What Caused Your Last Miss?

How can you become a better hunter? Find out here — and share your advice!
User avatar
Ben Sobieck
Posts: 443
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 8:29 am

What Caused Your Last Miss?

Postby Ben Sobieck » Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:56 pm

The next episode of Deer & Deer Hunting TV examines the reasons hunters miss "gimme shots." Catch this episode at 4:30 p.m. Eastern on Aug. 12and 9 a.m. Eastern Aug. 13 on Versus.

What caused your last miss? What did you change after it happened?

P.S. Watch a preview of that episode here.

Posts: 94
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2011 7:53 am

Re: What Caused Your Last Miss?

Postby rmontez » Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:00 pm

Thinking my bow went undisturbed after the previous years hunting. I never sighted in or took any practice shots and it cost me a nice 10 point buck that I never seen after the miss!

User avatar
Posts: 2696
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 3:01 pm
Location: Ohio

Re: What Caused Your Last Miss?

Postby kellory » Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:57 pm

My last miss was with a 12ga sabot. We arrived late due to car problems, and we decided that checking that scope was unneeded due to the fact it had been hardcased for months. We didn't want to spook any game before the first hunting day. I had my spur blind and set up with an excelent field of fire and good cover, I had placed myself rather well for soon a half dozen does came through on the far side of the clearing, no more than 80yds with an adjustable scope set at 3 1/2X , child's play. I squeezed off a careful shot at a standing doe, and watched as my slug clipped a tree nearly 15ft ahead of her!. The report startled a much larger doe that I did not even know was behind me and coming forward. She shot passed me at a full run at about 10ft! I stood, and leveled the gun without truly aimimg, and she tumbled head over heels and lay still. It was a spine shot, and she folded like a house of cards. My brother brought a bore sighter( looks like a shot gun shell, and I'm gonna get own of my own) and with a target, and the boresight, my scope was off more than 6ft in 50yds. I am careful with my guns, and I don't know just what happed to my scope, but I will double check with a boresighter from now on before any hunt.
The only real difference between a good tracker and a bad tracker is observation. All the same data is present for both. The rest is understanding what you are seeing.

User avatar
Woods Walker
Posts: 4970
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2008 10:21 am
Location: Northern Illinois

Re: What Caused Your Last Miss?

Postby Woods Walker » Thu Aug 11, 2011 9:22 pm

Gun: Several years ago we had a about 30" of snow for the second half of firearm deer deer season. The day after the blizzard when the sky cleared and the sun came out, I hit the woods. I went to a lee slope where the wind was non-existant, and stillhunted my way down to where I knew there was heavy cover and where the deer may have been bedded. My guess was right, as a 2.5 year old 10 pointer came out of the cover angling towards me. At 65 yards, I held on his chest while resting my shooting arm against as tree and fired. The deer bolted and run down the bluff and into the heavy cover across the road. When I got to his tracks, I could see by the blood and the tracks that I'd hit him in the front leg! Now.....I shoot a Browning A-Bolt 12 gauge with a Leupold 1.5X5 scope, and Winchester Partition Gold Sabots. The gun is zero'ed at 100 yards, and I don't have to think about holdover until about 140 yards. At 100 yards off the bench I usually have a 3 shot group that's one big hole if I do my job. I went back for the landowner (the deer had gone off his property, and I could only go after the deer if he was with me), and we looked for the deer for the rest of the day, and he never stopped or bedded.....I lost him. The first thing I did when I went back to camp to call the landowner, was to shoot a 3 shot group at 65 yards. Yup..all three shot in the same hole. The only thing I can think of was that I hit a branch, because I was rock solid when I shot, I was not winded, and certainly not rushed.

Bow: Missed a "gimme" shot on a forky buck at 15 yards. Shot high, from the ground. Why? I SHOT AT THE WHOLE DEER!!!! Like I've never shot a deer before!!! :oops:
Hunt Hard,

Kill Swiftly,

Waste Nothing,

Offer No Apologies.....

NRA Endowment Life Member

User avatar
Posts: 195
Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2009 5:27 am
Location: Central Illinois

Re: What Caused Your Last Miss?

Postby 4khorn » Fri Aug 12, 2011 8:09 am

Back in 07 I missed what would have been my best buck so far in my short hunting career. He walked in and stopped 15 yards away but was head on. Didn't take long for him to notice something peculiar in the tree above. He turned to leave and I didn't settle my pin, just tried to swing with him. I shot right over the top. Over and over I replay that hunt. A simple grunt would have stopped him broadside and I think I could sealed the deal. The hunt taught me that spooked deer don't always blow out of an area like lightning. A lot of times they leave slowly on pins and needles. Next time I will be more patient.
My pursuit of a buck of a lifetime is much like the Chicago Cubs pursuit of a World Series...the season ends with a "wait til next year"


User avatar
Posts: 265
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:35 am
Location: Eau Claire, WI

Re: What Caused Your Last Miss?

Postby pgchambers » Fri Aug 12, 2011 9:17 am

I had a stud of a buck standing at 19yds totally unaware. When I fired, my bow hit the safety rail on my treestand on the follow through. I wasn't leaning out far enough, and it was just enough to take about ten feet off my shot. Good news - complete miss. Bad news - the trail camera pics of this guy pour salt on this wound every time I look at them.
Respect - don't take it, unless you are willing to give it.
Responsibility - don't give it, unless you are willing to take it.

User avatar
Posts: 426
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2008 8:06 am
Location: Land of Lincoln

Re: What Caused Your Last Miss?

Postby jonny5buck » Fri Aug 12, 2011 3:15 pm

pgchambers wrote:I had a stud of a buck standing at 19yds totally unaware. When I fired, my bow hit the safety rail on my treestand on the follow through. I wasn't leaning out far enough, and it was just enough to take about ten feet off my shot. Good news - complete miss. Bad news - the trail camera pics of this guy pour salt on this wound every time I look at them.

I had a similar experience [but a doe] ..with my summit stand..a few yrs ago...one thing i do not like with most climbers is that rail that you sit on when climbing...it makes for easy climbing ,but us bow hunters have to get creative with angle shots...i had the bottom cam hit the rail padding....the sound made me think the bow exploded or the string broke...the hit was high and the deer was never recovered...

The next day i took my climber and set up on a cherry tree about the same height as the missed shot...i had a decoy/deer target set in the aprox. distance /angle as the previous miss...when i went thru the motions and released i had the same results....and i figured out i wasnt out far enough[outside that rail].....all it takes is to touch that bow on something or to catch a coat sleeve or facemask to result in a missed or poor shot...now i always do a few dry pull scenarios in the climber,but still regard the rail as an obstacle and a negative more than a positive.

User avatar
Posts: 616
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2008 9:26 am
Location: Northern IL

Re: What Caused Your Last Miss?

Postby bobow » Fri Aug 12, 2011 3:21 pm

Bow hunting, early low light & shot at a nice 8 point; hit a small twig & up & over. Clean miss.

All I heard was him laughing. He would stop @ every 50 yards and laugh some more...
Thomas Jefferson, 1774 July. "The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time."

Life Member: NRA, ISRA; Member CCRA

User avatar
Posts: 68
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 2010 8:24 pm

Re: What Caused Your Last Miss?

Postby w4sar » Thu Aug 18, 2011 7:21 am

Last December, was on a rare snowy day in the North Carolina Piedmont. I was climbing into my ladder stand, slipped and slammed my rifle scope against one of the rails. A couple of hours later, had a broadside shot at 85 yards at a doe, she took off over the ridge limping. I go over the ridge expecting to see her piled up but she is gone. Fortunately, the freshly fallen snow allows me to follow her tracks all the way from where she was standing to the property line, about 200 yards. Not a spot of blood anywhere.

I go to the range the next day, at 100 yards my shot is 13" low, so I'm satisfied my attempted heart shot went under her. From now on, If I bump a scope, I won't use the rifle until sighted in again, and I'll keep a spare weapon in the car.

As a follow up:
About a week later a doe comes up to precisely the same spot, this time my shot goes through the lungs. It may have been the same doe, as I find it has cracks in both front hooves, which might account for the limp I saw.
David J. Snyder
Orange County, NC

User avatar
Cut N Run
Posts: 540
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 10:21 am

Re: What Caused Your Last Miss?

Postby Cut N Run » Fri Aug 26, 2011 8:43 am

Two years ago, I rushed a shot on a doe walking away @135 yards in heavy cover. Her vitals were behind some brush & weeds, so I tried a head shot & missed her clean. The year before that, I had a head shot on a doe @ 190 yards where I had time to make a good shot and she dropped where she stood.

Luck Counts, good or bad


Return to Best Practices

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests