When A Good Shot Goes Bad


How many times have you had that moment when the buck commits, he’s coming right into your wheelhouse, you draw back your bow and make the perfect shot right behind the shoulder, or was it? This is when a good shot goes bad.

Recently we had that experience; even caught the whole thing on camera only things didn’t turn out the way we would have hoped. Even experienced hunters who have been there and done that have hunting scenarios that play out differently each time, and even the best of us make mistakes. All we can do is look back and try to learn from those mistakes so that next time we will be better prepared.

If you can’t tell from the footage the shot went high into the shoulder and we never found this deer. Even after searching for several days. A heartbreaking experience for any hunter at any point in their hunting career.

Things We Did Wrong

  • Late Start

Unfortunately the best laid plans sometimes go airy and on this day the battery on my truck died delaying our hunt and we scrambled to get into the blind with only a couple of hours to hunt.

  • Perpetration
  1. We didn’t range anything
  2. We didn’t clear the weeds from our shooting lanes.
  3. We didn’t practice with the Broadheads.


  • Low Expectations

We were having a casual afternoon we really didn’t expect anything to happen. Little did we know our first afternoon this buck would come right to us. Keep your mind sharp and know it can happen at any time.


  • The Shooters Story

My buddy Richard is a great bow shot. I’ve watched him stack arrows at 50 yards, so this was a chip shot at 20-25 yards. Unfortunately he had some things hindering him on this afternoon.Early Season Hunt

  1.  He had been diagnosed with pink eye, just that day, and the sun was right in our face.
  2. He didn’t take his glasses off , (he never shoots with them on)
  3. He was shooting a Muzzy when he always shoots Rage. He had read how you aren’t supposed to shoot the Rage through the mesh so he had changed at the last-minute. Even though I’ve watched him smoke turkeys through the mesh no problem.
  • My Take

Do I think any of these things made him miss? No, but  I do think all of these variables together played a part in an imperfect shot which resulted in minimal blood trail and a wounded deer that may never be found.

  • Moving Forward

It’s pretty amazing that all our time and hard work over the months leading up to this hunt could be spoiled by just inches but that’s reality and we as bow hunters must accept that, and hope that next time at the moment of truth we can make our one shot count.

Update!!!!!! The story continues……

First a blurry trail camera photo comes in but if you look close you can tell the buck has a split on his right G3 just like our buck.


 A couple of days later, this happens….

It was our buck from earlier this season you could barely tell he had been shot.  The muzzy had come out the other side. He Had scares on both sides it hit him high behind the shoulder. If you didn’t know you may not have noticed but you could even see the wound in the cavity between the ribs but it had healed up pretty well. Must have missed everything vital.

This just goes to show you how tough a mature whitetail buck can be. The next time you arrow one and think you killed him and he will never be found. Think again because you might just get a second shot at him if you keep your head up and stay keep after him

Leave a Reply

  • Facebook
  • Google+
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Vimeo
  • Pinterest