There are four considerations with this shot. This buck is not broadside (as many people said he is). He is very slightly quartering-to. Second, he is walking as you can see by looking at the back leg in motion, Third, his front leg is currently pulled back making the shot less than ideal, and Fourth; the deer is not alarmed so that means the nearside front leg will come forward (in just a second or two) and the angle will become quartering away - a much higher percentage shot.
So while many of you sitting comfortably behind a PC claim you could easily slip an arrow into this buck at that angle - killing it - I would contend that may be true, but it is risky. The human element associated with a buck this special has to be taken into consideration. My adrenaline was off the chart, I was shaking, and initially had a difficult time staying composed. There was no wind, and zero noise. I needed to coach myself to remain disciplined and wait for a higher-percentage, quartering-away shot. My guess is an overwhelming number of bowhunters would have needed to do the same. Imagine how I (or you) would feel blowing a shot on this deer? Remember, we are hunting deep in a swamp. Anything other than a perfect shot will be impossible to find.
If you followed any of my bloodtrails, or have watched any of my live hunts, you will notice that I am a huge proponent of waiting for a quartering away shot. You have a much higher margin for error and far, far less chance of hitting bones or the dreaded shoulder blade. I have tracked many poor hits. Had the bowhunter just waited another second or two the position would have been ideal - but they rushed it because they felt they could, and a simple recovery turned into an ordeal (or a wounding loss). So there you have it. If you are still mad, and violently disagree, then maybe games like this are not for you. In the end you are playing against one persons' opinion. There are no absolutes. I have bow-killed hundreds of deer and all of those kills guided me in this incredible opportunity. I too have rushed enough shots to know better than to shoot until the situation is ideal - sometimes that means I miss opportunities and sometimes it works out - in this case it worked perfectly.
I do appreciate constructive feedback and always take respectful, critical comments into consideration. It is the essence of these BT challenges and never get offended by them. I know people have a variety of risk tolerance levels and not everyone thinks the same. That's fine. What I won't tolerate is rude, immature or belittling comments when it comes to these games. So as you agree or disagree with this thread take that into consideration.
Thanks for playing and I welcome all respectful feedback.
As I said in the discussion, the facts are: You killed him, you found him dead, and his steaks are in your freezer. 'Nuff said !
I didn't think about the deer walking and would have taken that shot if that was the shot that presented itself.
I'm also in no way as experienced as most of you guys on here and I would have probably screwed this one up too.
I did in fact screw up my shot at a buck of a lifetime by being impatient and have also screwed up two shots at other great bucks.
The good thing for me is I hunt an a part of the country and on enough land that I can optimistically say that I will have a shot at a normal buck of a lifetime every 7 years or so and now I have learned my lesson.
Thanks for your challenges Pat, I think we all knew this was going to be an easy one so some, myself included, overthought some of our options.
It's always easier to be an armchair quarterback and hindsight is always 20/20.
I am fine with whatever as it was fun to do with my son and gave us a chance to talk through the logic.
Since it takes me no time for you to put these together, the only possible way of presenting this differently would be for you to have a video of the buck walking in and then freezing it on this frame. That might give the viewer a better sense of the situation.
I thought this was a very good challenge. Even if I received a cero on uno.
Later, while watching the video clip, you can see that the arrow comes from the right of the camera angle. Depending on how far to the right, that makes that shot angle even worse. something that we don't know from the photo, but Pat takes for granted.
Deer was walking. I LOVE taking walking shots 20 yards an under. They generally don't jump the string because of the walking noise and IF they DO hear it they generally want to stop to verify that slight noise - which timing-wise happens after the arrow gets there, but you can kind of see them slow up. Just my $0.02, waiting for a better shot angle is obviously a great decision as well, but I would still shoot next time. I'm also not a risk averse person in general - which I think also plays into a hunters shot selection. Some guys don't take a frontal some do.
Let's be honest. . . I'd have f'ed it up. I would have panicked, and I'd have blown it. I've never killed an exceptional animal of any species. My one chance at a truly exceptional animal was an elk in 2015. I blew it. I completely panicked. Completely lost my cool. Lost all capacity for rational thought. Rushed a bad shot choice, punched the trigger, and sent an arrow through a 380+ rack. I knew what he was. I had seen him and forsaken opportunities to get closer to bigger bulls than I'd ever shot before, just to get a chance at him. Then when I did 5 days later, I blew it like a big loser.
I'm not bitter or anything . . . :)
I need to hunt more. Fact is, I need to hunt on foot more. I'm terrible at it. Hang back when I should push, and push when I should hang back. My tendency is to push push push. Then when I second guess finally and hang back, it's a time I should have pushed. I don't know how to remedy this other than to obtain more experience.
I'm somewhat better from a static position, but I still have a tendency to push the boundaries at that first decent opportunity.
Once again, I offer the anatomical reference to show the vitals with the front leg in that position. Both lungs, heart, and great vessels can be all easily taken from the elevated angle, if the shot in the "V" is executed at 15 yards.
The fact that there is a whole thread dedicated to this one question, is sort of telling...
No sour grapes, I enjoyed the challenge. After all the input...I'd still take that shot without hesitation. Some very good talking points have been offered.
Best of Luck, Jeff
My interpretation of the pic, is generally assuming the question is referencing the specific point in time shown in the photo. Sort of a: "this is what you have, there are no other options, there is no thinking behind or ahead, if you could shoot right now, would you?" While not my favorite shot, I would rather slightly away for example, overall, it's a solidly killable shot.
The rationale for no points makes sense to. I just dont see it as black and white.
Still looking forward to the next BT challenge though! Ill get something that seems obvious wrong on that one too :)
Pat made the right call..... in hindsight. I've always taken the first good shot I knew I could make because I've seen so many of those "he'll take a step and give me a better angle" blow up a split second later. At 15 that was as slam dunk as they get. The "V" was wide open, about as open as it gets.
Look at elkmtngear's pic.... people have some anatomy wrong saying to wait for the front leg to go forward. It's very clear and easy to see in this pic the top of the scap is high and forward. When that leg goes forward it will come down and back. On a bedded animal it goes quite a ways down, shot a bedded elk once, hit him perfect just over the leg and the broadhead went through both scaps, stuck in the tree behind him and he barely got out of the bed to make it about 25 yards. The only time that leg may be in the way being back is if you are aiming behind the shoulder, behind the crease. Too far back to aim..... IMO. In the V it's a non-factor. Next time you break down an animal (if you get to it before it's all rigored up) when you remove the front shoulder work it up and down, "fold" it and extend it and see how the anatomy works, how it all pivots.
I enjoy these talks about placement, anatomy and such. Pat made the right call and it turned out with a buck of a lifetime on the ground. Can't argue with that. OTHER things ya can.... but as I understand it... ya aren't gonna get your points back.... =D