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Ckosal, don't feel alone, had to chuckle reading your post. At 9:00 a decent buck walked from left to right, and couldn't stop him. I followed him and squeezed a shot on his shoulder. He did the "bronco kick" also and ran. After looking for blood and not finding any, I found this tree on my way back to blind. Dead center. First miss in years. Ouch..Hope to see Lucky again tomorrow. Good luck all.
 

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View attachment 608909 Ckosal, don't feel alone, had to chuckle reading your post. At 9:00 a decent buck walked from left to right, and couldn't stop him. I followed him and squeezed a shot on his shoulder. He did the "bronco kick" also and ran. After looking for blood and not finding any, I found this tree on my way back to blind. Dead center. First miss in years. Ouch..Hope to see Lucky again tomorrow. Good luck all.
I've been on hand for somewhere between 175-200 kills over the years. Never have I seen a deer bronco kick that wasn't hit. Can't imagine it ever occurring, as the kick is a physiological response to being hit, but if it does occur on a miss, it's an incredibly rare occurrence.
 

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Diagnosed with buck fever


Great morning in thumb. I went to my deepest blind this morning. Good wind and late season. Bedding around me.

At 730 just getting light enough to see 50+ yards I look to my left and I see my 1 and only target buck getting up from his bed. Totally shocked me.

My sliders were still closed. Range finder in pocket, cob webs in my eyes. As I readied myself and grabbed my glass to confirm it was him he started walking away. He picked up a run about 65 yards that angles away from me and essentially crescent moons my blind.

I grabbed my .450. Heart pounding and tried to find him in each of the 4 small shooting windows/lanes I created. I couldn’t get him clear until the last one. He stopped for one second. At 93 yards.

I squeezed. I think a perfect MISS. I either hit a twig or jerked it or something. He did a bronco jump. I thought I hit him. But do not see any hair or blood after a two hour wait and then a one hour search. Damn!!!

Still a great sit. I saw two other nice bucks. In the brush. I couldn’t shoot as I only have a single tag left.

Out here for an all day sit. Hope he comes back to see what the commotion was. I think I caught a glimpse of him and hour after I shot.

Totally a buck fever miss. I was planning to sit in this spot to take a doe. I had no pics of him here. Was totally shocked and unprepared. Then the race of my adrenaline and time made me rush. I knew my last chance was that last window and I tried to make it happen when I should of just let him walk.

Now I have the hornady debate pounding in my brain. Did I hit him and there is no blood at the point of the shot? Ugh.

Otherwise a good sit. At least two maybe 3 8 pts or better and two spikes. Also have seen about 15 does and fawns.




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An hour sniffin for clues of a hit.....With no indication of such...Reduces some question.

Amazing how fast confidence can get run off by creeping doubts.

His reaction is suspect. I trust you would have found sign of a hit or struggling deer.
It can be danged faint sometimes though.. More so if the deer takes a turn i/we miss noting.
Or a single jump over the right clump of cover , ect..

Took me two tries a while back approaching spot buck stood at shot to find a few hairs.
Worse , I missed seeing him in bedding form facing away at about thirty yards into the heavy cover on the first approach. I'll blame rain unfairly , but no blood found for about twenty yards. One smear on a sapling , one splotch where he went down.
That after little reaction at the shot , other than taking off at a run.
Knew I had jerked the trigger. And the doubts while giving him some time before sneaking a peek for sign or him , were loud ones.
 

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Congrats John!

View attachment 608903 This season just gets better & better! Daughter & boyfriend came up to hunt & after pulling me aside to ask my permission, my daughters long time boyfriend asked for her hand in marriage! Now she & I are in the blind together & we’ll never see any deer cause we’re giggling like schoolgirls & I have an ear to ear grin going! Lol
 

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This has been a very quiet season so far. I know people are hunting in the area but I've only heard one shot fired from quite a ways off. Either the bucks are alive and hiding or they've been pushed away. Anyway if one shows up he's got me to deal with. So far this morning a small group went into these pines probably to bed.
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No upper peninsula hunting for you this year?


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View attachment 608903 This season just gets better & better! Daughter & boyfriend came up to hunt & after pulling me aside to ask my permission, my daughters long time boyfriend asked for her hand in marriage! Now she & I are in the blind together & we’ll never see any deer cause we’re giggling like schoolgirls & I have an ear to ear grin going! Lol
Great pic! Congratulations to your family.
 
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I just did another 30 min walk. No trace. He was at the far edge of thick stuff i had cut, hinged. Further past was that park like setting like area. He ran that way.

I did circles about 20-30 yards past shot. Not a speck.

Self doubts absolutely there. But also complete shock and disbelief of a clear miss. A bad shot occasionally happens. But I only remember one complete miss in my 40 years of doing this. I am not perfect but I sure normally have more poise than I showed this am.

All of the range time. The previous deer. If I miss normally it is a loose group like miss versus a complete target miss. Deflection might be the only answer?

One note. The reaction I saw for my shot was the delay for 1 second and then the leap. Not a bronco kick. Mine was more like that shoulder hit reaction like he was trying to leap but froze for a second to process what he felt. It looked like a hit. But it wasn’t a hit where he was clearly reacting to a projectile in his bread basket.

Maybe that is more doubt. I don’t know. I sure wish I had the camera running. This is my one blind I don’t normally run the cam.

Might let it go today and grid search tomorrow after we are done with morning hunt?


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No upper peninsula hunting for you this year?


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My wife has an impaired immune system and with Covid I felt I should stay home rather than take a chance of getting exposed and possibly bringing it home to her. I'm still considering going for muzzleloader season but we'll see.
 

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I just did another 30 min walk. No trace. He was at the far edge of thick stuff i had cut, hinged. Further past was that park like setting like area. He ran that way.

I did circles about 20-30 yards past shot. Not a speck.

Self doubts absolutely there. But also complete shock and disbelief of a clear miss. A bad shot occasionally happens. But I only remember one complete miss in my 40 years of doing this. I am not perfect but I sure normally have more poise than I showed this am.

All of the range time. The previous deer. If I miss normally it is a loose group like miss versus a complete target miss. Deflection might be the only answer?

One note. The reaction I saw for my shot was the delay for 1 second and then the leap. Not a bronco kick. Mine was more like that shoulder hit reaction like he was trying to leap but froze for a second to process what he felt. It looked like a hit. But it wasn’t a hit where he was clearly reacting to a projectile in his bread basket.

Maybe that is more doubt. I don’t know. I sure wish I had the camera running. This is my one blind I don’t normally run the cam.

Might let it go today and grid search tomorrow after we are done with morning hunt?


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I perceive a deer leaping a moment after the shot as being much different than a back leg kick. Back leg kick would be all the evidence I need of a hit - would look far and wide regardless of whether or not I ever found blood. What you're describing in terms of the reaction is less clear but your track record of accuracy over 40 years would lead to me to guess that a miss is unlikely.

I agree with Skibum that this would be a good scenario for a tracking dog.

If you did end up hitting him I hope your grid search leads to a recovery ckosal.
 
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