Shots not taken

jquigley

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Jan 26, 2015
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Missoula, MT
So this week I managed to get my first shot opportunity on a big game animal. I had a doe, broad side at 25 yards with my bow. Unfortunately, this occurred during monsoon like weather and a steady ringing started to build in the back of my head. I realized that from where I was standing, the density of the brush, and the driving rain there was a very good chance I wouldn't be able to track her if I took the shot.

It was easily the most exciting and frustrating moment in my young hunting career, though seemingly emblematic of the way hunting often goes. I'm glad I didn't take the shot, hopefully there will be others.

Anyone else have some stories about the shots they didn't take that stick out to them?
 

kansasdad

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Jul 30, 2011
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Wichita
Way to listen to that still small voice. Wisdom displayed way beyond your experience level, you are to be commended.
 

elkmagnet

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Jul 14, 2011
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Hodale, Idaho
In archery hunting you're going to have a lot of those stories don't get impatient and start making bad decisions just keep doing what you're doing the right situation will come with time.
 

TimeOnTarget

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Feb 13, 2015
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SD
In archery hunting you're going to have a lot of those stories don't get impatient and start making bad decisions just keep doing what you're doing the right situation will come with time.

Agreed, I've tried and force a shot or rush a shot or etc etc,. I don't think it has ever ended well for me.

Good on your for holding off.
 

TRS_Montana

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Nov 19, 2014
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693
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Helena
Believe me, not taking a shot sucks WAY less than taking a marginal shot and it not working out. Whenever you play the "what if..." game in your head on shots that you didn't take, you rarely give yourself enough credit. I always tell people that if there is doubt, don't shoot. So I would say good job for not shooting.
I have passed on 3 cow elk this year because I just didn't feel good about the shot.
 

jquigley

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Jan 26, 2015
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Missoula, MT
I give Big Fin a lot of credit for the fact the blood trail occurred to me in the moment. There is a lot of noise in your head when you're new to hunting and on your own. A lot of variables aren't instinctually accounted for yet. As I was standing there, I flashed back to the episode of Fresh Tracks where Randy set up a blind just in time for a storm to roll it and have to call it a day.

Who says you can't learn anything from hunting TV?
 

VAspeedgoat

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Sep 4, 2014
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Timberville, VA
Great choice, its hard to push back against an adrenaline rush. I can't recall too many situations like that I've passed on. Unfortunately I can think of some I should have. Usually worked out ok but not always. Some things come with age, you should be proud that you didn't have to learn the hard way.

Any hunts planned for this fall? I'm jealous.of your proximity to the great north woods. There's nothing like them.
 

10Dogs

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Joined
Jan 11, 2015
Messages
148
jquigley

My father always told me to "measure twice and cut once."
If I could have back half the rushed, pushed, why did I do that..?? Shots...well lets just say a lot.
I know of at least twice that I put an Easton 2114 perfectly in between the deer`s left and right beam.
You guessed it.....right where I was looking.
That`s why it`s called "hunting" and not called "killing" and the Doctor`s business is still a "practice"

10Dogs
 

belly-deep

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Joined
Oct 31, 2009
Messages
3,465
Yeah, I've let a few walk because I wasn't comfortable with the shot. You did the right thing. Keep it up and there will be more opportunity.
 

LopeHunter

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Joined
May 31, 2007
Messages
2,842
Location
MO-->CA-->NW-->AZ&NW
Hunting private land in NM on pronghorn hunt. About a decade ago. Had a hand drawn map provided by rancher to NMF&G. Rancher gets transferable tags through this program as a result and a few of us draw tags with guaranteed access to a private ranch. I drew a tag for that ranch.

Map was poorly drawn, not to scale and I could not resolve to what I was seeing on the ground as would encounter BLM fences where none shown on the map and then would find unmarked fences or two-track roads where none shown.

I hike along for several miles that day in a horseshoe loop and near sunset encounter the largest pronghorn buck I have been within rifle range while holding a tag. I am unsure though think is 50 feet on wrong side of a fence. I pass. Mention this to rancher that night as ask for clarification on the map. Turns out I was on wrong side of the property fence while the buck was on the rancher's property.

Thank goodness for improved GPS, OnXMaps, Google Maps, etc for creating higher confidence of where can hunt and where can not.
 

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