That sinking feeling in your gut when you think you made a bad shot

curtism1234

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30 minutes ago I hit what I think is one of the biggest whitetail bucks I've ever seen. He was standing in some brush and was never going to offer a clear shot. When the trigger broke, I believe the crosshairs to be a little too far forward in the shoulder. He took off running hard like a heart shot into the brush. I thought I saw some leaves kick up so I hope he's down right around there.

It was either perfect or no hope of finding, 50/50

We shall see...
 

slam8031

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unfortunately, been there before--let's see the picture!!!!
 

thriller

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30 minutes ago I hit what I think is one of the biggest whitetail bucks I've ever seen. He was standing in some brush and was never going to offer a clear shot. When the trigger broke, I believe the crosshairs to be a little too far forward in the shoulder. He took off running hard like a heart shot into the brush. I thought I saw some leaves kick up so I hope he's down right around there.

It was either perfect or no hope of finding, 50/50

We shall see...
Been there more often then I like to admit... give him some time then follow up really slow ready to shoot again.
 

kurpfalzjäger

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I know this feeling.

In decades of hunting I had to follow up several wounded game species in some countries and in very different terrain. Unfortunately belongs to hunting.

Who would never had to do it , does not hunt often , has been very lucky until now or lies.
 

WAB

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JimP

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I believe that any of us that have pulled the trigger on a animal has had that feeling.
 

gillettehunter

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There are times when either the animal moves or more often I get in a hurry and yank the trigger...... Been pretty successful on my followups. Good luck to you on this one.
Bruce
 

thriller

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DF7FAAA0-155D-4D2D-A053-58B178A82C0D.jpeg

hows it going?
 

curtism1234

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Ran 60 yards and fell over dead. Square in the shoulder with an exit but just 1 drop of blood.

A nice thick perfect 10. A little smaller than I thought but he will do! 4-5 deer killed with the 308 now. It just doesn't knock them off their feet like my 7mag does

Decided not to be undergunned tonight - going with my 375 h&h lol

IMG_20191116_1058255.jpg
 

PHOENIX PHIL

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Very nice buck, glad it was a short recovery. Sorry I must ask, what bullet?
 

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curtism1234

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308win 165gr Federal Sierra Gameking

This is the first time I had an exit with that bullet. Most of the time it's a perfect mushroom against the hide. Destroyed the lungs and heart - normally they are spraying blood all over the place when that happens. I have about 5 more boxes then I'm going to switch the 180gr Norma I stocked up on the cheap
 

Jfet

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Deer tenderloins at your place tonight! I'll bring the Jameson!(y)(y)(y)
 

PHOENIX PHIL

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308win 165gr Federal Sierra Gameking

This is the first time I had an exit with that bullet. Most of the time it's a perfect mushroom against the hide. Destroyed the lungs and heart - normally they are spraying blood all over the place when that happens. I have about 5 more boxes then I'm going to switch the 180gr Norma I stocked up on the cheap
Sounds like the bullet did it’s job, just one of those times you don’t get a blood trail.
 

thriller

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Ran 60 yards and fell over dead. Square in the shoulder with an exit but just 1 drop of blood.

A nice thick perfect 10. A little smaller than I thought but he will do! 4-5 deer killed with the 308 now. It just doesn't knock them off their feet like my 7mag does

Decided not to be undergunned tonight - going with my 375 h&h lol

View attachment 314490
Congrats man that is a nice one
 

Hogpatrol

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Hey man, that's a beauty. The sweat was worth it. (y):D
 

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Happened to my wife last night. Found a little blood in three places in the dark and backed out. We are now waiting for daylight so we can do a proper search. She’s pretty down in the dumps.

Congrats on your buck, he’s a dandy! Love the rifle too!
 

BeeMaa

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If you have been hunting for any time at all, you have probably experienced the feeling of missing/wounding game.
Worst feeling in the world and it only gets worse as time goes by and no animal is found...
This is what makes a hunter truly experienced in knowing what shot they can take and what they can't.
Learning from your own and others experiences is what AH is all about.

Very happy it turned out for the best and congratulations on a beautiful harvest.
Using the 375 will definately shorten the tracking.
 

Bonk

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Congrats on a fine looking buck.

I know the lousy feeling when you think you've made a bad shot. I had that happen last weekend. I was watching a doe about 40 yards away. I raised my rifle to take a closer look and decided she was too small. As I was lowering my rifle another bigger doe came trotting into my view from the right (my view was blocked to anything from the right by a big conifer tree). She was closely followed by a decent size buck. I quickly decided the buck was shootable and brought my rifle back up. I found him in the scope as they were moving right to left at a slow trot. He was in full rut mode. His head was down, scampering along like they do and close on the heels of the doe. I swung the rifle to lead him a bit and was surprised when the shot when off. Dang it! I thought I was too far in front and had cleanly missed.

To my surprise he dropped in his tracks and only the slight downhill and his momentum carried him about 10 feet. He lay there weakly kicking his hind legs and his head was away from me. I couldn't see any blood and had no idea where he was shot. I was sick with regret. The last thing I ever want to do is painfully wound an animal and I was afraid I had wounded him badly enough to put him down but not kill him. I also didn't want to approach him too quickly and cause him to panic any more than he already was. He was already terrified. I wanted to finish him quickly and humanely but I didn't know where I had shot him. Was it fatal? Was it just a crippling wound?

I said a quick prayer and decided to wait a few minutes. He died shortly thereafter. It ended up being the luckiest shot of my life. I must have led him just enough because he was shot just above the base of his neck and cleanly broke his neck. That's why he couldn't move and was only kicking weakly.

I'd still like to have that shot back because I know I didn't know for certain where that round was headed. I've never done that before on an animal. I've done that on targets plenty of times but never on live game. I don't want to be lucky with my shots on live game. I want to know where the round is going as much as is humanly possible.

OTOH, I've only ever lost one deer in my life. A few years ago I shot a doe. She was standing still, quartered and facing me about 50-60 yards away. I had plenty of time and made what I though was a perfect shot. She bolted and I gave her a few minutes before I followed up. It took me over an hour to find any blood and another couple of hours to find where she had laid down and bled a lot. I was able to track her for another 50 yards or so after that but then the blood trail just disappeared. I assume she clotted because I never found her or her trail again. To say I was distraught is a huge understatement. I don't particularly enjoy the killing part of hunting and I absolutely HATE wasting an animal.

As was said earlier, if you hunt enough this stuff happens. That doesn't mean we hunt irresponsibly but nature is the boss and all we can do is be as ethical, humane and responsible as possible. YMMV.
 
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perttime

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Here, it is almost always possible to get a dog to follow an animal that is hard for humans to track.
 
 

 

 

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