I made a rookie mistake today!


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Win73
January 4, 2013, 11:35 PM
I made a rookie mistake today while deer hunting. I don't consider myself a rookie since I have put 14 deer on the ground in the last seven seasons with 14 shots. And I have watched hundreds of deer while deer hunting.

I first spotted him on the wrong side of the fence. He looked like an eight pointer. In a few minutes he jumped to my side. It was a 200 yard shot (I have the range marked at every 50 yards with markers on the fence posts). He was partially obscured by brush but the vital area was exposed. It was a do able shot. I have a solid rest in my shooting house and have a Nikon Buckmasters 3-9x40 on my '06. I decided to wait for a better shot. Wrong decision! He faded into the brush and I never saw him again.

Moral of this story? If you get a do able shot on a nice buck, you better take it. The big bucks don't get that way by giving hunters easy shots.

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ridgerunner1965
January 5, 2013, 12:38 AM
to me you didnt really make a mistake.if you had felt comfortable with the shot you would of taken it. ive often sighted on a deer and waited for the perfect shot and he turned and faded into the brush.i never really worried about it.the older i get the less im liable to take a less than optimal shot.

it does stink tho if your out of meat and you will kick yourself around a bit about it. just think tho next year he will be bigger!

Pat4x4
January 5, 2013, 01:32 AM
Sounds like you made the right call to me..Nothing wrong to take the "better shot" Now if you needed food on the table to survive that would be a different story.

Patocazador
January 5, 2013, 10:46 AM
I'm sure most of you have experienced a situation or three where indecision messed up your hunt. I have found that you have to have your brain on straight before going hunting. That means being psyched up enough to feel that killer instinct. "If the deer gives me a chance, I'm going to jump on it - no doubting or indecision."
It all seems to work well when I have that attitude but when I'm indecisive .. "maybe I should wait for a better shot" .. or .. "is he big enough? Maybe I should wait & see if something bigger comes out" .. things get goofed in a hurry.

These scenarios set you up for failure. Make a decision and follow it up 100% and you'll have more successful hunts. Just an observation from 45 years of deer hunting.

buck460XVR
January 5, 2013, 12:47 PM
Moral of this story? If you get a do able shot on a nice buck, you better take it. The big bucks don't get that way by giving hunters easy shots.



It's thinking like this that makes folk rush their shots. If you felt uncomfortable with the shot, you did the right thing in letting the buck pass. I've always felt better after passing on a so-so shot than after loosin' a blood trail.

armedwalleye
January 5, 2013, 04:18 PM
No shame in passing on a shot you're not comfortable with. That's the mark of a sportsman and what distinguishes us from the "slob hunters".

I think we owe it to the game we pursue.

Better no shot than a bad shot.

AABEN
January 5, 2013, 04:48 PM
no shame in passing on a shot you're not comfortable with. That's the mark of a sportsman and what distinguishes us from the "slob hunters".

I think we owe it to the game we pursue.

Better no shot than a bad shot.
well put thank

1911 guy
January 5, 2013, 04:52 PM
There's two kinds of hunting; sport and survival. If you were hunting for food you had no other way of obtaining, I'd be berating you just as badly as you seem to be yourself.

However...

Most of us hunt for sport. And there is absolutely NO shame or regret to be had in passing a shot you have ANY question about. Far better to wonder if you might have pulled the shot off than to wound and not recover an animal due to a blown shot.

ETA: Post #6 says it very well.

ngnrd
January 5, 2013, 05:33 PM
Doesn't seem like a rookie mistake to me. On the contrary, it seems like a good decision made by a mature hunter. The mistake would have been to take a shot that you weren't comfortable with.

Kudos to you.

gspn
January 6, 2013, 12:02 AM
If you'd have shot poorly and wounded him you'd be writing to tell us "always go with your gut if it tells you to wait for a better shot."

You did good. You can't kill all the deer all the time...he's still out there and you know where he likes to cross the fence. Now you know the cards he's holding...play your hand well and come back to us with pictures.

gspn
January 6, 2013, 12:05 AM
No shame in passing on a shot you're not comfortable with. That's the mark of a sportsman and what distinguishes us from the "slob hunters".

I think we owe it to the game we pursue.

Better no shot than a bad shot.
Very well said. When my son was around 8 years old he was upset that he passed up a shot he had on a whitetail that he stalked. I watched the whole thing go down. He was about in tears...I told him I couldn't be more proud of him for knowing when he CAN'T make the shot and having the discipline to pass it up. Most grown men I know still don't have that wisdom.

Win73
January 6, 2013, 12:28 AM
After thinking about it and reading the other posts, I agree with you guys. I did the right thing by not shooting. I definitely didn't need the meat for survival. In fact I still have venison left from last seasons deer (I killed four. Gave two away and kept two.). And I have already put one in the freezer this season.

This afternoon I had seven deer feeding right in front of me. Not an antler among them. I let all seven walk.

BTW, here is the deer I killed this season on Dec. 10.

http://i1322.photobucket.com/albums/u570/TruckinHunter/Deer/1.jpg

http://i1322.photobucket.com/albums/u570/TruckinHunter/Deer/2.jpg

http://i1322.photobucket.com/albums/u570/TruckinHunter/Deer/3.jpg

Pat4x4
January 6, 2013, 12:30 AM
Good deal man.. Glad you feel better about it..

twofifty
January 6, 2013, 01:55 AM
Sweet thread full of ethical comments. Kudos to all.

Patocazador I needed to hear what you said and will apply it next year.

Davek1977
January 6, 2013, 12:03 PM
I agree that no mistake was made. Opening weekend, I had a "chance" at a beautiful mulie buck, only about 200 yards away. I had the crosshairs on him several times, but even though i had a few "doeable" shots, I just didn't feel quit right about any of them. That deer got away from me, and literally haunted my dreams for days after. Two weeks later, I had a chance to hunt the same area. This time, things went more in my favor, and I spotted him again (easily recognizable by a kicker point on his right side). This time, I was able to take a shot I had confidence in, and the deer never took another step. I'm admiring his antlers on my wall as I type this

gspn
January 6, 2013, 03:31 PM
I agree that no mistake was made. Opening weekend, I had a "chance" at a beautiful mulie buck, only about 200 yards away. I had the crosshairs on him several times, but even though i had a few "doeable" shots, I just didn't feel quit right about any of them. That deer got away from me, and literally haunted my dreams for days after. Two weeks later, I had a chance to hunt the same area. This time, things went more in my favor, and I spotted him again (easily recognizable by a kicker point on his right side). This time, I was able to take a shot I had confidence in, and the deer never took another step. I'm admiring his antlers on my wall as I type this
That's a great story! Patience, determination, skill and a little luck come together to create success.

41 Mag
January 7, 2013, 06:36 AM
I made a rookie mistake today while deer hunting. I don't consider myself a rookie since I have put 14 deer on the ground in the last seven seasons with 14 shots. And I have watched hundreds of deer while deer hunting.

I first spotted him on the wrong side of the fence. He looked like an eight pointer. In a few minutes he jumped to my side. It was a 200 yard shot (I have the range marked at every 50 yards with markers on the fence posts). He was partially obscured by brush but the vital area was exposed. It was a do able shot. I have a solid rest in my shooting house and have a Nikon Buckmasters 3-9x40 on my '06. I decided to wait for a better shot. Wrong decision! He faded into the brush and I never saw him again.

Moral of this story? If you get a do able shot on a nice buck, you better take it. The big bucks don't get that way by giving hunters easy shots.

I'm only a year from the half century mark, and not that I am close to being Danial Boone, but I have had been hunting since I was old enough to keep up with pop as he made his way into the woods, and I shot my first deer at 6. I can't even remember how many deer I have put in the freezer over the years. I do however very well remember the one I thought to myself, bang, I got you, and I win, see you next year, and walked away from.

That said, I know MANY folks who have hunted a LONG time that I still feel are "rookies". What you have posted here, is a clear sign that your knowledge, and patients have taken over, and you are maturing as a complete hunter. There is nothing in the world that makes me more sick to my stomach, than when I make a shot I know in the back of my head is questionable, and the deer disappears from view. I have found 99% of them, but those I didn't left a VERY lasting impression on me. Like you said they don't get big giving away easy shots, but they also don't get bigger being put on the ground just because you can either.

My grandson(11) and I sat in 26 - 32 degree weather weekend before last. He didn't say a word about his shivering or anything. Where we were hunting on a 10 acre plot, 35yds would probably be the longest shot we could get even if we tried. We saw nothing but two squirrels from 6:00 until 8:45 when a nice 8 point appeared only 25yds from us. He had a hole to shoot through, but the deer was facing right at us, and I told him to wait. As it turned out the deer made his way along a clear cut we have along the fence, then went behind some brush, and turned away from us and headed up the hill to bed down. He mentioned something similar, "I should have shot him through that hole when I had the chance".

I explained that this is hunting and not shooting. Worst case we got to see up close and personal a VERY nice buck, and he didn't have a clue we were even in the same universe, and we had a chance at getting him later on, or possibly next year if he makes it through the season, and he would be even better.

Best case, we didn't shoot, possibly hit a limb, or gut shoot him and he high tailed it out of there and over the fence. He understood that, having had to track one he shot previously and we ended up loosing on a MUCH bigger piece of property.

So I congratulate you on your decision. Nothing wrong at all with it, and nothing "rookie" about it either.

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