Contributors to this thread:
What’s your most memorable miss?
Let’s have some fun.
Mine was about 6 years ago. I was right behind the house in a ladder stand by a huge Burr Oak. Sat there for hours on a most of the day sit. Missed the first part of the morning with nothing seen.
With about 10 minutes of time left I noticed movement to my left and here comes a huge bodied deer with its head down in the grass. The trail it’s on will go 18 yards right in front of the stand.
I stand up and get ready. Its still walking in and raised its head and its a massive 8 Point. I was relatively calm till that point. It gets past the Oak and veers off the trail under the Oak feeding. It’s angling now to go behind me and will soon catch my wind so I draw trying to get a opening for a shot. He takes a couple steps and his shoulder area opens up and I shoot.
The arrow no sooner leaves the bow and I hear a loud crack and the arrow dives under him. He makes a couple bounces and then just walks out of my life. I was so concentrating on finding an opening I didn’t notice the 4” branch right in front of me as it wasn’t in the sight picture.
To this day the mark where I hit is still there on that branch for me to see and remember.
I wish there was only one most memorable. The first I recall from 20+ years ago was the small buck I missed 3 times while he was within 10 yards. It took 3 misses before he figured out that something wasn't right. Then there was the time I shot thinking the small 8 point buck was at 20 yards but it was actually closer to 30. And most recently about 3 years ago, I shot at a nice 10 point at 5 - 7 yds and the lower limb actually hit the top of my left leg while I was bending to make the close shot. I know there were more, but my selective memory must have them blocked out!
I've never missed with firearm but...this year was the first time drawing on a deer with my bow. I hit but missed my mark (jumped the string) and he ran off. I still relive that shot almost daily....makes me sick.
I have missed and made so many mistakes on deer I cannot recall them all. In particular, one that stands out happened about eight/nine years ago. I was hunting from a branch, leaf, stick, and log ground blind I'd built in the top a windfall when I saw a huge buck coming down a trail that would have him pass just ten yards away. I got set to draw my bow and as he was advancing toward my shooting lane I brought the bow up. He saw my movement and was gone in a heartbeat! I was just sick over this. That was the biggest buck I have ever had a chance at. He was later taken by a neighbor during rifle season and I found out he had twelve scoreable points and made Boone & Crockett!
About 8 years ago I had my first chance at a buck that I would take a shot at. A nice wide 10. He came out of the brush at about 40 yards and I thought he was going to stay on the same trail. I set my single pin sight for 40 yards and drew back. At that very time he turns and walks straight at me until about 5 yards and gives me a shot. I tried to adjust for the chance in distance. I let the arrow fly and all I saw and heard was the arrow bouncing off his antlers. I was shaking so badly I doubt I would have made the shot with the sight set to the proper distance. The first deer sure is the hardest one.
I almost missed this year because I was so excited I wasn't even looking through my peep initially. I would have missed WIDE left had I not caught that, luckily for me, I did.
Your choice; 150 - 160 inch buck, 10 - 12 yards, full draw pin on spot behind shoulder, upper limb against bow holder arm???
Same class buck, 15 yards, swing bow & arrow around tree, broadhead point hits bark, arrow clangs on shelf, deer gone in a blink.
Large heavy horned 8, body look's small compared to antlers. Deer to be a 12 yard shot, deer hits tinks doe in heat scent trail, jumps back to 30, deer swings on release, arrow hits solid in the shoulder blade. Funny one when young and a recurve. Doe comes in to -10 yards I shoot miss. This happens as it's milling around my tree at different yardage 4 more times till my quiver is empty.
Lots of hanging on the side of the tree with climber and buck comes in and we sit awkwardly looking at each other.
Halloween 2010 I had planned to sit my favorite rut funnel only until noon and be home for trick or treating. Well at 10:30 I had a hot doe come through. The next 4 hours were some of the most exciting, and cool bowhunting I have ever been a part of. I had 4 different mature bucks come through the funnel, chase the doe, fight, snort wheeze, grunt, roar. It was like a hunting show on the Outdoor Channel. I had shot a 164" buck out of that same stand the year before, so I was over confident and too picky. I let a for sure 130" 8 pass 4 times, each time under 20 and I drew each time and settled the pin but knew there was a bigger one close.
At about 1:15 there was a hell of a racket in one of the two bedding areas the funnel sits between. Then a really nice 10 pointer comes running through, I couldn't get him to stop. Right behind him was a huge buck that was easily 180's. It was easy to see he was bigger than the 164 I took the year before. I mouth bleated at him to stop, nothing. I whistled, nope. I yelled , Hey you. He slowed to a trot and was moving through my last shooting lane. So I swung with him and tried a shot, CRACK!!! Center punched a medium sized Maple. Boy that rage 2 blade got some good penetration. Too add insult to injury the buck just moved a little ways into the thick stuff. He chased off the other bucks, found the doe, and bread her 75 yards away. I missed the deer, and trick or treating with the kids. But the memories from that day...
1987 Utah . A place called Gods pocket . We were glassing for Hog Mulies . We spotted a 190 class & it was my turn to stalk . 98 degrees & 3hours later I have the Buck 20 yards away sitting under a Pinion Pine . As I draw the bow back I hear movement on the loose shale to my right .
A giant that I never saw crawls out from a Mansaneita bush & stares at me from 25 yards . I swing the bow & let fly . The arrows went a foot over the back of a 40 inch wide 5 x 5 that looked mountain top 10 typical all time .
The monster pogo'ed down the mountain . I threw the Bear Super Kodiak off the mountain . Dam near killed myself getting that bow back from the cliff it landed on .
Too many misses to count, but thankfully they get fewer and fewer as the years pass. Most of my misses were back in my youth, shooting tabs, and instinctive, no sights.
My biggest miss was about 10 years ago, I had trail camera pictures of a huge non-typical buck we called "Triple Beast". Both of his G-2's had triple kickers off them. He probably would have scored 160 or so if typical, but with the added junk, I'm not sure. But for my property, he was the biggest buck we had ever seen on camera at that point.
So I take some days off to bow hunt prior to our annual guest bow weekend, and it is very windy that Thursday. I figure, I should hunt out of the wind, and in "the ravine", which was part of the big buck's territory.
It was my first time in that stand all year, and I was excited to hunt. Upon getting into the stand, I noticed a few branches in my shooting lanes, but decided to trim them when i leave for the day.
A few hours into my hunt, the howling wind stops for a moment, and I clearly hear a "crack" directly behind my ladder stand. I lean around the tree and there, 40 yards away surveying the area is "Triple Beast". He was magnificent and I was sure he could hear my heart beating thru my chest. Finally he begins walking and I see he is going to pass by me in one of my shooting lanes on a deer trail at 20 yards away and broadside.
I get into position, I wait, and when the big buck enters the shooting lane, I release the arrow. I then hear a weird noise, and watch my arrow ricochet up into the air, and then fall down harmlessly to earth seconds later. The buck seemed to jump sideways 10 yards and move directly between the thickest brush in the area. There he stood for an eternity, trying to figure out what had happened. I could CLEARLY see him, and it would have been an easy shot with a gun at only 30 yards, but I dared not try to force an arrow thru the brush between us. Finally, he turned directly away from me, and trotted off keeping the brush between us.
Upon retrieving my arrow, I found a thin sapling that I cut nearly in half with my shot. I trimmed the shooting lanes right then and there, and called it a day.
The following Saturday, I put my brother in the same spot, and the buck came back, but made a 50 yard semi circle around the stand. My brother watched the buck leave and go towards another hunter our property. This guy, who was a experienced hunter, saw the buck coming and was amazed to noticed the buck was on a trail that would literally walk him right below his stand. Sure enough, the buck walked so close, he had to tilt his head to not hit the ladder stand my buddy was in. As soon as the buck began to pass by, my buddy came to full draw, only to have the aluminum arrow fall off the string and clang, clang, clang off the ladder stand steps as it fell to earth. The buck took off like he was shot out of a cannon. (only too late, did my buddy notice his nock had cracked)
Gathering for dinner that night, I asked another guest if he saw anything from the stand I had put him in, and SPECIFICALLY told to not leave the stand until at least 1pm, because the trail cameras showed lots of bucks traveling by the stand from 10am-12:30pm. Well this hunter told me he got bored and came in for lunch at 11:15 or so. The next day I checked the trail camera at that stand location, and was shocked to see that at 11:45 the buck "Triple Beast" chased a doe into the clearing, not 10 yards from the stand, and stood there for a full 30 seconds before moving away. My guest had left the stand only 30 minutes earlier!
We never saw nor heard about that buck again, but in the span of 3 days, he "lucked out" 3 times. No wonder he got so big.
So the biggest miss of my life, was also the biggest of a buddy of mine, plus is the source of great teasing and ridicule for the hunter who left the stand early. His story still gets told every other year or so.
In 2005 I had finally purchased a new bow after many years with the old impulse and Easton game getters. New setup pse firestorm lite and carbon arrows, big change for me. It's late season mid December in forest county sitting on edge of swamp and clear cut where a large 10 pt had made home the last several years, its the magical hour when things happen 3 bucks walk out of swamp feeding along edge of swamp towards me- winds in my face. He's the last one of the group this is all going to come together I'm thinking, hearts pounding in chest, it's cold enough the snow squeaks, he's at 15 yds head down and partially quartering towards me. It's time I'm going to draw, I get bow quarter wat back- there's a pop. He picks his head up - I bury pin of pendulum sight behind shoulder. Thinking game over- then the release. Arrow goes 5 yds. All 3 are now on full alert and headed back into swamp. Wtf could have went wrong? Well my nice new bow had a bad limb and where the shaft for spindle went through to cam broke. A few more memborable misses but nothing compares to that one. Will always remember that one. My favorite hunt ever even though I never harvested a deer. Most seasons I do not see that many bucks in a year.
I have his sheds on my mantel to this day- scores around 170". He was harvested by a gun hunter the following year 7 miles away.
They were all memorable, but the one that stands out was the biggest buck I've ever seen bowhunting. Missed him broadside at 23 yards. It probably didn't help that I was shaking like a ten cent step ladder.
25 years ago, I washooting a doe with a string tracker on. Watched the arrow fall to the ground about 10 feet from hit ting the doe. The orange string had a wax on the string, that had melted at some point, then hardened, causing the issue. Now before someone laughs at the string tracker, I killed several deer with one. 17 pound white string, and you should shoot it once. I still have it, and 2 spools lol.
I have two that really stick out. The first is about 7/8 years ago I was up at the inlaws in my oak stand. (The one right by a busy highway and across the road from the fire department). I was look way off in the distance at what we call deer alley and caught movement to my right. I look over and see a massive 9 point with an extra main beam that runs along the entire inside of his right antler. Tall tines and great mass. Easily the biggest buck I've still ever seen while hunting. The wind is perfect and he is unaware of my presence. He has two paths he can take. One will take him past my stand within ten yards and the other turns to the right and heads toward deer alley. He chooses the path to the right but stops at 35 yds perfectly broadside and is surveying his domain. I draw back, settle and release. Watching my arrow go directly under his chest. He trotted off and I never saw him again. I stepped it off the next day and it turns out he was 39 yds not 35. I bought a rangefinder that day.
My second miss was 3 years ago at my urban spot down here. It was my very first time hunting this property and I was sitting on the ground with my back against a bush in the middle of an overgrown field. It was 7:35 am and I was having a cigarette and then going to pack it in for the day and head to work. I hear some movement from my left and there is a nice ten point walking my way getting ready to cross the field. He makes his move and I stand and draw at the same time. I stop him at 25 yds. Settle and release. My rage broadhead hit the smallest twig ever and deflected downward. It just barely shaved a few hairs off of the bottom of his chest. He reversed course and ran off never to be seen again.
November 3rd 2003, public land, Clark Co, missed a true 160 buck at 22 yards. The most perfect set up in the world,,,, doe had just came thru, here he comes, stops and slowly walks by, and stops right in front of me...... I am only 10 feet up,,,, the arrow goes right underneath the heart,,,, he had never moved......
Now reaching for a second arrow, the buck looks up at me, and allows me to nock another arrow, but not to draw, as it took off, chaseing the doe......... largest buck I ever saw, bowhunting public land,,,,,,,,
I scoured the area, during rifle season, the camps and registration stations, and never found anyone that killed that buck,,,,,,,,,, I will never forget that
LOL, GH! If you remember the exact date I am sure you will not forget that. It is part of hunting and why we do it.
When I was 13 my Dad took me to a friends cabin to hunt with the guys for a whole weekend. I was so excited, I had been spending months with the bow in the back yard with my stacked cardboard home made target. I was ready to kill a deer and very confident it would happen since our friends always told me about how many deer they had on their property.
Our first day up there one of the guys was coming back from his stand for lunch and told us about a doe that was laying next to a downed tree that he had just walked past. Well they asked if I wanted to sneak up on it and try to get a shot. I was out the door in a matter of seconds and ready to finally shoot my first deer. We walked to where the deer was laying and got to within 15 yards. I drew back and put an arrow right above her in the tree. She didn't move so I nocked another arrow and let it fly... Now she's laying there looking at us with two arrows stuck in the tree above her back that were both no more than 1" above her. She only stayed for another couple seconds before getting out of there so I didn't get a third shot which probably was a good thing.
Ultimately I didn't get a deer that weekend but I learned a couple lessons. First, it's very hard to shoot a deer when you're shaking so bad. Second, you should never be over confident when hunting because all kinds of things can go wrong.
That weekend was over 30 years ago but it's one I'll never forget. When I'm getting ready to shoot to this day I think of that doe and tell myself to take a few deep breaths to calm down.
A gentleman never misses and tells..
This is my first year bow hunting in over 20 years, I didn't see any giants but there was a really nice 8 that I kept passing on (mostly because he never gave me a good shot) and waiting. I would see him almost every time out as it got closer to gun season I had decided I would take him if he gave me a shot. By this time he had earned the name "Dirk the Jerk" for failing to set me up for a shot haha. I was getting burnt out in the woods almost every morning and evening, finally I walked in one morning at first light and decided just to sit on a log instead of going all the way to my stand, 5 min later here he comes behind a doe, he stops I draw release and hear a great thwack perfect shot... Right into a down branch right in front of him. He never ran just looked around snorted and walked off. As he walked over the side hill I laughed at myself and thought who's the jerk now, I guess its this guy.
Not being able to get out of the stand quick enough and a frozen/stuck zipper on the coveralls compounded with four layers of clothing. Never waited that long again.
Tie between two. 2016 in Wyoming my BIL called in a nice 280ish bull, stopped him at 40 yards. Arrow dove harmlessly several feet below him. Stupid sight had been bumped/was loose. I did kill a nice bull 3 days later but I thought for sure that was going to be my only chance.
2005, sophomore in high school and a nice 140ish ten comes cruising through like he read the script. I stopped him at 15 yards and clean over his back. I wasn't a big kid and my jacket was huge, the collar had wrapped the top of my arrow in my draw cycle.
Well I miss a buck 4 years ago after hitting my arm. He was huge. I figured he was going to my left but at 10 yards he turned to my right and I swung with him. It was 7 degrees and I was wearing a big coat. The move to my right without changing my feet put my coat in the way. I knew this as I watched the arrow miss by two feet.
Gun season this year. Missed a huge buck I don’t want to talk about ever again. This miss was so frustrating I ended my season.
It's still too recent and painful to talk about...
My biggest miss was when i was 12 years old. First time in a tree stand by myself and a 11 pointer with a giant drop walked right under me. I stood up, drew my bow and was shaking so bad that I couldn't find my peep sight. I held my bow back as long as I could and let it down. The buck just looked up at me flicked his tail and walked away from me. My uncle was 40 yards away and saw everything. I was the butt of all jokes around the fire that night. Still have yet to live it down with my family. I have had other misses but nothing like that.
"It's still too recent and painful to talk about..."
About 19 years ago, I was hunting a rut stand near Clam Lake, Wi. Last week of Oct, about 3pm with blustery snowy conditions. A doe came by 20 yards chased by the largest typical I have ever seen in the woods. He followed her but came back through and stood broadside at 24 yards. I thought my shot was perfect but ended up being a brisket slicer that never harmed him. Never to be seen again.
First Buck I ever shot at. Was warm, late September and I was only in my stand a few minutes when a buck came running from the South. Circled my tree and could not have been 6-8 yards down and to the left. Punched the release and watched the arrow fly underneath. Sat in disbelief. Then got down to confirm my disbelief.
I'm certain I 1) aimed too low and 2) the string hit my elbow.
Either way, I spent most of that afternoon scratching my head trying to figure out why this was so much harder than using my rifle, lol.
Most memorable just happened this year. Ug. The events transpired in matter of seconds. Sitting on stand, then decided to stand up, stick left hand in zipper of pants to warm it up.....looked to left and wouldn't you know......NICE 8 pt cruising in. Said "shit", grabbed my bow, sat down, picked out a point where I could thread an arrow and.........shot over the top. UG!!!!!!!!!!!! Still on my mind. Shot a 6 pt same spot next day.
I have two the first one was about 30 years ago. I was sitting on a baited stand shared with two other hunters. After sitting about a hour a nice11 pointer came in, when he went behind a tree I drew. When he cleared the tree, or so I thought, I released only to hit a small twig sticking out from the trunk. He was gone in a flash, but not forever. About 2 weeks later a friend that lived about a mile away was watching the Packer game went his dog started barking. Looking out the window he saw a buck on the end of his driveway. Running out to garage he grabbed his bow, nocking an arrow he sent a 40 yard Hail Mary hitting the buck in the jugular. We were making drives that day so we went over to admire the 11 pointer that I missed 2weeks earlier.
The other was a couple years later. We were again making drives and I was posted near a beaver dam went a 10 pointer appeared crossing the dam 15 yards away from me. He stopped then looked in the direction of one of the drivers. I calmly drew and released only to see my arrow to fly over his back. The only thing I could think of is that I must have picked the wrong pin. It was such an easy shot I almost cried!
Missed a huge chocolate rack 12 pt. Came down a trail at 23 yrds, he stopped behind a large oak tree. This gave me the opportunity to draw back. He took 2 steps and stopped again. I looked down to make sure my coat wasnt in the way, then i looked back thru my peep and put my 20 yrd pin on him and let the arrow fly. Shot under him. My guess was when i looked back up my eye caugt the hole between the string and the peep. I missed by a foot. He ran away to about 50 yrds and just looked like he was trying to figure out what just happen, after 5 minutes he just continued on. Never forget that day he was stupid big.
Well I've got my fair share. However, I have a funny story. Years back I was on the ground downwind of some bedding. I watched a big buck go into it 60 yards out. I hit the grunt and snortwheezed at him and nothing. Half hour goes by I decided to get up and go to where he had went in. In hopes he may come out the same way. I get to the spot and start kicking leaves for a spot to stand and I hear a deer snort behind me. Yep, it's him. In the spot I was originally sitting at.
Quite a few years back was I was hunting the rut. It was really a bieutiful morning and the deer movement was non-exsisent, had not seen a deer since daylight.
I was feeling pretty down, when from the corner of my eye I caugfht the movement of the rear leg of a deer. It was behind some trees, but I caught the leg movement. When it stepped out, heading my way I almost soiled myself. A very large "palmated (sp?) and he was going to pass no further right to left at 12 yards.
Back then, no one I knew ever heard of stopping a deer with a bleat. So, I took the shot as he walked slowly. The arrow sailed right over his back - we used "string trackers" back then and the string was across his back as he ran right beneath me and around the back of my stand as I fumbled for another arrow.
He walked off without giving me another shot that morning...I still believe he had no idea what the hell happened....
Unfortunately, I have a few of them. Right now it was this season. Weds the week before gun season. Was going to sit all day and right away in the morning I see a beautiful 8 pt cruising over 150 yds away. Can called once and he stopped. One more time and he was coming in on a string. I adjusted my sight to 30 yds, thinking there's no way he'll come any closer. Wrong! I adjusted to 20 and he's still coming, but figured I'm good. Get to full draw as he goes behind a clump of trees. He then changes direction. Still at full draw, he turns again. Thought I was completely calm. As soon was he gets in my sight picture I release and watch as my arrow seems to go right above his back. He takes off like a shot, crashes into an old barbed wire fence, close lining himself to the ground. Too many trees in the way and I watch helplessly as he lays there for a moment to get his bearings. He finally gets up and trots to the field behind me. He stops 30 yds out looking to see what happened. Too many branches in the way. Eventually, a smaller buck appears and they take off together. Still sick to my stomach. Hadn't drawn back on a buck in 7 yrs and this is what happens. Hoping it doesn't continue to haunt me that long again. Still not sure how I missed. Only know I figured he was at 15 yds, but when I got down to get my arrow and paced it off, it was 12 yds. Maybe the pin at 20 was just a tad too much.
Those string trackers, have any of you ever been tangled up in that string while walking through the woods in darkness? I have, what a mess it makes.
I used to use string trackers on bear hunts. Then I came to the opinion that it made the bears run farther than they would have without that string burning thru their body as they ran. Used them on turkey too, one time I totally missed a turkey and the string momentum piled up string between his feet and his legs/toes got tangled up in it and kept him there till I knocked another arrow and drilled him at 30 yards. Got the first part of it on video too.
Most memorable miss? I never missed.... If you don't believe that then maybe I have forgotten one, or two. Well there was the turkey above but I still killed him so that isn't really a miss.
Probably 10 years ago I was hunting a thick pine island off of a tamarack swamp. -I knew that there was a big buck there by the sign he left behind, but had never laid eyes on him until Halloween Eve... Two does came hustling right by me from right to left and I could tell were being moved by a buck as they were looking over their shoulder. The does settled immediately to my left at maybe 15-20 yards when I saw the ten point that was moving them along. -He was walking the same path very methodically and stopped immediately in front of me no more than 12 yards. I thought to myself that this would be perfect as he would simply keep following the does and give me a great 15 yard shot slightly quartering away (to my left). However, he began making a scrape right there in front of me with a single little white pine tree protecting his vitals. I watched him make this scrape and even seemed to make eye contact as he worked over the lick branch! (It was insane!) This went on for 5 minutes, however the two does remained off to my left and he only had to walk two yards towards them and would be in a perfect shooting lane.......
However, the two does walked back towards him. Not spooked at all, but seeming rather inquisitive as to why he was working the scrape and no longer bumping them along. They continued back passed him and seemed to lead him right away from me. Now, I had to pick a hole to shoot through and did. -I had to shoot from a half-crouched positioning in a position I had never practiced and it showed as my shot at the quartering away buck that was at 23 yards deflected on a red oak branch and went right over his back into the swamp grass. -Two bounds and he was gone only to show up the opening evening of rifle season riding around in the back of a Chevy after being shot by an acquaintance hunting adjacent property.
"Memorable" is not the term I like to associate with it as the whole encounter has burned itself into my brain (maybe causing scarring)... :)
Sat Oct 16,2009 'Antenna Buck' I took my brother for an afternoon hunt on a 80acre farm I hunt from time to time. I have stands along a creek separating 2 corn fields and a blind made from branches,weeds,etc. on northwest corner of corn field next to a bedding area. I give him pick of where he wants to hunt and he chose a tree stand 1/2 way up the creek where my trail cam was picking up several nice deer crossing the creek 10yds north of that stand. I chose to use the natural blind I built preseason. Facing south corn is to my left and thick bedding is to my right. Fence row directly behind me to the north. Blind is nicely tucked in next to a couple old trees providing great shade in the heat. Fast forward 2 hrs now around 5p.m. I see an absolute stud heading my way from the west. He eventually makes his way to a 5yd clearing between the thicket and the corn field standing at 22yds broadside. The thickest,widest 10pt I've seen in 25yrs bowhunting is right where I want him. He is much bigger than several 140-150's I've taken. I draw back,anchor,take my preshot breath,squeeze shoulder blades together and slowly squeeze release. Same shot I've practiced thousands of times but this time I hear a tick and see the arrow heading way high. Then the impossible-or so I thought impossible happened, the arrow stuck into the base of his rack. Immediately he spun around in a circle looking up trying to figure what the hell just happened. I tried knocking another arrow but as I did he ran up a hill to the southwest, stopped about 100yds out and was spinning his head all over and all I could see was my Easton arrow which looked like an Antenna on his head. I swear the sound of that arrow sticking into his rack was like smacking 2 pieces of hickory together. I will never forget that hunt and that deer is still the biggest one I have ever attempted to arrow! Didnt know whether to cry or laugh but was glad I did not injure anything but my Pride.
The old adage that gets repeated a lot here is certainly true...the first time you hunt a spot is the best. This memorable and miserable miss goes back almost 20 years.
I wanted to check out a new area that was between a large grown over ag field and a huge ridge loaded with red oak. I wanted to be in the transition area between the lower and flat ground along field and the big ridge. I headed in on the old logging road with the plan of following it until I found a spot that looked promising. It all looked good as I walked for about 20 minutes and found a really nice trail crossing the logging road. I looked to the right and saw the trail come up out of a small swale and thought this spot looked like a textbook set up. I quickly glanced around looking for a tree to climb and sure enough there was a tall straight red oak that was downwind of the trail.
It was the first week of November, so I was thinking this could be a spot to catch a buck cruising through. Back then I had a Loggy Bayou climber and I quickly got set up. After about 45 minutes I noticed movement down where the trail disappeared into the swale and up the trail came a big doe moving at a quick pace acting like something was behind her. Sure enough, within 30 seconds comes a huge buck. Meanwhile, she passes on through in front of me on the trail at just under 20 yards. I looked back at the buck and could not believe the size of the animal and I immediately thought at least 10 points and 24" spread! I slowly got in position for a shot thinking he would just keep coming up the trail, but he cut off the trail like bucks like to do to shorten the distance to the doe and this meant he was going to go to my right and sneak behind me. No problem, because he had no clue I was there and I was able to shift around to my right to get in position for the shot that would be about 17-18 yards.
I stopped him broadside with a soft grunt and released my arrow and nothing looked or sounded right?! He bounded off behind me very startled, but stopped up the ridge in a thicket 40 yards away and studied up the situation for about a minute and then bounded off. I was confused and looked back and saw my arrow laying sideways about where the deer had been standing. I got down and retrieved my arrow absolutely devastated and could only guess that the arrow was improperly nocked causing the arrow to turn completely sideways and land harmlessly at the feet of this giant buck!
The buck made it through gun season and the winter and my buddy shot it the following fall about a half mile away from one of my other spots. The buck was a 12 pointer with a 24" inside spread and dressed out at 249 pounds. Despite shorter tines, it scored in the high 150's. I've definitely messed up on some nice bucks over the years, but this was the most memorable and painful. The manner in which my buddy got this buck the following year is a story for another time.
Merry Christmas everyone.