John's Journal...


When The Bucks Come Running And When You Hit But Miss

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.

Click to enlargeYou only may have one opportunity to shoot when you see a buck running toward you. Avid bow hunter Dr. Bob Sheppard of Carrollton, Alabama, recommends that as soon as you see the buck start running, draw your bow, and turn toward the direction in which the deer's running. You'll have to make the shot quickly and won't have time to see the shot, draw and shoot. As the buck approaches the place where you want to take him, yell at the deer something like, "'Hey, you!' to stop the buck," Sheppard advised. "You only will have an instant to get off the shot. Aim for the lower quarter of the buck because he's already alerted. More than likely he'll drop down and attempt to jump when heClick to enlarge sees or hears your bow fire. When you release the arrow, you'll either hit or miss the deer. You won't have an opportunity for a second shot. But you won't get the first shot if you don't draw as soon as you see the buck coming towards you on run."

When You Hit But Miss:
Often you can hit the deer but miss your target. When this happens, you'll find shooting a second arrow critical to your bagging a buck. One season when I hunted on the Ford Ranch near Melvin, Texas, I had a nice 8 point at 20 yards from my tree stand. The buck had his head down feeding when I drew my bow. I took my time, anchored the shot and aimed for his lungs. When I released the arrow, I saw it hit the spot where I'd aimed. Click to enlargeBut instead of bolting and running, the buck dropped in his tracks. A portion of the arrow still showed on the outside of the buck. I instantly nocked a second arrow and took another shot before the deer could get back up. A double-lung hit buck should have run off and left a blood trail. He shouldn't have fallen where he stood. When we cleaned that buck that night, we saw that the broadhead had gone in right behind the shoulder and either hit a bone or the buck had turned. The broadhead had gone straight up, spinning the deer from the bottom side up. I never had hit a deer like that before. But the second arrow helped me to put the deer down quickly and efficiently.


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 5