Your worst miss ever!

Aron Snyder

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I always talk about the good shots, but I tend to shy away from the bad shot stories:)

2009.... missed a 350-360 (we have his sheds) bull at 27 yards on opening day. I had him feeding at 62 and should have stuck him then, but we called him in close, he saw a little movement, I PUNCHED THE TRIGGER, he ducked a foot and broke my arrow on the way back up from dropping down.....then I cried like a little beeeaaatch!
 

Ross

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Oh man, too many to recall the worst one, but the one that stands in my mind. 340ish bull called in by my buddy back in the 80's when calling was extremely good. He came in hook line and sinker to 15 yds perfectly broadside. I lined it up, released and hit the one and only tiny limb I did not see in the dark timber. My partner proceeded to give me a limb for xmas and when I look at it I recall that sweet heavy 6x6 that should be on the wall instead of the limb:)
 

bowinhand

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Feb 26, 2012
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Colorado
yeah 2009 also I was stalking two mulie bucks with the bigger of the two probably around 170-180 class when they got nervous and tried to get to their escape route it was a$$ holes and elbows to try and cut them off the big guy gave me a 30 yard shot but my arrow passed just under his chest and smacked the rock behind him, I was so sure he would jump the string!
 

Backpack Hunter

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Some wilderness area, somewhere
2011..yea that recent. I made what is possibly my best stalk ever, 200 yards wide open terrain, mostly ankle high stuff with a little knee high grasses sprinkled in. Spent all day to get within 25 yards, had him with his head down feeding on a quartering away shot. I stood up and shot right over his back....peeked at the shot.
 

ckleeves

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Feb 25, 2012
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Montrose,Colorado
I have 2 that come to mind. 2009 I missed a good muley buck in AZ at 10 yds. Don't ask me how. 2010 I missed a decent 6x6 bull that my buddy and I had worked in on a herd in a horrible rainstorm it was in thick oakbrush and we could see a dozen or so cows and were just kinda dogging them in the oak when the 6 gets pissed and chases a 5x5 into an opening right in front of us. I drew when i saw the 5 pop out and the 6 stops broadside and I whisper to my buddy ''how far?" he says ''55'' I shoot right over his back and he runs about 50 yds and comes right back to his herd on a different trail. I stop him with a cow call and my buddy says 55 again and I shoot right over his back again! I look back at him, thinking he is using a rangefinder, and he is holding my video cam and laughing! I ask him if he was ranging and he says "nope, just guessing"! It worked out ok, I killed the 5 he was chasing about 10 minutes later at 58 yds once I ranged him! Once we went back to get my arrows we ranged the first miss at 38 and the second at 34! The bad thing is on the first shot as soon as he stepped out I was gonna shoot it for 40 but switched pins when he said 55!
 

dotman

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Feb 24, 2012
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1998, was stalking 3 mulie bucks and when i came up on them i was so excited that i didn't fully nock the arrow, it didn't go far for some reason, i think god was laughing at me. They went 10 yards gave me a second shot uphill and i shot between the legs of the big boy, that was also my first year hunting with a bow and have been hooked since.
 

evan williams

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Jan 28, 2012
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Colorado Springs
Well...2009...for me!! Apparently, someone enjoyed some laughs in 2009!!!

It was October 1 and I was at home in Kansas for an early season Mule Deer hunt. I had some good bucks picked out and this was one year where the crops were coming out on time and the deer were up and moving because of it. I left the house super early to hit my glassing location before sun up and half way there a whitetail doe comes busting out of a standing milo field and I SMASHED HER. So hard in fact that because I was on a curve she put me into the ditch at 67 mph and I ended up rolling my truck 3 times. Luckily I did walk away with a bruise across my chest. My bow, which had been in the back seat, finished off in the front seat next to me. After a trip to the hospital and a clean exit I was up in my tree stand the next day deciding to stay closer to home!!!

At 9:15 am I hear crunching coming from my right (north) as I look to see a GORGEOUS 165" typical 10 whitetail buck cruising down the creek bottom coming straight at me. I reach for my bow and prepare. As he steps behind a cottonwood I draw and line up my pins in my shooting lane. As he steps into it I stop him at 26 yards and THWACK!!! 3 inches UNDER his belly. There was no way I missed that shot but he was still standing there!! I nocked another arrow and drew the whole time he is looking around confused. I split my 20 and 30 pins and let number two fly! CRACK!!!! He jumps away to 30 and stops again looking around puzzled. I nock my third arrow...draw...settle my 30 and I hit a pencil sized twig right behind his shoulder that sent my arrow flipping through the air.

I couldn't believe it 3 shots at a 165" buck all at or under 30 yards in less that 2 minutes..what happened. When I retrieved my first to arrows I noticed that my second arrow cut vanes off my first. They were lying in the ground 1/4" from one another. When I got home scratching my head I decided to step out in the yard and shoot my bow. At 20 yards I was 3 inches low and an inch right. 3 arrows in a nickel sized group. I stepped to 30 and again 2 shots low and right in the size of a dime.

My sight had gotten bent in the accident and it had cost me the largest whitetail I have ever drawn on and shot at!!!
 

Lawnboi

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Mar 2, 2012
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North Central Wi
Did you have to post this, i dont even want to think about it.

I wouldnt really consider it a total miss, just a mess up. With a bow mind you

Not the biggest buck ever, but i had just stalked a 150 class mulie (would have been my first mulie), perfect wind, everything is just perfect. My heart is pumping but im relaxed, and ready to shoot. 45 yards the buck is broadside. I draw back and breathe, and begin going through my shot in my head. As i wrap my finger around the trigger i must have been shaking, i had it set way too sensative, i ended up popping the shot off before i even had a bead on the buck, sending my arrow 10 yards or so away from the buck. He spooked a little, then proceded to mock me by standing right outside my effective range........ then the sun set. I now shoot solely backtension w/ a thumb trigger, that will never happen again!

I killed myself mentally after that. My first western hunt and i missed a very good buck for the area. On a shot that i practiced a thousand times! Even though i ended up going home empty handed, i still consider that hunt a success, i learned alot, and passed up alot of gimme 25 yard chip shots on smaller bucks and does. Even though i had told myself, if it had horns it was down, im glad i stuck it out and waited for a big guy. Next year he will be even bigger, and all those smaller bucks i passed will be deer i would be proud to take.

I planned on going back to the same spot that november, a few week after the above^ happened. I never got to, weather moved in and i wasnt prepared to live off my back in the weather that was coming. I didnt have the 4 season gear i would have needed. But now i do. And i have a week in november where i will be back at it on some country i will never forget.

That moment alone is why i will forever hold a place in my heart for big, white, pumpkin faced, hard horned mulies.
 

a3dhunter

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Feb 26, 2012
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Colorado Springs,CO
Hurts too much to give details, but the short story is I missed the buck of a lifetime above timberline in 2010.
My rangefinder gave a reading of 31 yards 3 times, I shot just under the buck which was actually at 45 yards.
I had a tendency to miss high, so I was holding low and tight.
He had extras, we was wide, and he had decent mass.....running numbers through my head I was thinking 190"+, and even if I deducted 10" for adrenaline causing me to overjudge the buck he still would have been 180"+ very conservatively.
 

JG358

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Feb 27, 2012
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Colorado
Hurts too much to give details, but the short story is I missed the buck of a lifetime above timberline in 2010.
My rangefinder gave a reading of 31 yards 3 times, I shot just under the buck which was actually at 45 yards.
I had a tendency to miss high, so I was holding low and tight.
He had extras, we was wide, and he had decent mass.....running numbers through my head I was thinking 190"+, and even if I deducted 10" for adrenaline causing me to overjudge the buck he still would have been 180"+ very conservatively.
Made for a good show through the spotting scope :)
 

mattstanton

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Feb 25, 2012
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bend, oregon
only 1 so far and it was a 42yd shot at a 6x6 bull opening day 2011. Only limb in my path and I did not see it. Watched my arrow head for the spot and then dive into the dirt. The limb landed 3 feet from the arrow. To make it worse, I ended up with tag soup.
 

les welch

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Central WI
Miss what is that??? I've got some slight target panic on the practice range, but when it comes to the living breathing beings, its stone cold get it done. I have missed an ocassional whitetail, but nothing that gives me nightmares.....biggest was probably a clean 6x6 in the mid-130's. Dead on left and right, just forgot to adjust the slider pin out to 58 yards, still had it set at 30 when I touched it off. Took hair off his belly, and got about a dozen pin sized drops of blood. Kept track of him the next two years via trail cam, although that was the only time I ever seen him. He followed a group of does into a bait pile opening day of rifle 2010 on the neighbors property and got whacked. Still had the big main frame, but added stickers. Grossed in the mid-170's....a true pig. I'll post up some pics of him in the trail cam section.
 

mplane72

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Mar 21, 2012
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IOWA
Well I joined the forum here to gather info and inspiration for my first western hunt this year. I am more of a lurker then a poster but unfortunately I can contribute to this thread. To tell the full story it is going to run a little long as I feel to tell it right some background is in order. Here it is.

I started bow hunting 3 seasons ago. I have been a hunter most of my life but after a few experiences shotgun hunting when I was younger deer never really interested me and living on the Mississippi I spent all my hunting time hunting waterfowl. As my kids got older and life got busier I was unable to hunt ducks the way I wanted and started looking for a new fix. About this same time I had got to be good friends with my wives friends husbands, a dedicated group of bow hunters. I also learned about the special season they conduct in my city. Knowing I could get permission on some private ground in the city limits that I could easily hunt before and after work I bought my first bow and got practiced up. I killed my first deer (a button buck) in the city and was hooked. I got a invite every once in a while to go out with my friends but never had any opportunities at a deer on those trips.

Fast forward through the season to the weekend before Thanksgiving, 2009. My friend calls on Saturday and invites me to go out with him for the afternoon. On the way I mentioned that the only tag I had that I could use at his farm was my statewide any sex tag. He advised me that if the opportunity at a doe came I should take it as he was not expecting to see much.
As I was getting ready to head to the stand he put me in I found I forgot my safety harness. This was bad because the stand I ended up in was a old tiny thing 22 feet up in a tree and while I am not at all scared of heights I was not really comfortable and always leaning against the tree.
I spent the majority of the afternoon sitting as still as possible because I was expecting the deer to come from my left, coming down a trail that started even with my height. I saw a few doe through the afternoon but was never given a shot. I had told myself that when there was about an hour left in the stand i was going to fold up the seat and stand for the remainder of the day. When the time came I slowly scanned the area around me before standing. As I turned my head to the right I about fell out of my stand! Walking out of the woods into the CRP was a tall tined buck and when I saw a drop tine on his left antler I grabbed my bow of the hook and started to stand and turn. This is where not having my harness really hurt me. I leaned against the tree as I stood to raise the seat because I needed to turn to face the tree for the shot and I wanted as much room as I could get. He must have heard me rubbing on the tree and stopped but did not look my way. I took this opportunity to range him, it was 30 yards. He continued a slow walk as I clipped on my release and got set to draw. As I started my draw he stopped. As I was half in my very slow and deliberate draw he stopped and looked right at me and that's when I really came unglued as I realized I was looking at the largest rack I had ever laid eyes on outside of a magazine. He had double drops, split brows and was wide and tall! At this point I had to finish my draw or let down so I slowly finished my draw and put the pin on him as he starred me down. I waited for him to look away before I released, which he finally did. At the shot I did not see my arrow hit but I heard it and as he made a loop in the field and headed back into the woods he came from I saw the my arrow in him but could not tell where it was. I waited hoping to hear a crash but everything was quite. After a little bit of the shakes passed I pulled out my phone and texted my buddy "just shot a monster" his reply a skeptical "really" me "yes" him "did u c him fall?" me "no". This was not easy to do as I was shaking so much and felt as if I may puke at any second. Fortunately he called seconds later and as soon as I said "drop tines" he told me to shut up and wait he was coming right now. When he got there we did a quick assessment of the situation and decided to leave and come back in the morning. I learned that he had heard about this buck but never saw him, which is not surprising given the terrain and the fact that his ground is located near 3 areas that are of limits to hunting. It was a very long night............

There is more to the story so to make this story a little shorter............ The next morning we found blood quickly but it ended just as quickly and after a long search it was decided that it was a non-fatal hit. (This was later confirmed) The feeling was awful and still comes back every now and again. It was worsened when later that day a buddy who knows someone else that hunts the general area sent me the picture at the bottom.


asking if this was the buck. Yes was all I could reply.

Not long after the season ended I joined AT and put that picture in my avatar. I kept it every where to remind me to practice hard and focus. I'm not a big poster and I was surprised when I received a PM one day commenting on my avatar. I cautiously responded and learned that the picture was originally his, taken on his land. He goes by Liv4Rut AT. He gave me the limited history of this deer. A picture of the one shed they had from this deer the year before I shot him that measured around or over a 110 inches by itself and I told him the story I told you. The buck had been spotted with in the week of my miss, my arrow ended up hitting him in the rump. Then no one heard anything else about him. Almost a year later Liv4Rut contacted me again. Turns out the buck survived to make it to about the same time last season only to be found dead of unknown causes. I believe Liv4Rut posted pictures and that story on AT.

The pain of missing that buck has subsided some. When ever it comes up, not by me, my friend tells me I am lucky to have not gotten that deer because I could never surpass it. When I stop and think about it he is kind of right. It would be hard to be fully satisfied with the two bucks I have taken since then that I got all on my own, which are no where near as big, but I did all the work for and should be much more proud of. There it is. now I need a drink.
 

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robby denning

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1991 archery hunt, called in a beauty 6 point, about 320", to 40 yards and broadside. Shot a foot over his back while my friend hit the ground laughing.
 

couesbitten

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East Wenatchee, WA
Archery, 1998, tired, hot, not paying attention, jumped a 180+ muley buck out of his bed in the bottom of a draw, 20 yds below me. He gave me a perfect broadside shot holding stone still, and I shot 3 inches under his chest. That scene still haunts me. 2008, Nebo unit, UT, the bull that really haunts me is the one I saw for about 30 seconds, 1000 yds below me. One of those bulls that when you see him, you don't even have to look twice, you just know (I've no doubt he was a 375ish bull). I literally ran down the ridge to try and close the gap on him, but he disappeared. Five minutes later, across the canyon, out walks a bull we'd been trying to get a glimpse of all week, had a very distinct bugle. I quickly judged him to be a 350 bull, and not wanting to tempt fate, I decided that he would do, I missed the 400 yd shot, and two days later, I missed him again at 225 yds. I was not meant to fill that tag.
 

J-Daddy

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Feb 27, 2012
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South Dakota
My worst miss was on a 12pt whitetail here in Iowa a few years ago...Still haunts me to this day. I went to a piece of public ground that I hadn't stepped foot on for a month and a half..my other spots had kinda dried up but I knew there were a couple big 12pts in this area..No stand, just went in on a glassing mission that day with only my binos, rangefinder, bow & grunt call. There was a picked corn field and an alfalfa field on the back side of it, the 2 fields were seperated by some old round bails of hay. I take up camp behind the hay watching the alfalfa field..Right before dark 4 does come out and start feeding, I'm thinking "It's Iowa in mid Nov and not a buck anywhere, this is crazy"...About that time big boy comes out and starts chasing a doe around the field. I give him a roar & snort wheeze and here he comes ready to fight. I'm down behind the hay, he goes to the far end then turns and comes up, I know I'm gonna have to shoot over the roll of hay so I get ready...He steps into view and I try to range him, no dice the piece of sh-t Bushnell rangefinder won't pick him up...I guess the yardage and come to full draw then raise up over the roll of hay...Right before I release the arrow I look down and realize the arrow is gonna hit the hay, only option, stand on my tip toes...then I proceed to launch it right over his back.
Deer was a stud, would have netted 175" or so easy...He was a Booner without a doubt, just a freakin stud of a whitetail.
If a buck is 140" or smaller they are dead if I draw back on them, if they are 150"+ I dick it up every damn time.
 

Broken Arrow

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Mar 5, 2012
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Grain valley, Mo
Mine was back when I still living at home. My buddy and I were in the garage and I got cocky about my shooting shot at my 3D target laying against the wall, well missed the target went through the wall and stuck into my dad's $2000 buffet!!!!! Lol man was he pissed!!!!
 

Pond

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Mar 24, 2012
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Redmond, OR
About 12 years ago when I started bow hunting (which put the excitement back into for me) I stalked up on a great 160-170 mule deer with perfect velvet 4x4's. 20 yards and forget about looking through the peep and lay my 20 pin on his and watch my arrow skip across the ground 5 yards infront of him and between his legs. At least it was in line with his heart. Just a tad low.LOL. My whole first season was full of silly stuff.

Pond
 
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