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Ugh...!!!

Managed to get out of work early enough to be in the stand by 4:00 yesterday. Sat for about an hour watching a small army of black squirrels. Just before 5 a grey squirrel came in that weighed about as much as all the blacks put together and they all scattered. While watching them scatter I noticed some movement off in the distance. About 100 yards north of me and headed due west were 4 deer. They weren't going to end up anywhere near me so I hit what I think was a social grunt on the tube. The turned and circled around in my direction at a trot. As they came through some trees I was able to get the bow off the rest and get my release on the loop without being spotted. There was one real nice mature doe, a smaller doe, and two yearlings. I had my eye on the mature doe, but she was awful cautious. The wind was kind of swirling a bit and I'm pretty sure she caught a hint of me. She put her nose up once or twice checking the wind. The real bad part was when she was sticking her nose up and waving it around she caught a glimpse of me. I was completely still so she didn't spook, but she sure was keeping a close eye on me. She'd put her head down for a half-second to browse around and then look right back at me. She finally decided that although she didn't know anything was wrong that she wasn't taking any chances. She slowly walked off keeping an eye on me and the two yearlings followed her. The smaller doe was moving in that direction to a little at a time, but kept pausing. Finally the big one and yearlings were off in the trees out of sight, but the smaller one stopped for a couple seconds about 35 yards away at a quartering angle. I decided it was finally time. The big doe was what I wanted, but I also wanted to get one under my belt and get some meat in the freezer.

So I drew back and let it fly. I tried to concentrate on my shot since it was the first. The lumenok worked great. I could clearly see the arrow and where it hit. The deer mule kicked and took off running due north. I could see it stop about 30 yards from where it got hit just the other side of the top of a small hill. It paused for a few seconds, then staggered, then tumbled over. My heart was gonna come out of my chest. I could see my arrow in the ground with the nock glowing right behind where the deer had been standing so I new I passed through.

I decided to wait a while even though I knew it went down. Not only did I not want to jump it back up, but the doe and two yearlings had reappeared south of me on a run through the tags and were watching in my direction. I didn't want to get any more busted in the stand than I already was so that I could hopefully still use the stand again this season. I gave it a little over 1/2 hour when there was just a hint of light left and then got down as slowly and quietly as I could.

There was the arrow. Completely coated in bright red with a little blood sprayed around it. Then about 5 feet away the real blood trail started. A good thick trail. It was bleeding heavily enough from the 2-blade Rage hit that it was actually spraying up on the small trees that it was passing. I knew where it had fallen, but wanted to follow the trail anyway just for the practice. I was pumped.

I hit the top of the hill and my heart just dropped. I was so mad at myself I thought I was gonna throw up. After all the talk within the last few days I had done it anyway. It wasn't a doe at all. It was a button. I still can't believe I did it. I've tried to justify it to myself several times over. It was smaller than the big doe, but considerably bigger than the yearlings. I had also been under the impression from past experience that buttons travelled alone. However, when all is said and done none of that is a good excuse. I should have known the difference, and I'm pretty disgusted with myself, but I can't take it back. I wanted to get my first bow kill, but definitely not like this. A shot I will remember forever, but in a way wish I could forget.

I thought for a moment about not posting this and keeping my big mouth shut, but that wouldn't be my style. I learned a long time ago that it's better to fess up when you screw up and take your licks like a man. I can't take back the fact that I screwed up big time, but I can avoid adding to that mistake by being dishonest with you guys on the forum. So many of you have offered advice, help, hints, etc. that I just couldn't do that. So let me have it, I won't deny it, I deserve it.

A few positive glimmers out of the experience though. I finally have complete confidence that I can hit one from the stand. I also after reading all the debates about broadheads on the forum and wondering which direction to go have complete faith in the 2-blade Rage. Last was the only thing that could make me smile last night after being so upset with myself... watching my 11-year old daughter do her newly invented "backstrap dance".
 

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Congratulations on your first bow kill!! You've been waiting twenty years or something like that for this right? Enjoy it.
 

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Don't beat yourself up too bad man! Things happen in the woods. I've done it before and I'm sure quite a few others have as well. This is one of the reasons I always carry binos with me even if I can only see 30 or 40 yards out of the stand. Like I said man s**t happens. Congrats on your first bow kill. Only gets easier from here.

Sent from my SPH-D710VMUB using Ohub Campfire mobile app
 

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Im pretty sure by your post that you wont ever let it happen again so obviously something was learned. Its better than it going to waste in the ditch after someone smokes it with their car. Congrats on the deer and enjoy the backstraps!!! We make mistakes and learn from them.
 

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My first deer was a button buck, I was and still am proudest of that deer above all others. I wish I would have had the money to get it mounted. I do my best not to kill BB's, but just as you experienced, it can still happen. I wouldn't waste one millisecond being upset about your deer.

I think people can be way to effected by the judgement of other hunters, as far as I'm concerned that's just a damned crying shame.
 

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Great story, great shot, great experience!

You can't take it back, but why in the heck would you want to? Be proud of a quick, clean kill and for the meat in the freezer - I see no mistake there.

If anyone displays one ounce of negativity towards what you've done, take them for what they are-an ignorant fool.

Congrats again!
 

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My first bow kill was a BB too. I felt just like you do too. It's a mistake you won't likely ever make again. I know that and now you do too. It should be good eating so enjoy and don't beat yourself up over it.
 

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My first bow kill was a button, that was well over 20 years ago.. I still remember every detail of the hunt and tracking of that deer. Take all the negatives and throw them in the garbage, keep the good stuff. Conrats on your first bow kill!
 

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Congrats on a quick, clean and ethical kill. That is venison in the freezer!!!
 

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It happens to more than you think because a lot won't admit it. Like the others have already said don't worry about it...enjoy the moment and the meat!

Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Ohub Campfire mobile app
 

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Congrats on the deer, mistakes happen and you probably won't do it again, a lot of hunters have done it, I've taken a bb and am now more cautious of it but every harvest is a trophy in my book!
 

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in a forum with many folks who are quick to judge and scrutinize over the smallest thing... i am really impressed and encouraged to see so many on here be so supportive. right on!!
 

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Many years ago out of a hole in the ground blind my father and brothers made in Oscoda, I took my first ever deer...a button buck...I too experienced both happiness and regret, ENJOY your kill!
My dad made fun of mine...
 
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