John's Journal...


Don't Leave a Good Spot And Have A Good Attitude

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: You'll immediately feel violently ill when you release an arrow and watch the broadhead cut nothing but air. Unfortunately, I've had this happen to me more than once. At times, like you, I've heard off in the distance my hunting buddies screaming and hollering when they've missed shots. I've also seen bows have rude encounters with tree trunks after they've failed to perform properly. However, I've learned often the best part of your bow hunt occurs after you've missed a shot. Many times, you'll get a second shot at the same deer or a bigger deer.

Just because you've missed several deer in the same location, don't give up hunting that site. As a novice bowhunter years ago, I found a stand site in the woods between a big briar thicket and a hardwood bottom. A large mound of dirt ran between this bedding area and feeding region. I discovered a deer trail ankle-deep with tracks going in both directions between these two places.Click to enlarge Back then, I hunted with my own homemade pin sight I'd invented. I'd had great success with my accuracy with it in the backyard. However, when I climbed the tree to get to my stand, I inadvertently bumped the sight, causing it to no longer shoot accurately. My arrow flew over the back of the first deer that appeared. On the next deer, I shot the ground 6 feet in front of the deer after I'd moved my pin sight. From 1:00 p.m. until dark, I shot 24 arrows at deer less than 30-yards away. I made four trips up and down the tree to collect arrows after I shot. Although I had put plenty of scent in the area and spooked many deer, the next week I went back to the same tree stand. After adjusting my sight properly, I bagged a nice buck.

Click to enlargeUsually you'll have the most success bagging a buck with your bow the first time you hunt an area. However, unless the deer sees you before, when or after you shoot, he probably won't know what's spooked him. Then you can hunt from that same stand again. Don't give up on a productive tree stand site just because you miss a deer there.

Have a Proper Attitude About the Miss:
You can pull success from the ashes of defeat if you maintain the proper attitude and have a never-say-die spirit. I've known bow hunters who've screamed and hollered, thrown temper tantrums on their tree stands and/or left the woods after they've missed shots. Your mental attitude has more to do with your success after a miss than the place you hunt or the equipment you use. I believe and know as truth that if I
* one deer, I'll probably see another deer at the same spot in a very short time,
* I may get a second shot if the deer stops,Click to enlarge
* the same deer may return to see what's spooked him,
* I've still had a great day afield because I've had the opportunity to shoot,
* I may have faulty equipment, which I quickly can check out for flaws and
* the sooner I can forget about the miss, the less likely that I'll miss the second time.
I also realize that if I become aggravated or frustrated because I've missed and spoiled my hunt, then I'm hunting for the wrong reasons and should change sports. Even the best bow hunters can and will miss at some time. None of us like to miss. But if you know what to do once you've failed to be less than accurate, you'll have a greater chance of success the next time you try.



Check back each day this week for more about WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU MISS WITH JOHN E. PHILLIPS...

Day 1 - Second Chances
Day 2 - Use The 10-Yard Formula
Day 3 - Determine Whether Or Not You've Hit The Deer
Day 4 - Don't Leave a Good Spot And Have A Good Attitude
Day 5 - When The Bucks Come Running And When You Hit But Miss



Entry 273, Day 4