One of My Worst Archery Hunting Mistakes

Last year about mid October, we started getting two fairly large Whitetail bucks on our game cameras.

Seeing this big of deer, this close to my home, that early in the season got me really excited about the years archery season. It beyond doubt gave me motivation to spend more time researching the animals and their behaviors so I could essentially understand what I needed to do to bag one of these bucks. We put hours and hours into watching the deer from a distance to find where they passed through, then more time putting up blinds and stands in the areas we felt fit best. The next step consisted of studying the trail cameras closely to spot which deer were coming in where, and around what time they most commonly approached. Though it was a chilly option, I had decided the tree stand was the greatest place to get an opportunity at one of these two deer.

I was eager to finally get out into the tree stand. I packed my backpack carefully being sure to have everything I needed for a well organized hunt, and headed out to the stand hours before I essentially needed to. I sat for what seemed like forever, but remained excited. It was approaching the closing stages of shooting time, when I lost some of my excitement. But just as I did I saw two nicely sized deer come over the hill and saunter straight in front of me. This was it. I had a superior opportunity to a bulky deer for my area. These were the deer that my neighbors were talking about. These were the deer all the locals knew about. Here they were; right in front of ME.

Being excited, I really didn’t think about how much closer I needed them to be before I would be able to get a safe shot. Here was my first mistake of the night. When they were still out of my range, I pulled back my bow and got ready to shoot. After, I realized I really shouldn’t have gotten ready that quick, but I wasn’t about to slowly let my bow back to resting position. I stood there ready for longer then I hoped to, making me unsteady. I was no longer just trembling out of excitement, but out of exhaustion as well.

The smaller of the two bucks approached my range and I decided to take him. I let my arrow fly and heard the sound all hunters like to hear. I watched him run as far as I could and figured I had a good idea of where he had gone. I instantly got out my phone and called my dad to come around with the truck so we could begin our search for what I thought was about to be the best hunt I had so far. Minutes after I released my arrow, I couldn’t wait, I had to find my deer. Here’s my second big mistake of the night. If you are not entirely sure you had a clean kill shot, or where the animal fell, you need to WAIT.

As excited as you might be, there is a chance it could still be alive. As I approached the area I thought the buck was, I never thought of it being too promptly. By this time it was nearly dark. We found blood in an area, but assumed he fled further. After hours of searching, it was decided to wait until the morning.

I was so disappointed to hear that we were going to wait until the next day to pursue the search. After something that exciting, it hard to just sit around until searching is easier. I approached sunrise of the next morning when we headed out for more hours of searching by vehicle, ATV, and horse. Still, then, we had no luck. Weeks later a neighbor had walked up on what we had made out to be the deer that I had taken.

It seems like every time you hunt you learn a thing or two about what you should or shouldn’t do. You may make a mistake or two from time to time, but it just motivates you to do better and better each time. I think of the mistakes I’ve made every time I hunt. With something like that on the back of your mind, it helps you better the hunt. Like they all say: you don’t have to make every mistake on your own, but when you do, you sure try your best to not do it again.

Jan 24, 2014 | Category: Blog, Bowhunting, Liberty's Corner | Comments: 1


One comment on “One of My Worst Archery Hunting Mistakes

  1. Misty Bell

    Great story! Thank you for sharing

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