In early November I was hunting a buddy's stand on a property I had never been to before. The stand was a 15 foot leaner on a small hill overlooking the edge of a large clear cut with several years growth as it transitioned to some mixed hardwoods. Between the edges was a sandy road on which at the bottom was a feeder. I was told the feeder was 110 yards from the stand, then the land started to rise again. My buddy said he had never seen a buck there but recently he had seen plenty of does come to the feeder just before dark and being a doe day in South Carolina, I could take my pick of does. However, if a buck happened to come through, it had to be eight or better. Well, sure enough I listened to my buddy thinking only does would come. So I sat down playing Angry Birds on my phone and waited for dark. Now, what I hadn't considered is that being November, where the does are, the bucks will soon enough come. So sure enough while tapping away on my phone I caught some movement in the clear cut, but it was moving quick towards the hardwoods. I was unprepared and didn't have my binos out of the case so I quickly got them out and put them up to take a look. When I did he was staring right back at me. All I could see was the neck up, but on his head was at least a 16" main eight with a big drop tine on his left side. My heart went "kaboom!" as it was certainly the best buck I've seen in my limited hunting experience. I put the binos down and grabbed my rifle. When I did the buck started trotting. It had about 20 yards to go until it was in the road, once it passed that it would be in the hardwoods and impossible to see. So in that two seconds I thought to myself, "Just yell, they do it on the TV shows all the time. That should stop it for a second." So when the buck got to the road at what I thought was 20 yards passed the feeder I did my best bleat yell, I probably sounded like a kid yelling "Ma!" but it stopped him. He was quartered away facing left, I put the crosshairs (which were on at 100 yards) on his pump room and squeezed. The shot rang, the buck ran.
That night when my buddy came to pick me up we looked for an hour and didn't find a drop of blood, a tuft of hair, or kicked up dirt. What I hadn't thought of was the way the land rose after the feeder. What I thought was a 130 yard shot and aimed level was in actuality, 210 yards and maybe 20 feet under my barrel. I must have shot right through his legs.
Suffice to say what caused me to miss was probably a combination of things. So all I can say is next year I will - Learn to range targets better, not play on my phone as much, and I most certainly will not listen to anybody if they say "only does come here".