Well it was an interesting weekend back home in Michigan. I flew in from Cali to see family, friends and to hunt. I was able to hunt Friday morning and Sat morning/evening. Friday morning was a bust with non-stop torrential rain and 25 mph winds. Didn’t see a thing.
Saturday morning started with a little bit of a drizzle, but I was optimistic for some good deer movement. Unfortunately I didn’t see a thing for the first 4.5 hours. But at about 11 o’clock a young doe pranced in front of me and then quickly continued across me heading to the left. Not 30 seconds later I spotted a bigger bodied deer to my right and I immediately noticed it was a buck.
Now let my precurse this by saying that this season I am hunting for any buck that I can put my sights on. Being in CA for the fall, I am only going to have about 5 or 6 total days to hunt. So I really need to take whatever I can get to make sure I have venison in the freezer.
This being said, when I saw the small 5 or 6 point buck, I got pumped. The buck continued after the doe and I tried grunting/bleating at him to no avail. He continued on his way and I assumed he was gone for good. Never-the-less I was really excited to see the buck, as it was my first buck I had seen this year.
Well maybe 15 minutes later I spotted a dark shape in my perpipheral vision off to my right. It was that same buck, now only 10 yards to the right of me. He had obviously taken an interest in my calls after all, and he had circled around downwind of me to check it out. (If you read Whitetail Deer Calling Tip #3 you know this is a common deer behavior_
I slowly raised my bow and drew back. Now this requires a little of bit of explanation as well. Just the day before, I had ran over to my local Gander Mountain and picked up a new bow. I bought the PSE Bow Madness and I was shooting it at about 65 lbs. We clocked it at the shooting lane at about 300 fps and I was excited to give it a go in the field.
Well I drew back and waited for the buck to walk into my shooting lane. He stepped from behind a large oak, presenting a perfect broadside shot. I centered the pin on his lungs and released.
The next sound I heard was a hard thud, as my arrow firmly planted itself into the far left edge of a small sapling about 10 yards in front of the buck.
I had pulled the shot a few inches to the right and just caught this sapling. If I had been just an inch further to the left, I would have double lunged him and my season would have been a success. Instead the buck ran off and I sat in my blind crushed and confused.
I don’t know if I pulled the shot because I was still getting used to the new bow or if I was just over excited. But whatever happened, it ruined my opportunity to bag a MI buck. This is the first deer I have ever shot at and missed, so I’ve really taken it hard. It’s particularly depressing because it could be my only chance at a buck. With only 4ish days left to hunt, I just won’t see many opportunities like that again. Needless to say I am devestated. This will haunt me for a long time and I’m sure nightmares will be in order until I get back out into the woods. Unfortunately it will be a long and depressing 2 weeks until I get another chance.
Anyone else have a similar missed opportunity story? We can have a little missed deer support group, haha, looking forward to hearing from ya!