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Old 01-01-2022, 04:19 AM   #1
txtrophy85
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Default Bitter ending to the season

Plan was to go spend the last weekend at the ranch but work and some other family commitments have gotten in the way. Haven’t spent much time there this year as my hunting has been more spread out than in years past, so I’ve had a fair amount of time afield it just hasn’t been at the home place. Last week we stayed for a few days and I shot over on one buck and the next day shot under another one.

Looking at the forecast for Sunday, I decided to go up yesterday to winterize the cabin and sit for the evening hunt. I get everything situated and then get in the blind. I had really only planned on shooting a doe, but as the feeder went off the place starts filling up with bucks. I had 6 bucks around the feeder, all young, when a mature cull-type 8 shows up. Thinking this is a perfect deer to shoot with trad gear, I let him mill about for awhile and work his way closer. After about 15 min, he gives me a good broadside shot at 17-18 yards. I draw back, hit my anchor and let it fly. Release felt good, I wasn’t overly nervous but my shot ended up going further forward of where I was aiming and I watch the arrow bury into his shoulder. Penetration looked decent, it appeared it had stopped in the offside shoulder and I thought even with the sh**** shot placement it may have been enough to get it done. He takes off running, obviously hit and is soon out of sight.

Wait about 20 min and go down and look for blood. Nothing, not one drop. Went on the trail he took when he left….still nothin, no arrow, anything. I was hoping he would kick the arrow running thru the cedar but didn’t find anything.

I looked north, south, east and west but had no idea where he went once he was out of sight and zero sign to go off of, so I started taking trails walking, hoping to find him. I looked until dark but never found him, never jumped him and have no earthly idea where he went once he broke out of that mott, and never did find a drop of blood.

Really disappointed in the way it turned out….this year has been a struggle with 4 misses under my belt for the year and now this.

The positive takeaway is I did learn a lot and have really fallen in love with traditional archery hunting. Gonna take the time in the off season to really dial in and get back at it next October.

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Old 01-01-2022, 04:39 AM   #2
tps7742
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Keep your head up.it happens to all of us that have hunted long enough. There are memorable seasons and then seasons as you described. I have been on both sides of the equations with family matters and hunting. Believe me take care of the family matters first and foremost, everything else will fall into place.
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Old 01-01-2022, 07:06 AM   #3
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Like tps above me said..so true.
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Old 01-01-2022, 07:18 AM   #4
Etxbuckman
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This has been ďone of those seasonsĒ for a lot of us. Weíll get Ďem next year. And next year is only 39 weeks away.
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Old 01-01-2022, 07:36 AM   #5
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Went through this recently myself and know the sick feeling. I did locate the buck, but it was too late to salvage the meat.

Any water nearby the stand/feeder?


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Old 01-01-2022, 07:38 AM   #6
ttaxidermy
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My archery season was so bad I won't even discuss it.. I'll just say that I have been killing deer with a bow for 43 years, since I was 13, and this season was BY FAR my worst....
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Old 01-01-2022, 07:49 AM   #7
Bradical BH
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My archery season was so bad I won't even discuss it.. I'll just say that I have been killing deer with a bow for 43 years, since I was 13, and this season was BY FAR my worst....
Not alone bud. I had a burner this year too. Time for new equipment Iím thinking. Something gotta change.
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Old 01-01-2022, 10:38 AM   #8
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Default Bitter ending to the season

Well, most everyone that does this has had a time like you have had this season. Yours just happened to be the first season with trad, and that kinda sux even worse. One thing you might try, especially for your first few, is to get them closer. Itís different for each guy and his ability, but I wonít hardly shoot at critters past 15yds with my stickbows anymore (exceptions would be really big critters like elk, moose, etc). I can shoot decent enough further, but experience has taught me that there is just too much that can go wrong with every added yard of distance, so for me, I wait till they get close or I donít shoot. I also have all of my personal setups optimized for a close shot.

Anyway, this season is about over and done with. I hope you keep practicing and get you confidence level back up and are totally successful in 2022!!!

Bisch


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Old 01-01-2022, 11:04 AM   #9
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Man, this sounds like a bad case of not practicing enough. I mean 4 or 5 shots of missing/crippling deer in just one season, wow. I haven't missed/crippled that many in 47 years. I know this sounds mean and all, but we need to make better select shots after tons of practice. The deer deserve that respect.
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Old 01-01-2022, 11:58 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by SabineHunter View Post
Man, this sounds like a bad case of not practicing enough. I mean 4 or 5 shots of missing/crippling deer in just one season, wow. I haven't missed/crippled that many in 47 years. I know this sounds mean and all, but we need to make better select shots after tons of practice. The deer deserve that respect.
If you were a regular here in the traditional section you'd know he has put in the work.
While I appreciate that you understand the animals do deserve our best "shot" so to speak I think you may be speaking out of ignorance either not understanding the traditional equipment challenges or this community.
Hopefully these rough spots in his learning curve won't do anything but help him be stronger and better down the road.

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Old 01-01-2022, 12:13 PM   #11
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If you were a regular here in the traditional section you'd know he has put in the work.
While I appreciate that you understand the animals do deserve our best "shot" so to speak I think you may be speaking out of ignorance either not understanding the traditional equipment challenges or this community.
Hopefully these rough spots in his learning curve won't do anything but help him be stronger and better down the road.

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Hmmmm..... I started with trad when I was 17 in 1974. At first, I shot instinctive, then, I put on some pins and got my first compound when I moved to Texas in 1980. I've shot many deer with both, missed two and had a nice buck that I couldn't recover, which still bothers me to this day and I hate taking about it. I practice all the time, mainly one shot a day cause that's all you get when hunting. How can you justify missing 4 or more shots in the same year. I can't. The man needs to practice every day until he can hit every single shot and he needs to shorten his range. That's all.
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Old 01-01-2022, 12:15 PM   #12
BillyJack1975
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Think a lot of traditional hunters have similar years, I know I did. Only difference is sometimes we share our misses and lost game and most times we don’t for obvious reasons. We definitely learn each and every sit, regardless if we let an arrow fly or not.
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Old 01-01-2022, 12:17 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by DRT View Post
If you were a regular here in the traditional section you'd know he has put in the work.
While I appreciate that you understand the animals do deserve our best "shot" so to speak I think you may be speaking out of ignorance either not understanding the traditional equipment challenges or this community.
Hopefully these rough spots in his learning curve won't do anything but help him be stronger and better down the road.

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I'm by no means a regular in the trad section but I still agree. One can practice and hone their skills on still targets forever but live animals are a whole different game with any method, but I imagine trad has an even bigger gap between the two. The only way to get better at trad hunting "live" is on live animals and its unfortunate that sometimes the deer pay a price for it. Live trial and error is the only way to get better.
Good luck to the OP and hope things take a turn for you in 2022.

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Old 01-01-2022, 01:00 PM   #14
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I'm not saying he doesn't have work to do. We all have to work at it to keep up.
But any archer who has hunted for decades and actually fills all their tags every year with archery gear has had a few that were bad shots.
I know many hunters are less than forthcoming about bad shots. And believe me with way over a hundred archery deer under my belt I've had a few that I'm not proud of. But with no sight and no let off I make a decision to make it more difficult on me and less efficient on the animals so I really limit my range. 15 is good. 12 is better. 10 is great. But I'm also at that point in life where I'll wait til next time if the right shot doesn't present now.
Even the buck I took this year was at 15 yards for 20 minutes and I waited. But the shot I took was at 12 or 13.
All of life is a learning curve. Hunting is no different.
People make bad shot decisions or executions with all weapons. A group near our farm in Missouri shot 3 nice bucks this year and recovered none. Well one shot with a crossbow was found the other day. A beautiful 10 point. At least he got the rack.
So yes, he needs to examine and learn and work. And if he doesn't and continues to struggle maybe be discouraged by his peers.
But even our most lethal brother here has had bad runs, bad shots and discouraging runs. But I'm **** glad he didn't quit but always stayed in the game and worked his way out of the slumps. I'm especially glad he wasn't a total *** to me when I had one and was educational and encouraging instead.

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Old 01-01-2022, 01:46 PM   #15
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I'm not saying he doesn't have work to do. We all have to work at it to keep up.
But any archer who has hunted for decades and actually fills all their tags every year with archery gear has had a few that were bad shots.
I know many hunters are less than forthcoming about bad shots. And believe me with way over a hundred archery deer under my belt I've had a few that I'm not proud of. But with no sight and no let off I make a decision to make it more difficult on me and less efficient on the animals so I really limit my range. 15 is good. 12 is better. 10 is great. But I'm also at that point in life where I'll wait til next time if the right shot doesn't present now.
Even the buck I took this year was at 15 yards for 20 minutes and I waited. But the shot I took was at 12 or 13.
All of life is a learning curve. Hunting is no different.
People make bad shot decisions or executions with all weapons. A group near our farm in Missouri shot 3 nice bucks this year and recovered none. Well one shot with a crossbow was found the other day. A beautiful 10 point. At least he got the rack.
So yes, he needs to examine and learn and work. And if he doesn't and continues to struggle maybe be discouraged by his peers.
But even our most lethal brother here has had bad runs, bad shots and discouraging runs. But I'm **** glad he didn't quit but always stayed in the game and worked his way out of the slumps. I'm especially glad he wasn't a total *** to me when I had one and was educational and encouraging instead.

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Attachment 1075688


Well, keep this in mind: it is the hunters duty and responsibility to efffectively and quickly kill his deer and not just recover the head. Anything else is excuses. Just imagine how that part of your story sounds to a non hunter. With the reported crippling and non recovery of deer on this site alone, would make an antihunter target archery first. Perception is Reality.
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Old 01-01-2022, 02:08 PM   #16
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Perception is Reality.
No! Reality is reality!!!!

You might be one of the perfect ones whose only missed two and lost one critter in 47yrs of bowhunting, but most everyone else dosenít have that great a track record! Crap happens. Sometimes itís the hunters fault and it is his duty to work and learn from those mistakes to try to minimize them in the future. Sometimes itís not the hunterís fault, and all you can do in those cases is move on and keep trying to improve and keep doing the right things.

Everybody is different and everybody processes and learns different. Iím not here to lay any blame on the OP. He already feels like crud be if the way this season went down for him. I will try to encourage him to keep learning and improving, and wish him luck going into the new year!!!!

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Old 01-01-2022, 02:17 PM   #17
SabineHunter
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I wish the OP well too. I was just offering advice and got lost in the weeds.
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Old 01-01-2022, 02:26 PM   #18
DRT
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Well, keep this in mind: it is the hunters duty and responsibility to efffectively and quickly kill his deer and not just recover the head. Anything else is excuses. Just imagine how that part of your story sounds to a non hunter. With the reported crippling and non recovery of deer on this site alone, would make an antihunter target archery first. Perception is Reality.
I don't have to think about it. As a land owner there and friends with a farming family there I've been through 4 decades of deer hunting changes there. Seeing blue tongue devastate the herd multiple times and just when it's making a rebound that type of thing does nothing but make me sick. Especially the difference in attitude between those guys and the OP.
The fact he (the OP) feels sick about it, the fact he's reaching out about it, shows me he is in a spot where he needs good advice, not a kick in the nuts. Responses like yours while well intentioned, do not encourage those who need help to reach out. Most won't to avoid ridicule if that is what they expect.


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Old 01-01-2022, 04:42 PM   #19
txtrophy85
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Man, this sounds like a bad case of not practicing enough. I mean 4 or 5 shots of missing/crippling deer in just one season, wow. I haven't missed/crippled that many in 47 years. I know this sounds mean and all, but we need to make better select shots after tons of practice. The deer deserve that respect.
I’ve been deer hunting for 26 years. I’ve shot somewhere in the neighborhood of 150-175 big game animals not counting hogs, killed Elk, Mule Deer, pronghorn along with most common exotics and some African game. I’ve killed 22 animals with a compound bow. I have one of the largest archery killed Japanese Sika ever recorded. I’m not new to hunting and what it takes to make successful shots.

I shoot just about every day. Matter of fact I shot about 12 arrows right before I went out and felt very confident in my ability. It was simply a bad hit. Some of the best trad hunters I’ve met have missed dozens and dozens of times. Fred Bear missed quite often. If you have a better kill percentage with traditional gear then you are just the 1% of the 1%.


Bisch and DRT…..

Agree wholeheartedly about shortening the range. I let two really good bucks walk this year at 18 yards because I didn’t feel comfortable with the shot. I had corn out at 10 yards but it was being scooped up by immature deer and I got the feeling this deer didn’t want anything that wasn’t under the feeder. Everything felt good, I was confident in the scenario and the distance, I just shanked it a little bit. I’m not 100% convinced he isn’t laying dead right now just with no blood or any tracks I have no way of knowing where he went after he left my line of sight. I figure the arrow got about 12” of penetration give or take.

Y’all have helped me so much this year and I appreciate every single bit of info and advice thrown my way. This has definitely been a season of learning and a very humbling one to boot!
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Old 01-02-2022, 12:29 PM   #20
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Any water nearby the stand/feeder?


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yes there is and I'm going there to look tomorrow.

Maybe i can pick up the scent of a dead animal and my nose will lead me to him
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Old 01-02-2022, 05:12 PM   #21
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Same thing happened to me. Here is my thread:

https://discussions.texasbowhunter.c...d.php?t=828130

It is a hard pill to swallow but its part of it. Good luck!
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Old 01-02-2022, 09:19 PM   #22
txtrophy85
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Same thing happened to me. Here is my thread:

https://discussions.texasbowhunter.c...d.php?t=828130

It is a hard pill to swallow but its part of it. Good luck!
Very similar story.

I was shocked at the no blood part. Seems like we got similar penetration and I would assume enough to kill him
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Old 01-02-2022, 09:50 PM   #23
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Go look again tomorrow like said above. Good luck!
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Old 01-02-2022, 10:39 PM   #24
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I wish the OP well too. I was just offering advice and got lost in the weeds.
No, you were being a **** to someone you don't even know. Try being supportive or go somewhere else.
OP, good luck tomorrow, hope you find him. I have been there and share your feelings.

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Old 01-02-2022, 10:51 PM   #25
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Man, this sounds like a bad case of not practicing enough. I mean 4 or 5 shots of missing/crippling deer in just one season, wow. I haven't missed/crippled that many in 47 years. I know this sounds mean and all, but we need to make better select shots after tons of practice. The deer deserve that respect.

Sir, I find your response demeaning, disrespectful, and far from representative of the bon homme and camaraderie for which this forum is known.

By your own account, your archery skills are outstanding and, for that, you should be commended. Sadly, though, your arrogance has overshadowed any admiration that your skill as an archer and hunter might have garnered you; rather, it has yielded nothing but antipathy toward you instead. I’m sure this was not your intention.

And if I were to guess, I’d say there are probably one or two things on which you, also, fall short of the mark. I’d like to suggest that “tact and diplomacy” might be one of them.

Glass houses, my friend…
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Old 01-02-2022, 11:12 PM   #26
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I was shocked at the no blood part.


I shot this deer this past week. You can see where I hit the deer in the pic. When I shot, I thought I had hit her waaaaay too high, like over the backbone high! But the arrow zipped thru her like a hot knife thru butter and ended up 20yds behind where she had been shot at. I was disgusted with myself. But the easy passthru had me second guessing what had happened. It took me an hour to find her just 75yds from point of impact. There was not one drop of blood between point of impact and where she laid when I found her. I did hit her a little high, certainly higher that I was aiming, but it was not near as high as I thought and after seeing her, it baffles me that there was zero blood trail. The broadhead used was a 1.5Ēwide German Kinetic XL 2-blade head. Iíve learned over the years that there is no rhyme or reason as to when the blood trails will be great and when they will be horrible. Obviously, a low hit thru the good stuff usually results in good blood on the ground, but Iíve seen a few of those leave very scant trails also.

All a guy can do when he gets hit with a crappy blood trail is look everywhere and hope he gets a little luck. If a tracking dog can be used, that can be a really valuable resource too.

Bisch


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Old 01-02-2022, 11:17 PM   #27
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Sir, I find your response demeaning, disrespectful, and far from representative of the bon homme and camaraderie for which this forum is known.

By your own account, your archery skills are outstanding and, for that, you should be commended. Sadly, though, your arrogance has overshadowed any admiration that your skill as an archer and hunter might have garnered you; rather, it has yielded nothing but antipathy toward you instead. Iím sure this was not your intention.

And if I were to guess, Iíd say there are probably one or two things on which you, also, fall short of the mark. Iíd like to suggest that ďtact and diplomacyĒ might be one of them.

Glass houses, my friendÖ

Thatís takin the long way around about it, my momma would just sayÖĒbless your heartĒ.


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Old 01-02-2022, 11:38 PM   #28
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I shot this deer this past week. You can see where I hit the deer in the pic. When I shot, I thought I had hit her waaaaay too high, like over the backbone high! But the arrow zipped thru her like a hot knife thru butter and ended up 20yds behind where she had been shot at. I was disgusted with myself. But the easy passthru had me second guessing what had happened. It took me an hour to find her just 75yds from point of impact. There was not one drop of blood between point of impact and where she laid when I found her. I did hit her a little high, certainly higher that I was aiming, but it was not near as high as I thought and after seeing her, it baffles me that there was zero blood trail. The broadhead used was a 1.5Ēwide German Kinetic XL 2-blade head. Iíve learned over the years that there is no rhyme or reason as to when the blood trails will be great and when they will be horrible. Obviously, a low hit thru the good stuff usually results in good blood on the ground, but Iíve seen a few of those leave very scant trails also.

All a guy can do when he gets hit with a crappy blood trail is look everywhere and hope he gets a little luck. If a tracking dog can be used, that can be a really valuable resource too.

Bisch


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Experience is knowledge. Thanks, Bisch.
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Old 01-03-2022, 04:33 PM   #29
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If we lose our humility, how are we supposed to be honoring the game animal we kill?
My last hunting trip saw me miss two broadside shots at 12 yards each. One doe rolled, the other one ducked and my fir shafts went sailing over their backs.
I got a solid hit on a medium-size pig, but it took off with half of my arrow in its side, never to be found.
We can only control our end of the equation and pray everything else lines up for an ethical kill.
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Old 01-03-2022, 05:02 PM   #30
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That wasn't exactly a spectacular trip for me and the pigs either Chris.

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Old 01-03-2022, 06:07 PM   #31
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That wasn't exactly a spectacular trip for me and the pigs either Chris.

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The company was good and the ranch spectacular, as usual. If we cannot assume our failures, learn from them and move on, we will never progress. Still grateful to had the opportunities, even if I blew them.
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Old 01-13-2022, 02:08 PM   #32
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Try filming your shots on animals the best you can, doesn't have to be TV quality stuff.
Having video evidence of where you hit an animal and the animals reaction to the hit, is the most valuable information a person can have.
What you see after the shot and what actually happened can be totally different AND it has a major role in determining how and when to start tracking the animal.
Practice more, do the best you can, forget about it and try again.
If Trad was easy everyone would do it.... that's why there are compounds and crossbows.
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Old 01-26-2022, 04:28 PM   #33
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I shared my video of opening day when I wounded my target buck by taking a long shot. I waited patiently all season for another shot. Watching my "target" bucks disappear one by one. It was the most frustrating season I've ever had. Finally on my last day to hunt of the extended doe season I got my shot. The only problem was that, standing between me and my quarry" was her yearling. She saw me draw and spooked a little which alerted the mature doe. As the doe was looking the other way I decided to finish the shot, rushed, blanked and missed cleanly... 10 yards and I clean missed.

I feel you brother! I even pulled out the compound and have been shooting it some but man, there's something about that stick and string that won't let me go... I'm still really dejected about the season but we will see.
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Old 01-26-2022, 04:35 PM   #34
ttaxidermy
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Brazoria county
Hunt In: Brady,McCulloch Cnty, Brazoria cnty, South Africa, Namibia Nebraska
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Originally Posted by SabineHunter View Post
Man, this sounds like a bad case of not practicing enough. I mean 4 or 5 shots of missing/crippling deer in just one season, wow. I haven't missed/crippled that many in 47 years. I know this sounds mean and all, but we need to make better select shots after tons of practice. The deer deserve that respect.
Man how did I ever miss this 24 karat response.. Wow!! You go Jr..
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Old 01-26-2022, 04:39 PM   #35
DRT
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Fort Worth, Tx
Hunt In: Jones County and Missouri
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Originally Posted by PigOPs View Post
I shared my video of opening day when I wounded my target buck by taking a long shot. I waited patiently all season for another shot. Watching my "target" bucks disappear one by one. It was the most frustrating season I've ever had. Finally on my last day to hunt of the extended doe season I got my shot. The only problem was that, standing between me and my quarry" was her yearling. She saw me draw and spooked a little which alerted the mature doe. As the doe was looking the other way I decided to finish the shot, rushed, blanked and missed cleanly... 10 yards and I clean missed.

I feel you brother! I even pulled out the compound and have been shooting it some but man, there's something about that stick and string that won't let me go... I'm still really dejected about the season but we will see.
My first few slung left me stinging as well. I was on a lease where shots were plentiful but I ended up scared to try.
Then the one that worked, last weekend of season, changed it all. Keep trying.
That first one will make it worth more than all those compound kills.

Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk
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Old 01-26-2022, 06:04 PM   #36
Horsehide
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Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Schertz
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If you hunt long enough, you will have more than one of those "Oh crap!" shots. your state of mind, excitement or the game's own reaction will eventually not line up for a quick efficient kill. Tracking the wounded animal and hopefully recovering it will make up for some of the bitterness you feel at the moment. You will feel disappointed with yourself at time, but do not give up. Your next good shot will bring back the hunger for the hunt. Hang in there.
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