two bad seasons, any advice?

Discussion in 'Bowhunting' started by collegekid, Dec 7, 2007.

  1. Hey I just wanted to see if anyone on here has had similar problems and any advice to get over it. Last year I Shot a huge buck. I see many big bucks where I hunt and this was by far the biggest. Two drop tines, probably a 200 class buck. Im not making that up. I trailed him with a nice blood trail for several hundred yards. The trail went aeay and so did he. My dog lost the trail in the same area. In all reality, I just took a bad shot and lost the buck of a lifetime. The rack got to my head and I shot the buck in the chest. The sign was good, but I never recovered the buck. Dumb. It took me until this year to get over it. I finally had the urge to hunt again. Almost exactly one year later I had a nice 150-160 class buck at 8 yards. Shot him. Aimed right behind the shoulder. He ran. Waited 30 minutes. Got down. Arrow covered from one end to the other in bright red blood. Blood trail was amazing. Tracked him for 150 yds. he crossed a road. big pile of blood in the road. Look up and I see the deer walking slowly up a hill. I backed off and went back later. Followed a nice blood trail for close to a mile. The blood trail kept crossing scrapes as the blood lessened. The darn thing was back to checking for does. A neighbor of mine saw him a couple days later, limping along with a few does. must have hit him a little far forward in the shoulder. The sad thing is i can shoot 2 inch groupings from 35 yards. Two years in a row. Two lost, once in a lifetime bucks. Any advice on how to recover from this? Im really starting to doubt my bow hunting skills. Idk, just any help would be cool. maybe i will just stick to fishing. Any guys that have shared this type of experience that have any tips on how they were able to sit in the woods without playing things lack that over and over in their heads would be nice.
  2. It will get easier with age, when I was young I had the same problems. Could shoot the 3d courses and place top 3 fairly regularly. Come hunting season I would never seem to get the job done right. Then an old family friend told me...Kill em then look at them. To this day whenever I get ready to shoot I repeat that over and over and don't seem to have the problem anymore.

  3. PapawSmith

    PapawSmith Bud n Burgers

    If that happened to me I would take a hard look at the broadheads I was shooting. I have always been a fan of cutting edge. This year my son talked me into letting him use expandable heads. I was reluctent as they have only two cutting edges, which are small, and have to function perfectly to be effective. Well he shot his first deer, about 20 yds., with the same result as you. Good hit, lots of blood at the impact location, fading blood trail, lost deer. I immediatly replaced his heads with 3 blade Montecs. I have hunted with large fixed blades for over 30 years and never had an animal run off, lost, after a well placed shot. And as far as the aerodynamic criticism about fixed blades I say bull crap espicially with todays broadheads. Have no idea if that might be a contributer to your troubles but that is the first thing I would Question.
  4. I have a ? 4 u.Have u ever shot any does?If so did u recover them?
  5. the broadheads i use, used to be my favorite. They are mechanical three blade rocket aerohead side winders. I have killed two does and two bucks with them and all four dropped within eye sight. I have definately thought about going to bigger heads. I know they use large heads for elk. I might look into that. I dont like to shoot far. The farthest i have ever shot a deer was 35 yards, counting gun kills. I just dont think its a real challenge to shoot them when they are far away. just a personal thing. So if i give up some distance for some big heads maybe i wont have this problem.
    I have been hunting the property next to where this years buck was last seen a little bit, but i have yet to see him if he is still alive. I have trouble even getting myself to get in the woods anymore.
  6. so you are saying dont look at the rack? just see its big enough to take and then shoot. I try to do that, thanks for the advice. Maybe i put too much emphasis on shooting only big bucks and mature does.
  7. Truck in on the right track. The broadhead has nothing to do with it, it's all about shot placement. Your problem (and many others) is focus during the shot. Your getting in a hurry and not focusing where you need to hit. I've done it many times, and still do on occasions. All the backyard target practice in the world won't prepare you for a shot at a live animal. The best thing to do is take advantage of any doe tags you can get. Talk yourself through the shot and never lose focus on what you need to do to hit where you want. It takes experiece and practice, and the only way to do that is to fill those tags. Eventually, you'll be able to stay focused, no matter the target.
  8. Only advice...don't kill yourself over it....espeically this year's buck as it sounds like you made a decent shot. I was videotaping my father-in-law earlier in the year and he made a great shot on a buck at 30 yrds. We tracked it for 200+ yards and then the blood trail thinned out and we lost it. After watching the video, the shot was perfect in almost every way. The buck ran out into the bean field broadside after the shot and stopped. Thought he was going to drop but he started trotting and off he went. After watching the video, the arrow hit a rib square and stopped...did not penetrate believe it or not. He has killed other deer with that set-up, just luck would have it that this one didn't work out. That buck is out there running around somewhere unless someone else got him. I have never seen anything like that before.

    No matter how much you practice and prepare, you never know what you will encounter. Best way to get over it is to stick another one and watch him drop in sight.
  9. Lewis


    One piece of advice that I can give you is to get at full draw if you are using a longbow or the bow up if you are using a crossbow and STOP your deer with a mouth bleat!...Just a little baaaaaa..
    You would be surprised how much a even slowly walking deer can move before the arrow arrives.
    I actually helped one young bowhunter who had wounded and lost every deer he shot at by placing a piece of masking tape on the back one of his bow limbs.
    On that piece of tape were the words..
    Stop the Deer
    Pick a hair and aim at it.

    He killed his first deer and said the tape worked!
    I told him,actually it just reminded him of what he needed to do.

    Another important thing with any bow is follow through.
    Do not jerk the bow down to see if you hit the deer.
    This can severely effect arrow flight at the moment of truth.
    Stay in shooting form for a second.
    A strong dose of adrelanin can make you do funky things.
    I hope all this helps.
  10. I like Lewis's tape trick. I think I'm going to have to steal that one.

    Could you see where your arrow hit on your second buck? Even a bad broadhead would do the job on a well placed shot. Try using lumenoks. They won't do anything to make your shot more accurate, but at least you'll have a better idea of where exactly your arrow hit.
  11. PapawSmith

    PapawSmith Bud n Burgers

    Q[UOTE=M.Magis;544767]Truck in on the right track. The broadhead has nothing to do with it, it's all about shot placement.
    That may be the dumbest thing I've ever heard an archery hunter say. On a well placed thru body shot that fails to kill the animal the broadhead,most likely, has EVERYTHING to do with it. Think about it if you shot a deer at 50 yds with a .22 cal rifle, perfect shot, heart lungs, he would pribably run for miles then die. Same shot with a 30-06 he falls within 50 yds. The broadhead analogy is exactly the same. It is a shame to me, after 30+ years of archery hunting, how the emphisis has shifted so heavly to arrow speed. That has always been a very important factor but never more important than energy at impact+cutting edge. 350 ft. per second cripples alot of deer these days. "The broadhead has nothing to do with it." Give me a break it is the braodhead that kills. I would suggest that you go to your local archery shop and have them cut you some slightly hevier shafts (for energy at impact) and fit them with Montec (or similar) 100gr. fixed broadheads. Pay the extra money and get the practice broadheads and shafts. You will find that you will have only negligable reduction in arrow speed and MUCH more killing power. Reading from your posts it sounds like the problem is not at all you. We are all nervous when we put the pin on a live target. We all expect that when we shoot the result will be... good hit....dead animal. Almost never. We all second guess ourselves when our "dead animal" runs off. That is why it is "hunting" and not "collecting." All we can do is practice to be as efficient a shooter as possible and make sure that our gear is balanced with our skills to its relative efficiency. You mentioned that you dont like long shots. With a bow I agree, I prefer to hit them close and hit them HARD.
  12. PapawSmith, you've just quickly proven to everyone how little you actually understand about archery hunting. You'd think after "30 years" :rolleyes: you'd have learned that even a well placed field point will kill a deer. A deer shot in the correct place will NEVER travel very far, and seldom live for more than 15 seconds. If they go further, it's because the shot was poor, PERIOD. Your rifle analogy does not relate to archery hunting at all, and the fact you believe it says a lot. The old Bear Razorhead has killed more deer than any other head, because people knew how to shoot it. A $5 broadhead kills just as fast as a $12 broadhead, if you can hit your target. If your the type to just point and hope, I suppose the broadhead means a lot more.
    There is no such thing. None.
  13. Whoops, got off track. :rolleyes: Lewis's tape idea is an excellent one. Some friends of mine many years ago had stickers that said "Stay calm, pick a spot". They would place them at the base of their upper limb, before the days of split limbs. I'm not sure where they got them, but I've always remembered what a good idea it was.
  14. thanks guys. i dont want to sound like a whimp but its nice to talk it out. the tape idea is nice. At least if i know i am calm and take the best shot i cant blame myself too much. I am gonna try that. Please dont argue with each other over this stuff either. I take all advice with thanks.
    I think I am gonna focus the rest of the season on helping my brother in law get a good deer or two. I'll get back after em next year hopefully, with a whole bunch of tape to remind me. Thanks again. i also think i will go with fixed blades. If i shoot them for hunting and practice(obviously new sharp ones for hunting) there will be no doubt of aim or mechanical failure. Thanks again.
  15. One more thing. Practice on does!
  16. I have shot my share of deer & one of the best pieces of advise is similar to the tape theory. I ALWAYS carry compact binocs & size up approaching deer as quickly & as far out as possible. If I decide it's a shooter, I go into my "check list" of things to do before, during, & after the shot. Get yor body & bow positioned in the probable direction of the shot & start looking for possible shooting lanes. DO NOT look at the rack anymore & instead start looking at a quarter sized target on his side. Control your breating & when the time comes to draw & shoot, take your time. Pick your spot, stop him, smooth release, & follow through. Watch him run & watch for sign.
    It takes practice & patience to consistently make the shot , but you'll get there. Be calm until after the shot, then turn into a shaking bundle of nerves like I still do after 35 years !!!!
    Hang in there & keep hunting, it's the best cure,
  17. There has been some great advice on this thread for Collegekid and really anyone who is hunting. The only thing that I wanted to add is something that was not commented on thus far. You mentioned that the buck you hit this year you started tracking after 30 minutes. You didn't mention that on the other one so I don't know how long it was. It sounds like this year's buck may have never showed up as it was apparently not a lethal shot. But the thing that I would suggest is that even if you feel it is a great hit I would not recommend tracking a deer that soon when they have made it out of sight. Often times a deer is lost because it has laid down to recover but is pushed back on its feet once the clotting has stopped the blood enough to kill the trail. The deer does not have to travel far at this point to get away since you have no idea which way he went. I would suggest waiting a couple hours on a deer that has traveled out of sight and longer if the arrow indicates that the hit may not be good. (paunch for instance). The only exception to this would be if heavy rain threatens to wash the trail away. If they are hit with a lethal shot they will not travel far before laying down in an attempt to recover. I know that waiting is awfully hard to do and I have struggled with holding myself back as well. However, I can recall at least one doe several years ago that I am sure I cost myself on by getting too anxious.

    The recommendation of taking some does is a great one because it will ensure that you are doing everything right and you will probably be much calmer on them and will increase your confidence.

    The last suggestion that I will make is to shoot at some 3D deer targets and also from the stand some to ensure that you are truly hitting the vitals. I have known guys who had a slightly incorrect perception of where the vitals were when shooting. I know that sounds strange but if you are picturing something just a few inches higher than the optimal point. This may not be your problem either but is just something worth mentioning.

    Overall, this is a great topic for discussion.
  18. Broadheads are an important factor simply because a dull blade is not going to do the same job as a finely sharpened blade. But then again a bad shot with a sharp blade isnt going to do squat. So it is a combination of a good blade and shot placement. I like the tape idea. I lost my first deer this year simply because i did not slow down. Sucks losing one. Good luck though and dont give up. Bow hunting is an awesome sport.
  19. Well just a couple of closing things to say.I ask if u have got many does for a reason.The more animals u put down the better u get every time,yes we all screw up!I also do not beleive that a well placed shot will let an animal run off very far.I almost hate to see a new hunter have a buck walk in frt of them,they will most of the time screw up!!!!!Just don't give up and good luck:)
  20. crittergitter

    crittergitter Multi Species Angler

    Great advice here, especially by Lewis! Stick with it and be persistent. Also, remember this. Most of us have lost a biggun. The ones that tell you they havent either don't hunt much or they are just lying. Maybe some guys are born great shooters, but most of us have messed it up.

    Ever see Roger Raglin's wall of fame? He has shot a ton of P & Y class and B & C class bucks and he has messed up before. You are shooting at a living animal that can and will react to it's environment.

    Again, Lewis gave a great tip and others have shared really good advice!