As long as we're sharing stories, let me offer one to counter the one above.
The buck in the photo stepped out into the edge of a picked bean field and squared off with my decoy. He was facing me head on with his ears pinned back at 20 yards. I sat at full draw until I began to shake. I finally let my draw down and somehow escaped detection. A few moments later he walked up to the decoy, which was 12 yards from the base of my stand. I drew again and he stopped, still head on. Again, he gave my decoy the evil eye until I could not hold my draw. He was at 12-13 yards but I was not about to risk hitting one lung or sticking his shoulder blade! I let my draw down a second time. Luckily he was fixed on the decoy. A few moments later he turned to his right and stepped into the field. I put a rage right in his pump station and he dropped within 60 yards.
I do not think confidence is enough justification for me to take a marginal shot. I could have risked it and said, "It was the only shot I had." After all, I can thread a needle at that range. But waiting him out made that night one of the most memorable in my hunting career. Taking the head on shot might have ruined it forever.
Your situation is much different in my opinion. You had a buck, that was clearly hanging around and would be for some time allowing you to take multiple draws on it. Often times these animals do not present this kind of timing, nor do they allow multiple takes. In any case, your buck was more interested in the decoy and at some point or another I think any bowhunter here would have waited for the shot to present itself. In many situations, without decoys or distractions to occupy a deer's time, it becomes instantaneous, such as follows:
[ul][*]The buck immediately spots you when you see him and you are both at stalemates, with him more than likely bolting in a matter of seconds.
[*]The buck is chasing a doe and when you stop him with a grunt or bleat or something he ends up facing you.
[*]The buck is quickly moving out of range or closer and is clearly on a path, which is not condusive to any type of quarter or broadside and it becomes clear he has no intention of hanging around responding to any calls, scents, ect..... Nothing you do turns him the right way in other words. It becomes a stand off and you risk getting completely busted or losing the buck for good.
[*]You've waited and waited and this buck isn't turning and it's getting dark out to the point where you have to make a decision to shoot within the next minute or two. [/ul]
These scenerios play out in hunting, its bound to happen. Of course I'm not saying you have to make this decesion every time to take the shot as many other factors play out. It depends on size of buck, days in season left, range, broadhead type, ect.... But, It is my humble opinion that your situation clearly showed the buck was very interested in the decoy and at some point would probably take many attempts and routes at this "fake" deer maybe even smashing it to smitherines at some point. In other words, chances were good in your scenerio that the deer would eventually present a less marginal shot. I would have no problem waiting out a deer in your situation and I think it was the correct decision. Regrettably, your situation doesn't happen all the time in the woods and quick decisions along with poor angles are the only option one has. Nice buck by the way. I've always liked taller than wider and he's a dandy.
"I enjoy and become completely immersed in the challenge and the increased opportunity to become for a time a part of nature. Deer hunting is a classical exercise in freedom. It�s a return to fundamentals that I distinctly feel are basic and right"-F.B.