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I am trying to deal with a mistake or maybe several I made over the past two weekends. I have been hunting from the same tree now for 3 years. Last year I got my first deer/buck from this tree. Last weekend on my first real attempt on rattling and grunting a buck, I pulled one within 5 minutes of the first sequence. he came right to the tree I was in and stopped with nothing between us except a heavily laden sapling. I opted to wait for him to present a better shot and watched as he put his nose to the ground and picked up the scent of something he didn't like and was gone. Raising the elevation of the stand that morning from my typical 20' to the new 30' height seemed like a good idea at the time. MISTAKE #1. I really didn't want to get busted and height has its advantages. As I descended later that day and came down to the 20' level, I realized I could have made the shot from there and wouldn't have had to wait for him to present a better one. Having shot this buck would have prevented me from second guessing my actions and I would have been here in this tree the next day. Since I didn't shoot this deer I began to look at the area he came in from MISTAKE #2 and noticed a lot of trail activity 50+ yards to the west of me. I moved the next day to an intercept position approx. 50yds form the tree and trail I had been hunting. MISTAKE #3 at around 8oam a nice 8-10 pointer (I say 8-10 pointer because I have trained myself not to count points on deer that are still standing, so I really don't know) comes into view and totally ignores all attempts to grunt rattle and snort wheeze him in my direction and then proceeds to walk within 10' of the tree I just moved from, 6 ' actually.

My mechanical release is the type that the head swivels in front of the trigger so I can rotate my hand anyway I want even after engaging the bow string. It is also a hand held type, if you let go of it,it will fall from your hand. I just bought a strap on type of the same configuration and really have not spent much time getting used to it. MISTAKE #4

This past weekend, Saturday more specifically. I set up the hunt perfectly.
Buck bomb, fuses, scent elimination procedures etc.
After shooting at 1 buck in a group of 3 that came in together following the buck bomb trail. and ricocheting off a twig and embedding the arrow into a sapling, I had some time to reflect on what had happened and dismiss it as (oh well, that happens).

Half an hour later, down the same trail I spot another deer. As it approaches the horn comes into view (looks like a nice buck!). he starts to move in the direction of the trail I setup on last week as an intercept point and then hangs a u turn and start to follow the buck bomb trail I put down that morning. As he gets increasingly closer, I realize this is the same buck I missed last week because I wasn't sitting here. (I am now in shock) He is following the trail which goes past a sapling little more than 5 yds in front of the tree I am in. As he passes the sapling the scent trail ends but he catches the full aroma of the fuse hanging in the sapling and does a 180. He is now at quartering toward me to broadside in front of me at 15' (this shot doesn't even require aiming) his nose high in the air, I start drawing and at 1/4 draw the releases calipers open and the arrow sails 20 yds to the left. (I thought the string had failed as it will need replacing after this season.) the buck flags and bolts away as I stand there in disbelief and utter shock. This deer mind you would have made up for 20 years of sitting in stands, braving the elements spending good money on new and improved tools of the trade etc. And all I had to do was what I have done so so many times before, go completely to full draw, point and shoot. THE DEER WAS SMOKED. PERIOD. I have had some time to replay all the events on the past 2 weekends and to revisit the ifs and or buts as well as the whats and what ifs. The bottom line is every little decision you make can have a profound consequence on future results. but nothing is more important and controllable as proper preparation.
 

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It sounds like a pretty normal time in the woods to me, you are doing this as a pastime and do/can/will make mistakes that are hard learned lessons.
You are hunting in the deers living room so to speak and he/she knows it a lot better than you do.
The deer also makes mistakes and at some time or another will probably make a fatal one.
Enjoy your time outdoors, just think if the memories you have already created with this one deer.
BTW, seems like I remember my failures/mistakes better than my successes as I sometimes seem to repeat them.
 

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I used to bow hunt and loved it. One of the first things I learned, never make the same mistake twice.
It hurt my pride so much to make a mistake, I was ingrained against ever letting it occur again.
Impressions by your post, may not be accurate, but you need to slow down. It sounds like you have a good place to hunt, low pressure and plenty of deer.
 

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I hunted public land and for 11 consecutive years I shot a buck from the exact tree at the exact height. I know this because after the first year I forgot to take the spike and in subsequent years I had to remove a bit of bark to hang my stand.

Mistakes happen and all you can do is work to eliminate some of them and then you will connect.
 

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All I can say is it happens to all of us. I missed a bull elk last month at 46 yards chip shot nothing between us but prairie. Still cannot for the life of me figure out how I missed that bull. Oh yah he was a solid 350” bull.
 

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That’s why they call it hunting. And not killing. If you kill the first thing that comes by what are you going to do the rest of the season. You never know what is in store for you enjoy what you have and share it with someone. You will be the winner I guarantee it!
Don


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As far as hunting goes My worst mistake was the FIRST ,and probably biggest , deer I ever shot at at. I was a VERY young green kid . It was on one of my Dad's farm in KY. My Dad dropped me off by a deer trail beside a huge oak tree .First mistake, I needed to relive myself and did not keep the 30-30 close at hand . When I stepped back around the tree I was looking at a huge buck. I grabbed up the gun but ,the Buck saw my movement and whirled just as I shot, and I hit hit him too far back. Second mistake I pushed after him instead of just sitting down and waiting for him to lay down and follow the blood trail later. We never found him. Some neighbors finally found him near by on their grown up farm about a week later . To this day I have never lost another deer that I" know" I have hit. Experience is a hard teacher ! 😕
 

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I've been deer hunting for 42 years and I have made many mistakes and had many successes.
A few years ago I was in my brother's treestand with my crossbow about 40 yards off a bean field. I spotted a big michigan 8 point crossing the field and coming towards me. First saw him at over 100 yards away and he was on a path to pass right behind me so I turned and got ready. My heart was pounding and I was trying to control my breathing as he got closer and closer. I picked my opening at 35 yards where I planned to shoot. When he got there I grunted and he stopped so I took the shot.
My bolt sailed just over his back and stuck into a tree behind him. He ran off about 30 yards, stopped turned around and started slowly walking back towards me. With all my strength I cocked the crossbow, loaded another bolt and got ready. Then he turned broadside at almost the same spot as the first shot. I pulled the trigger and bolt number 2 sailed over his back and hit a downed log. This time he ran off and did not come back.
I was mad as hell so I went back to the truck, got the target out and shot the crossbow to see if the scope lost zero. Nope. My 25, 35, and 45 crosshairs were dead on.
I went back for the evening hunt with my rangefinder and found that the buck was only about 21 yards away when I took both shots. I misjudged the yardage bigtime and used my 35 yard crosshair which is why I missed high on not one, but two shots on the same buck within 5 minutes.
I love deer hunting.
 

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Most of my mistakes hunting had to do with who I chose to take with me. When a guy shows up with a 1100, an ammo belt like Pancho Villa in an old western movie and a bottle of peach schnapps for a fall squirrel hunt, things are not going to go well
And yet, you still let Doc Bombay hunt with you..... :sneaky:
 

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Shooting that monster 12 point whitetail, while he was bedded at 40 yards. He was under an apple tree limb, head up ,into the wind. It was snowing hard, and I was creeping along when I spotted him. This was the 3rd year we had seen him feeding in the neighbors corn.
I touched off, and he left to his feet staggering , as got on his shoulder for the second shot, he stumbled. I hesitated, he cleared the limbs and I lost him in the snow. No worries, we had a great tracking snow.
After reloading, and a few deep breaths, I walked to where he was bedded. Just in front of where should have been his vitals. Was an ant hill covered in snow. No exit from the ant mound .
I trailed him most of that day, only getting a glimpse once.
Hey didn't I keep shooting ? 😭
 

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I just love these kind of deer stories. You have to remember that were not professionals. And when stuff like this happens, we always come back for more. I shot my first buck when I was 14. I was sitting right in the runway. I shot in self-defense. I wonder
 

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Shot my first deer on leave after my first tour in Asia. My adrenaline dump hit me harder than the reaction after my first firefight. I was sitting on a house size Boulder over a creek and the deer was down below. One shot. Down it went. I started shaking and damn near shook loose from that Boulder. Took several minutes to recover. It’s never bothered me since. Two, almost 3 more tours in Asia and nothing hit me that hard.

Funny.
 
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