Ollin Magnetic Digiscoping System

Ones that got away

Missed an off hand shot at this guy inside of 100 yds. He was with a group of cows opening day in MT, and we all saw each other at the same time. Rushed the shot. It felt good, but was a clean miss. I now make it a habit to practice 100 yd off hand shots. 🤦‍♂️

This was a trail cam pic a few days prior.

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The first legal bull I ever saw was at the bottom of a drainage from hell presenting a doable range Texas heart shot. Passed & didn't see another bull for 3-4 years. Years later I changed the speed and direction of a very nice bull with a terrible decision involving a hoochie mama.
 
My dad and I rarely hunt elk together, but in 2020 we happened to be together when we found this bull and about 10 cows and calves. My dad hung back and watched from across the drainage while I snuck in on him. I got to within 50 yards of him and a bedded cow. The rest of the cows were bedded 30 yards away from me. He kept standing over the bedded cow, and he was broadside for a good part of the time. The problem was, he was on a fairly steep slope facing uphill so his shoulder was partially covering his vitals. There was also a limb half way between us that was parallel with the bull's back and I was worried about my arrow clipping that. I was on my knees and kind of pinned down by his other cows, so I was only going to have one opportunity to draw. I thought it was just a matter of time before he came and checked the rest of the cows so I wasn't going to take a questionable shot. Two different times he got that cow up and chased her around, and both times she laid back down in the same bed. Eventually, they all got up and took off. I sat there feeling sorry for myself for a while and then finally went and talked to my dad. He said he had watched them go through an open gate on to private. It was the heat of the day so we decided to hang out there and take a nap before trying to find some more elk in the evening. In the evening I hiked up on a big glassing knob and looked below me to see that bull and his cows up and moving. I assumed they had smelled me and were long gone, but it turns out they had only went about 1/4 mile and were still on public. I'm guessing when I was sitting on them, one of the cows had caught my movement and that is why they didn't go very far. So to add salt to the wound, I had to just sit and watch them go through a perfect ambush spot and take some video since I had no time to get on them before they crossed the fence. The bull was killed by a teenage kid during rifle season later that fall. He might have had the longest main beams I've ever seen on an elk.

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The next year, I had this bull coming in to a spring fairly regularly so I hung a tree stand. On the second evening of the season, he came in like clockwork. He came in from above me so he was at eye level with me for a while. He seemed to know something was up and changed his course and circled around so he came in to the spring head on at 15 yards. It took about 20 minutes for him to come the last 40 yards with him stopping and looking towards me several times. He drank for about a minute before whirling around and running up the hill about ten yards. He stood there on high alert and when he finally turned broadside and looked the other way I drew my bow. As I'm drawing back, I notice my arrow had somehow came off the rest. By then he's looking my direction again. Before I can draw again, he decides he's had enough and takes off. He never came in to drink there again.

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Found this guy and one that may have been a little bigger in a bachelor group a week before season, low-tier limited unit, nobody else around, they fed the same trail into the timber to bed for a week straight. Opening day rolled around and and I was set up well before daylight, perfect wind, good blind, when one of the other 12 tagholders in the entire unit, who hadn't scouted a day, walked right through the group 20 minutes before light to get up to his glassing spot, I spent two weeks trying to turn up either of the big ones again and never managed to lay eyes on either, I ended up shooting the third biggest in the group with 2 days left in the season, it scored 354...
 
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This is kind of the brag board for losers lol, “look at this one I wounded” or “this one I saw and couldn’t kill,” I like it, entertaining read
 
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September 2020 saw this bull one morning from a couple miles off. Next morning sat at 600 yards watching him chase cows. They fed up a draw to bed and then I started to close the gap. Perfect wind, then all of a sudden had the whole herd run past me dead sprint at 50 yards. They went up over a ridge and I never saw him again
 
Was also the one day I forgot my phone scope at camp so had to take pics the old fashion way through my spotter…more mad at myself that I didn’t get better pics of him than missing the opportunity at him. Would have been a hard bull to ever beat.
 
No pics but the biggest whitetail I've ever seen on the hoof I missed. Iirc I was 19 maybe. Watched him working my way forever and got way too excited. Thought the shot was good with the muzzleloader. Smoke cleared and there he stood unscathed. Was shaking so uncontrollably I couldn't even get the pellets or the sabot in the barrel for a follow up. They were scattered all over the ground beneath me. I can still see him. Super wide 5x5 with trash and one huge hook right below one of his brow tines. Ok, that's enough depressing thought for one evening.
 
Missed a big WT running when in high school probably a 170 typ. Couple years later missed a big non typical running. I remember he had a bunch of 4-6” kickers off his bases. About four or five years ago I missed a long shot with my ML. That one bothers me most. I had a good rest and had practiced long ranges all summer in prep for an antelope hunt and my mind went to mush and I don’t hold high enough. No pictures but he would have been pushing 170
 
Passed this guy up. Had already shot a moose that year, so I didn't need the meat, and there was a bigger buck I was targeting. Still, every time I watch the video and see him turn and follow the doe off I wonder what I was thinking.

This buck was out in front of me at the same time I passed up the buck in the above video:

I did learn my lesson from that incident. I shot this buck a couple years later from the same stand even though I had told myself I was only going to shoot a specific bigger buck than this one (had never seen or gotten pictures of this one before).
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It was my first ever mule deer hunt and my first big game hunt west of the Mississippi. Kurt certainly deserved the buck more than I did, but I had great help and this one didn't get away. Lord knows I have plenty of stories of the ones that did!
 
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