at 07:15 AM.
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Old November 24, 2012, 09:02 AM   #22
Brian Pfleuger
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6 inches high at 100 would only be 2 1/2 high at 40.... that's a lot smaller than a deer...
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Old November 30, 2012, 02:35 AM   #23
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flower garden

One evening on a year with poor mast I was hunting over a food plot and deer started showing up. I started shooting...and missing, till I ran out of arrows. By that time it was dark enough to quit, and I walked out, with an empty quiver.

Next AM I slept in and went back for the shafts, took bamawife w/ me.

All those bright fletches were scatterd around that green clover field.

She says................."Looks like a flower garden"!
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Old November 30, 2012, 09:01 AM   #24
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Thanks for the replies everybody, super glad I am not alone on this one. I honestly believe I may have just come down with a bad case of buck fever. Anywho I got a good doe last day of archery and a real big doe this past sat. Now I am antler hunting again and hopefully if I ever see that buck again I will be able to redeem myself.
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Old December 15, 2012, 09:56 PM   #25
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It happens, but definitely go back in the daylight and check.
"Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress, but I repeat myself." Mark Twain
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