Your worst miss, why it happened, and how you fixed it

Discuss deer hunting tactics, Deer behavior. Post your Hunting Stories, Pictures, and Questions/Answers.
mikew36
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Dec 25, 2017 11:45 am
Location: Lake Geneva, WI
Status: Offline

Re: Your worst miss, why it happened, and how you fixed it

Unread postby mikew36 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:02 am

One of my first seasons bow hunting I missed a mature doe at about 15 yds. I shot high and she kind of ducked as she saw me swing around and shoot because I had to spin around and shoot quick. Bothered me for a while, but at least I clean missed and didn't wound her. It was an easy thing to correct I thought, as I just resolved after that not to take rushed shots like that if I don't feel comfortable with it. If I had played that smart I could have probably got a better shot at her maybe a little further, but still, preferable to me over what happened. She had a fawn following her too that I didn't see until she ran off and called to the fawn, so I was glad after that I missed for that too, since I kind of have a personal policy not to kill a doe with a fawn unless there is a serious overpopulation issue in the area I am hunting. Probably between not rushing shots and not shooting does like that, I have missed out on probably at least a handful of deer, but the ones I have shot at in the last few years have been good, clean kills, so I am grateful for the lesson learned from that standpoint.


swampyak
500 Club
Posts: 950
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2016 3:31 pm
Location: Northern MN
Status: Offline

Re: Your worst miss, why it happened, and how you fixed it

Unread postby swampyak » Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:03 am

Unfortunately I have messed up on more than my share. Here is a short version of one. I was out of town for the week at school. I was on my way home on Friday excited to take one of my kids hunting on opener the next day. I was talking to my wife on the phone about random things like what was for supper that evening. When I got home I found out they had left the state without telling me. The next day I missed 5 nice bucks. I guess my mind was elsewhere
WISCOANDY
Posts: 110
Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2016 12:40 am
Location: Central WI
Status: Offline

Re: Your worst miss, why it happened, and how you fixed it

Unread postby WISCOANDY » Sun Dec 31, 2017 5:03 am

My worst miss haunts me to this day. Happened on October 29, 2011. It was a Saturday, the last Halloween weekend my wife and I had before we had kids. We had a costume party that night, and the theme was to dress as your favorite drink.

This was all long before I found the beast.

Because of the party, I spent all afternoon figuring out a costume. Do I dress as a bush with lights? The Dos Equis guy? I was late so I decided to hunt close to road, plus, I could get on my way sooner after dark.

It's a straight North wind, perfect for my set up. I'm about 75 yards in from a field edge where I parked, about 10 yards from a transition that comes up from a swamp. I'm in my stand about 4pm. No more than 30 minutes later, I see a buck coming. It's small, a fork horn. It keeps looking back, and I can hear steps in the water, then I see the rack. Massive 10 pointer, 140"+ I figure. Long tines, thick. I was already in position with my bow, this is perfect. It steps out, grunts at the scout buck, and chases him off. The 10 stands broadside, I draw, unnoticed. I have a perfect shot, at a buck of a lifetime. I let it fly.....and, clean miss. I shot under the deer. Off it goes.

Far and away the biggest buck I had ever seen on stand, and I miss it broadside. The neighbor shot it during gun season, scored just under 150. I've never seen one that big since. :violin:

I fixed it by buying a rangefinder. My distance was estimated, and I misjudged it. Big mistake.
User avatar
gjs4
500 Club
Posts: 1909
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:11 pm
Location: Western NY
Status: Offline

Re: Your worst miss, why it happened, and how you fixed it

Unread postby gjs4 » Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:03 am

I’ve had a worst miss and a worst hit that come to mind... :violin:

Worst miss was drawing back on a gorgeous typical 12 to have my improperly restrained velcro release come off my wrist and launch a limp arrow 10 yards toward the clueless buck. Deer can’t laugh but the look he gave me proves they can smile.

Lost a good one this yr on a poor penetration single lung hit this yr. what fries me the most is I also wounded a doe and narrowly got last year’s buck along the same lines. Before you think I’m stupid- I was trying to argue two bad instances against 2 dozen good ones. Then it hit me- one is too many. New arrows- heavier, bigger foc and 2 blade heads. Rather dig it out of the dirt w a blood trail or miss high and low than have a laser that doesn’t always do a straight line on impact.
Green and growing... Or red and rotting
User avatar
Tufrthnails
500 Club
Posts: 2808
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2015 7:40 pm
Location: Knee deep in FL Muck!
Status: Offline

Re: Your worst miss, why it happened, and how you fixed it

Unread postby Tufrthnails » Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:42 am

Oh! boy the one that stings the most is the first mature buck I ever seen from my stand. I was hunting St Vincent Isl with my muzzleloader. This is one of those let's see how old you are getting hunts. 3.5 miles to the stand every day All day sits serious equipment drags up the beach in sand just one of those really fun hunts to look back on. Anyways back to the miss....I'm up in my climber second all day sit just after 10am I'm eating peanut butter crackers when I hear something behind me. I ease back and see the back half of a big bodied deer the biggest I had ever seen. It walks into the thick so I never see antlers, but I got a buck or doe permit so I'm trying to think what can I do. Best decision I made that day was to just sit there. A few minutes later it comes back out and I at 35 yards can see the heaviest 8pt rack I had ever seen in FL at that time. He's munching on some bushes that I still am not sure what they actually are. Well I get impatient and grab my Grunt call face it away from him and give the softest grunt I could manage. poof he is gone no idea where he is. a few minutes later he is standing in front of me looking off to my right the direction I grunted. I ease the muzz up look through the scope he is so close I see nothing buy brown. I had left the scope on 9 power and he is at 10 yards. I ease back down the power to 3. He is getting ancy and starts to walk off. I mouth grunt he stops I shoot can't see a thing I think I just smoked this deer. I look from my climber on the ground no blood I can see. I give it 5 minutes and ease down from my climber. I walk to the site no blood. Zero hair. Only a big hole in the soft dirt where my bullet slammed into the soft ground. I completely whiffed at 10 yards.

Too fix I had never fired my muzz inside 50 yards at the range. I had zero idea what it would do that close. I also make it a point to never leave my scope on high power in the stand. Would any of that have helped that day I don't know, but I do know it was a really really long 3.5 mile walk back in the dark instead of a short drag to the road and a ride in the back of my pickup with my buck!
Tuf- The below average hunting beast
User avatar
backstraps
Moderator
Posts: 8645
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2012 4:44 pm
Location: Tennessee
Status: Offline

Re: Your worst miss, why it happened, and how you fixed it

Unread postby backstraps » Fri Mar 22, 2019 12:09 pm

Was talking to a buddy today about misses. Thought I would bump this thread up.

I cannot remember a miss where it didnt occur for the exact same reason. I simply rush the shot sometimes. Those rush hurry hurry shots are really tough. I have thought about how much a hunter has to mature to get away from that. However, I am not sure.....

I was thinking back, and when I rush a shot its never because he is only going to give me a few more steps then gone... its where I had gotten so excited and wanted to kill him and kill him now!! Took bad shot angle shots or punch the trigger due to not slowing down and taking my time.

Anyway, last several years I have been able to coach my way through the shot and a smooth follow through.

What say you guys? Do any of y'all experience target panic. bad angle choices or mental coaching when the moment of truth is presented?
User avatar
Kraftd
500 Club
Posts: 2769
Joined: Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:44 pm
Location: NE IL
Status: Offline

Re: Your worst miss, why it happened, and how you fixed it

Unread postby Kraftd » Fri Mar 22, 2019 12:23 pm

Broke up with a long-term girlfriend one September in my early 20s. Was pretty down overall, but excited to head north with my dad for a weekend. Got up on Friday with 45 minutes to hunt and quickly hung a stand in my favorite creek bed funnel. Decided to blow a grunt once I got set-up to go along with the sound I was making setting up. Not five minutes later a MONSTER 9 with some junk comes strolling down the creek right to me, no idea I was there. Would have been my first big buck,a nd might still be be my biggest.

Ended up shaving some hair off his back 15 yards broadside, all happened so fast and so surreal, never even aimed.... Was still shooting instinctive at the time and went to sights and a release the next year. Was just too apt to lose concentration in the moment instinctive. Having the site to focus on really helped. Keep intending to go back to trad when I have more time to practice as I think I'd be over that, but that one hurt really really bad. It was a lotsa whiskey kinda night.
User avatar
Boogieman1
500 Club
Posts: 5165
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2017 11:18 pm
Status: Offline

Re: Your worst miss, why it happened, and how you fixed it

Unread postby Boogieman1 » Fri Mar 22, 2019 2:15 pm

backstraps wrote:Was talking to a buddy today about misses. Thought I would bump this thread up.

I cannot remember a miss where it didnt occur for the exact same reason. I simply rush the shot sometimes. Those rush hurry hurry shots are really tough. I have thought about how much a hunter has to mature to get away from that. However, I am not sure.....

I was thinking back, and when I rush a shot its never because he is only going to give me a few more steps then gone... its where I had gotten so excited and wanted to kill him and kill him now!! Took bad shot angle shots or punch the trigger due to not slowing down and taking my time.

Anyway, last several years I have been able to coach my way through the shot and a smooth follow through.

What say you guys? Do any of y'all experience target panic. bad angle choices or mental coaching when the moment of truth is presented?

An initial miss for me is similar to yours. I either rushed a shot, watched a buck come in from a long way and got a bit shakey legged, poor planning or simply trying not to miss instead of just making the shot. However, my stuff tends to snowball if I miss one it enters my mind at the next moment of truth. If I miss or wound the next my confidence is shot! Last time it happened I took a break and went on doe patrol which built me back up. God forbid I go through it again, but if I do catch a serious case of the Heebee Jeebees think I would go bout it the same way.
“When standing on the walls of the Alamo the outcome has already been decided. All that’s left is to kill as many as you can.”

-Beth Dutton-
User avatar
may21581
500 Club
Posts: 1153
Joined: Mon May 28, 2018 12:48 pm
Location: north east ohio
Status: Offline

Re: Your worst miss, why it happened, and how you fixed it

Unread postby may21581 » Fri Mar 22, 2019 3:42 pm

I love chasing whitetails, I love locating and finding them as much as I do hunting them. For the past several years I have come to love to teach others to hunt and pass on some beast tactics so perhaps they can harvest a trophy buck too.several years ago I took my dad hunting to a spot I had acquired. This spot was a small county airport that gave me permission to hunt and take some deer. The airport appreciated me because we were lowering the odds of a deer being hit by a plane and I had some fresh land to hunt.
We set up behind some prestaged round bales and just like we predicted a nice buck rounded the corner at daybreak. I asked him if he wanted to take it and he said yes. I said ok then let's do this. He squeezes off a round from his 12 guage and I can clearly see he missed at 20 yds. The deer shook his head a looked our way. So I figured I would let him use my muzzleloader to finish what we started. He pulls up, aims, squeezes the trigger and click. Pull the hammer back and one more time click. By this time the buck was on to us and trotted off. We looked at each other and laughed. I guess it just wasnt our day. I really enjoyed that moment though, I knew then I would never forget it. I think I remember more about it then some of the bucks I have harvested over the years.
"Failure is the price for entry for achieving something great"
JWandling
Posts: 77
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 9:14 am
Facebook: Jason Wandling
Status: Offline

Re: Your worst miss, why it happened, and how you fixed it

Unread postby JWandling » Fri Mar 22, 2019 7:05 pm

I’ve had many misses over the years. Mostly with a bow and only one with a rifle. I had two misses on deer last year with my bow. The first was by at least two feet. The way I fixed it was a quick grunt and a snort wheeze and he came back for a second shot which was a kill shot. The reason I missed was the arrow was damaged from shooting a doe earlier that day. My second miss last season was a few days later in Ohio. I had a 150” 10 point at 40 yards. 15 yards from me I hit a limb and missed him clean. I almost got a second shot at him too. The way I fixed it was laughed it off and continue to hunt. Both instances I was hunting from the ground with no camouflage or blind. Most of my misses however come down to just rushing the shot.
User avatar
oldrank
Posts: 5563
Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2013 7:32 am
Location: USA
Status: Offline

Re: Your worst miss, why it happened, and how you fixed it

Unread postby oldrank » Fri Mar 22, 2019 8:59 pm

Yep..... Still the same 2 bucks I posted about when this thread made it's first go round.... Ugggg. It's funny because the non typical buck I missed was almost 20 years ago. I can remember it like it was yesterday, but I can't remember what I really did yesterday !!!!
tundra
Posts: 160
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:06 am
Status: Offline

Re: Your worst miss, why it happened, and how you fixed it

Unread postby tundra » Sat Mar 23, 2019 12:19 am

November 3rd 2008,,,, central Wisconsin,,,,, hunting big marsh area, (which I usually do), with some small fingers,,,, found a great spot, sign was smoking hot....... forgot my safety belt, got 10 feet up, and had a second (back up) waist style belt, around a small tree, that was bugging me, and just could not get comfortable, or lean out well

You guessed it, a pile of deer that day, one of those days that do not come along too often..... 5 bucks came by, all within 30 yards, chasing I believe the 2 hot does, from one spot to the next, quite a show.........

I turn, and here is a true 160 plus class buck, 22 steps, walking by, looking at the direction of the does.... I pull back smoothly on my Bruin Master Express, and watch the fletching, brush under the heart, and into the ground....... that buck turns to look at me,,,,,, now I am talking to the deer in my head, please do not move, as I try and take another arrow off the quiver....... Good Bye buddy, see ya he said......................

it was like yesterday for me,,, the best buck I ever got a shot at,,,, I am not much into score, but my best is a 152,,,, I have seen some giants but never the shot like that,,,,, I know one issue I had, was not feeling comfortable, leaning out, with that make shift belt, and I know it affected the shot.....

3 days later in the same marsh, I shot a nice doe, for the freezer, after letting 3 more bucks go by,,,, only to miss a nice buck in the 140 class, with a non typical rack as it passed by

Onc important thing about the misses is the memories, and I have missed a few...... 2 years ago, while I spent my fall in Froedert Hospital, those memories of hunts past, got me thru, some tough times,,,, its not always about, the kills,,,,,,,
IndyDawg
Posts: 69
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2019 1:39 am
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Status: Offline

Re: Your worst miss, why it happened, and how you fixed it

Unread postby IndyDawg » Sat Mar 23, 2019 1:45 am

I have two misses that stand out to me as the worst. My worst miss was back when I was a young hunter, maybe 10 or 11 years old, and I missed a big doe (would have been my first) at all of about 15 yards with my 20 gauge 870. Looking back, I'm not sure the bead ever settled on brown at all I was shaking so bad. I have grown a bunch in my hunting since then, and my shooting has improved.

My most painful miss was back in 2015. I hunted hard all through bow season, and had lots of encounters without even being able to get drawn on a deer in probably 15 or so sits. Opening day of Indiana firearm season came, and I sat in one of my favorite ground hunting spots on a ridge in the National Forest. About 9 am I had a small doe (ended up being a button buck) come trotting in and stop about 35 yards in front of me. With no buck in tow (still assuming he was a doe), I decided I was going to fill the freezer and put a perfect shot on him with my 12 gauge 870. He peeled off down the ridge and died next to the trail to hike out, so that was also a win! While giving him some time, I heard another deer down in the bottoms toward the point of the ridge, and he was coming in quickly. I gave a quick grunt call, and he came up the edge of the ridge and held off, well out of range. This was a big buck for the area and would be my biggest buck ever harvested, and my blood was pumping. I gave another short, aggressive grunt and he moved in to what I thought was about 80 yards and held up. Shooting 2 3/4" rifled slugs through a smooth bore, this was the edge of where I felt remotely comfortable shooting. I gave another grunt, and he held his position but looked curiously up my way. I finally decided I was going to take a shot before he spooked and moved out, so I settled myself focused my iron sights and squeezed. He took off at the shot, ran across the bottom and up the opposite ridge. He stopped probably 250 yards across from me, turned and looked back completely unaffected.

As to why it happened, I misjudged the yardage. This was prior to owning a range finder, and I just guessed he was 80 yards out. I counted paces down to where he wheeled around and he was really like 110-115 yards out. I shot clean under him. How do I overcome this? The next year I hunted with a range finder. I have also changed my equipment. During gun season on public land, I now either hunt with my bow and restrict range accordingly or I hunt with my .300 Blk pistol shooting 110gr supers and can safely shoot out to about 150 yards without much fuss.
User avatar
218er
500 Club
Posts: 778
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2018 2:55 pm
Location: MN
Status: Offline

Re: Your worst miss, why it happened, and how you fixed it

Unread postby 218er » Sat Mar 23, 2019 2:01 am

I was in the bottom of a little ridge and had three does come directly at me. I decided I was going to shoot the middle one. At about seven yards I draw, as I’m waiting to release another deer catches my motion on the hillside that I previously hadn’t seen. I turn to look that way accidentally touch the release and drive my arrow harmlessly into the ground in the middle of all the deer. They run away laughing at me. Real dumb. I don’t put my finger on top of the release until I’m ready to shoot anymore.
Persistence is undefeated.
User avatar
Hawthorne
500 Club
Posts: 5342
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2014 2:13 pm
Location: michigan
Status: Offline

Re: Your worst miss, why it happened, and how you fixed it

Unread postby Hawthorne » Sat Mar 23, 2019 2:24 am

I’ve missed my share of nice bucks in the 100-120 range. Mostly because of bad form caused by buck fever. Practice and more practice helped. And making sure my equipment is tuned. I killed the biggest buck I ever shot at 2 years ago. All those misses gave me the experience to make the shot.


  • Advertisement

Return to “Deer Hunting”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: amarty734, Findian, greenhorndave, jake71, rfickes87 and 3 guests