First miss....suggestions?

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reKor11
 
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First miss....suggestions?

Postby reKor11 » Mon Nov 02, 2009 3:45 pm

Second year bowhunting and had my first legitimate shot oppurtunity today on a big doe just as shooting light was closing.  Made what I thought was a good shot but the arrow turned up clean as a whistle.  It was very dark (in hind sight maybe too dark to shoot, and I probably would not take the shot in the future), and I couldn't tell where the arrow missed.  I paced the shot off to 33 paces, a yardage I am comfortable and accurate at.  Thinking the doe jumped the string.  My question is this...I shoot a very old Browning timberwolf that is loud and slow (only 55 lb draw).  I grunted to the doe to get her to stop so I could shoot, thus putting her on alert.  With this set up would I be better off waiting until the deer stop naturally rather than forcing them to stop with a noise.  Any suggestions would be great...thanks!

Bluegrass Archer
 
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RE: First miss....suggestions?

Postby Bluegrass Archer » Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:13 pm

9 times out of 10 they arnt gona react fast to avoid that arrow. I missed my first bow shot too, it was mostly about nerves and i wasnt following my routine at all, so i torqued my bow and missed high. It could be nerves, or just too dark to place the pin accurately. But you did do the right thing by stopping that deer.

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WiredToHunt
 
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RE: First miss....suggestions?

Postby WiredToHunt » Mon Nov 02, 2009 6:58 pm

Sorry bout the miss reKor, I feel your pain. I had my first miss on a deer about a week and a half ago and I'm still having nightmares about it. In my case I pulled the arrow a couple inches to the right and I hit a sapling, ugh it pains me to think about it again haha. That being said, the best thing you can do now is keep your head up and keep practicing. Like Bluegrass said, most of the time stopping a deer w/a grunt or small noise will not be a problem. Taking the risk of alerting them is better than risking a moving shot in my book. To combat deer "jumping the string", I try to aim in the lower 1/3 of the kill zone for a deer. That way if the deer does duck down, I have a kill shot, if the deer stays at a normal level I still get in the kill zone. For more info about deer jumping the string and ways to deal with it, check out this article, "Jumping The String".

Good luck next time reKor.
Wired To Hunt
The Deer Hunting Blog for the Next Generation
http://www.wiredtohunt.com

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Woods Walker
 
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RE: First miss....suggestions?

Postby Woods Walker » Tue Nov 03, 2009 2:01 am

Couple of things.....
 
1. Be THANKFUL that it was a clean miss, and not a bad hit.
 
2. JMO, and I wasn't there, but based on some of the things you said.....33 yards....."maybe" too dark to shoot.....think about this:
 
33 yards under hunting conditions, in the woods, in marginal shooting light, just may be too far. What you are "comfortable" with under practice or 3-D shoot conditions many times must be reduced by HALF for field conditions under good light situations. Also, at 33 yards, in the woods, in low light conditions, you also would have a hard time telling at just what ANGLE that deer was to you. It'd be very easy in those circumstances to misjudge and take a shot at a deer that's in fact quartering TO you, and you wind up with a bad hit. How many times have you heard someone say, "I saw that arrow go RIGHT IN the spot behind the front leg, but we tracked that deer for 1 mile and it never did stop." Well...it may have gone in at that point, but if the shot ANGLE was off, then the vitals were all or partially missed. A double lung shot deer CANNOT go more than a couple hundred yards at most, and certainly not a mile.
 
3. Deer Was On Alert: Combine the above with the "jump string" possibility. There is no bow made that is faster than the speed of sound. The technology still has around 900 FPS to make up before they get close to that. I once had a small buck duck an arrow at 15 yards from a treestand, that I fortunately missed clean. They don't always do this, but believe me they CAN and they WILL. This is the main reason why I don't like a bowshot at an alert animal. I prefer them feeding, or otherwise occupied, even to the point of being in the midst of taking a step forward with the near side front leg. If they are moving a part of their body...front leg, head/neck, rear leg to scratch, etc., that gives you a big advantage in lessening the odds of a string jump. This is also why I prefer not to use calls for bowhunting, because just by the fact that they respond to the call puts them on alert, AND they WILL BE LOOKING FOR THE SOURCE OF THE SOUND.....YOU!!!  Deer seem to have a knack for knowing RIGHT where a sound comes from, and will many times be looking straight at you even though they came from 100 yards away or more.
 
Anyway, thus goes the hunt. ALL of us have done similar things in the past, that's how you learn. It's great that you have a place like this to come to and get different opinions about what to do. Just leran from this experience, and keep at it! Best of luck........
Hunt Hard,

Kill Swiftly,

Waste Nothing,

Offer No Apologies.....

>>>--------------------------------->
NRA Endowment Life Member

reKor11
 
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RE: First miss....suggestions?

Postby reKor11 » Tue Nov 03, 2009 2:09 am

Thanks for all the input.  All of you made excellent points and eased my mind a bit haha.  I have been gun hunting for several years as well and like to think I am a very ethical hunter.  That being said, woodswalker is completely right.  I thank god that I missed clean , and like I said in the first post this will be a shot I will pass up in the future.  Good ol fashioned nerves and adrenaline got the best of me.

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eagle eye
 
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RE: First miss....suggestions?

Postby eagle eye » Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:21 am

reKOr, i have been bow hunting for nearly 30 years and I think the most important thing I have learned over the years is patience. Often times the deer that is 30+ yards out will meander around and present a shot that is more favorable. Most of the shots that I take with a bow are less than 20 yards and they are on deer that have been in view for a considerable amount of time. That deer at first light will not be the only deer you see and if you can let her pass at first light with out detecting you than you have not given away your location, thus making it probable that that animal as well as others will pass by as well. On many occasions I have watched the same deer go in and out of sight all around me. As long as I do not spook them and they can feel secure they will continue to stay in an area.
I prefer to hunt funnels and natural food sources because in these areas as opposed to food plots the deer tend to be much more relaxed. Therefore I can react in a similar manner. I can sit back and just let it unfold in front of me. Over the past 5 years I have let nearly 100 deer walk by me per shot that I take.  That teaches me a lot about how deer move and what they can tell me by their ears, eyes and body language. Become a student of the animal and you will enjoy what you are seeing as well as have additional opportunities. Practice is something that must be done throughout the season as opposed to just throughout the summer. Accurate shooting is a result of practicing in a similar shooting environment as when you are hunting, which includes lighting conditions, from a stand, clothing, and obstructed views. I promise you the more you learn about the animals and practice in hunting scenarios you will improve the quality of your hunts. These will mot eliminate missing but it will greatly reduce it.
Good luck and continue to hone your skills
John Wojtas
Enjoying the moment and always striving to enhance our hunting heritage

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ranwin33
 
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RE: First miss....suggestions?

Postby ranwin33 » Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:19 am

I seldom use a sound to stop a deer, most will stop on their own accord and if you've given yourself big enough shooting lanes, shot opportunities shouldn't be a problem. 
 
Not to say I wouldn't stop a deer, but I just as soon not put them on alert if I don't have too.  This is one of those practices we see on hunting shows that happen all the time and really isn't necessary in most cases.
“There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.”
Aldo Leopold

msbadger
 
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RE: First miss....suggestions?

Postby msbadger » Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:33 am

Been there... this year....remember...don't grip your bow!...[8|]ha ha ha[;)]
Seriously the guys gave good advise and I agree with WW....if they are moving slow...taking a shot with them taking a step forward is a good thing...I shoot a 15 yr old bow set at 51 #'s and have shot a 45# recurve ...yes they can jump the string and will...unless close to you...33yrds and I know I could count on a drop and swing away form any deer with my equipment

Some times the hardest thing we have to learn is when  not to shoot and that's experience....you may very well see a good hit on your deer....but if you can't see where it's going after the shot ...you could loose it....They zigg and zag...some times circle back on you and if for any reason the hole is plugged or the shot high and they are bleeding in side....... a blood trail  may not present well...or if your near swamps or water....actually seeing your shot is a small part of the equation...Good Luck [:)]

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Woods Walker
 
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RE: First miss....suggestions?

Postby Woods Walker » Tue Nov 03, 2009 6:15 am

reKOr: You made the comment that you have been gun hunting. That's good, and many of us do that too. But be aware that for a gun hunter, shooting through a front shoulder is no biggie, except for the meat damage. ANY shotgun slug or rifle bullet will most times go clear through both front shoulders and the chest with no problem.
 
But therein lies the big difference between gun and bowhunting.
 
You want to avoid shooting through a shoulder with an arrow at all costs, and it's why the quartering AWAY shot is the most prefered amongst most bowhunters. I mentioned and msbager commented on the desire to see the deer move it's inside front leg forward before you let the arrow loose. At the very minimum, you'd want to make sure that the inside front leg wasn't BACK BEHIND the outside front leg. If it is behind, then you may not only have the shoulder muscle to shoot through, but maybe also a leg bone or a shoulder blade....NOT good.
 
I butcher and bone all my deer, and the front shoulder is an intricate mass of zig-zag bone, gristley joints, and big
"L" shaped shoulder blades that no arrow is going to go too far in, no less go through and into the chest cavity where it's real job begins.

 
You will find that bowhunting gives the hunter a LOT MORE to have to think about!!!! [:)]
Hunt Hard,

Kill Swiftly,

Waste Nothing,

Offer No Apologies.....

>>>--------------------------------->
NRA Endowment Life Member

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buckhunter21
 
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RE: First miss....suggestions?

Postby buckhunter21 » Tue Nov 03, 2009 12:30 pm

Second year bowhunting and had my first legitimate shot oppurtunity today on a big doe just as shooting light was closing.

 
With it being your second year of bowhunting, and with very low light conditions, maybe it's better to get some experience under your belt first before performing this shot...Also, even for a guy that's been hunting for 20+ years like myself, taking a shot under low light conditions where you cannot see if you hit the deer or not may not be in the best interest either.  If you're an experienced shooter, 33 yards isn't too bad...But if you are saying you've only been shooting for two years that may be out of your comfort zone?  But then you said you were comfortable with the shot so we'll leave it as that...Everyone's different.  Just chalk it up to something that you'll learn from!  We've all been there!
QDM!

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