-By Rich Miller
Bowhunting, in my opinion, is one of the greatest sports on earth. It is an adrenaline filled sport that I cannot seem to get enough of. I don’t know if it’s the challenge of getting so close to the animals that I am chasing or if it’s knowing that I have handicapped myself with a stick and string, but when the season is in if I am not in the woods its all I am thinking about.
When a hunter decides to start hunting with a bow, there are several things that he needs to accept before he heads out to the woods. The first thing is the need to practice until you think you can’t do any better, and then practice a lot more. It doesn’t matter how good you think you can shoot, it all changes when the moment of truth arrives. Personally, I like to shoot my bow every day and shoot it so much that I familiarize myself with the bow. When I draw my bow, I want to anchor the same place and way every time without thinking about it. If you have a monster buck standing in front of you, I promise that thinking is the last thing your mind.
Another factor of bowhunting is accepting the highs and lows that come along with the sport. I have experienced the highest of highs while holding a bow in my hand. It can be fulfilling knowing that you beat the animals you are hunting in their house and on their terms. There are also some lows when the deer don’t read the script and stay outside your shooting range. I have missed out on some monster deer because I had a bow in my hand instead of a rifle.
The last thing is the worst, but if you are going to bowhunt, the reality is sooner or later you will shoot a deer and not recover it. This is a truth that no one wants to talk about and no one wants to happen, but it will happen at some point and time.
Last night I got a call from a buddy of mine who told me that he had just shot a buck and made a perfect shot. After the shot, he said the deer walked off and stopped about 80 yards away. After that he lost sight of the deer, but thought he heard him lay down. He stayed in the stand about an hour after the shot. I met him at the edge of the woods and we headed back in with flash lights to find his deer. When we got to where he shot the buck we found some signs of where he hit the deer, but couldn’t find anything else. After searching there for a while, we moved up to the last place he saw the deer and found just a little bit of blood but we could not tell which way he went.
My buddy was really confused because we couldn’t find much blood at all and he thought he made a perfect shot on the deer. He thought that he had done everything right; he waited on a good shot angle and the deer was only 15 yards from him. It is hard to say what happened without seeing the deer, but the arrow could have hit a rib, turned out and exited farther back than what he thought. He went back out this morning and searched for a couple of hours but didn’t recover the deer. I hated it for him because he was excited and said it was a god buck.
We all try to make the most clean and ethical shot that we possibly can, but over the years I have found out that sometimes the perfect shot isn’t the perfect shot.