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  1. #1
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    Biggest Hunting Mistakes

    What is your biggest hunting mistake that you feel someone else can learn from? I think I have learned more from my mistakes through the years than I have from anywhere else.

    My biggest mistake was my second elk hunt ever. I was 16 years old. I took a shot at a young bull elk that I was sure missed. Minutes later I shot another elk out of the same heard. Friends came- we were excited. We packed out the elk I shot and never returned to the area. Months later I replayed the scene in my mind over and over. I had a feeling I had hit the first bull. When spring came, I returned to confirm what had been eating at me all winter. 100 yards from where I had shot I found the skeleton of the young bull... It was a hard lesson for me at the time but I promise I have never taken a shot that wasn't investigated since.

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  3. #2
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    Last year I had 2 bulls feed right in front if me I was sure it was a 40 yard shot, didn't bother ranging it cause it happened so quick, drew back and shot hit that bull way way high like backstrap high, I came in for a second shot after the bull went 30 yards I didn't think I hit him on the first shot my second shot knicked a branch, the bull went 30 yards and stopped again so I backed out, never found him dead but he was alive 2 weeks later just fine, my advice no matter range it, I never thought ever that I would have a bull feed that close 20 yards was the shot, I wish I woulda taken that 10 seconds and ranged it I woulda prolly had a dead bull, but lesson learned


    If you get meat from the store then dont criticize me for having the courage to go out and kill my own meat

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  5. #3
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    My biggest mistake was not taking my bolt all the way apart and cleaning it before I went hunting when it was real cold. I got 3 shots off out of IDK how many. To make matters worse I completely misjudged the wind and hit an elk to far back with the first 2 before i figured out the wind was not doing what i thought it was doing. Got 1 more to go off that i think hit him in the front leg. Finally took the bolt out and held it under my coat until he staggered by at under 200 yards. Put the bolt back in and couldnt get a shot off for nothing. Backed out to give him some time and some other hunters claimed him. Bottom line, always take your bolt apart and clean and dry lube it!
    Keystone 1, Over!

    " I am lost in the dust of the chase that my life brings"

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  7. #4
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    I have forgot to bring bullets on an out of state hunt. I couldn't find any of the same brand and weight that my scope was set up for. I ended up getting the same weight but differant brand. It worked out since I never shot one bullet.
    I don't Break the rules, I Modify them.

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  9. #5
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    I found a deer feeding in a field behind my parent's house when I was 15. Told my bro to grab a gun and come look at it. He ended up shooting it and I never really got a good look at it. 23 3/4" wide 8pt with split G2 (9pt) that grossed in the low 160s. Biggest buck to come out of the region that year.

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  11. #6
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    Biggest Hunting Mistakes

    I have several. One was I need to draw and then stop the animal, not try and stop them while you are drawing your bow.

    Trust landmarks, cost me a shot at a very nice velvet four point because I didn't think I was that close.


    Be ready when walking into a draw, spooked a buck at 35 yards because I was dinking around not paying attention.

    Always pre range landmarks or range the animal. Shot a buck right through the top of his back because I second guessed the yardage.

    Not being ready for the animal to walk out from behind a bush on the side you didn't want. Also Be proficient in yardage guessing, if I would have, I would have had a perfect 45 yard broadside shot.

    Not leaving the shotgun loaded while I load up to leave the blind. I guarantee ducks and geese will fly by and land while packing up. Don't unload the gun until you are walking back to the vehicle or house.

    I will add more as I remember them
    Last edited by velvetfvr; 03-31-2014 at 08:09 PM.
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    AKA: Velvet Feather

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  13. #7
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    Velvet reminded me of one: If a buck is hot on a doe and pauses for a second out past 50yds, don't let that arrow fly. That was the longest tracking job, through the nastiest, thickest mess imaginable, I've ever had to do.

  14. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by velvetfvr View Post
    I have several. One was I need to draw and then stop the animal, not try and stop them while you are drawing your bow.

    Trust landmarks, cost me a shot at a very nice velvet four point because I didn't think I was that close.


    Be ready when walking into a draw, spooked a buck at 35 yards because I was dinking around not paying attention.

    Always pre range landmarks or range the animal. Shot a buck right through the top of his back because I second guessed the yardage.

    Not being ready for the animal to walk out from behind a bush on the side you didn't want. Also Be proficient in yardage guessing, if I would have, I would have had a perfect 45 yard broadside shot.

    Not leaving the shotgun loaded while I load up to leave the blind. I guarantee ducks and geese will fly by and land while packing up. Don't unload the gun until you are walking back to the vehicle or house.

    I will add more as I remember them
    At your age the list has only one direction to go, if you know what I mean. At least you recognize that you've done something wrong and are making an effort to not let it happen again. I'll share a few words with you........DON'T SWEAT THE THINGS YOU CAN'T CONTROLL !!!!! Makes life and hunting a whole lot easier.

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  16. #9
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    Biggest Hunting Mistakes

    Quote Originally Posted by packer58 View Post
    At your age the list has only one direction to go, if you know what I mean. At least you recognize that you've done something wrong and are making an effort to not let it happen again. I'll share a few words with you........DON'T SWEAT THE THINGS YOU CAN'T CONTROLL !!!!! Makes life and hunting a whole lot easier.
    Oh I don't. But its funny to me. Especially now after getting my first archery animal and like, wow that's how its suppose to happen lol.

    What it shows me is how the little things matter. And how much training and preparation plays into a hunt. And the thing with a lot of those encounters may have caused me to go unsuccessful on this animals, but the adrenaline rush and buck fever after it was awesome. That made the hunt.

    Also I am a self taught bowhunter. No one in my family has ever shot a bow yet hunted with one. So naturally I will probably make more mistakes because I just have myself to rely on to make choices.
    2013 spyder turbo, 70lbs black out and 2013 pse omen max 60# stormy hardwoods green
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    AKA: Velvet Feather

  17. #10
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    I've got a couple....

    First one was I first moved to Colorado. I was here a couple of years and starting to learn the area pretty good. A group of us were 1st season elk hunting near home, driving out each morning. I had had recent surgery on my abdomen and really couldn't do a lot of walking. My partners were going up a mountain to some big aspen groves and I decided to sit on a small canyon coming from that area. I'd been there about 1/2 hour when I saw 5 cows and a couple of calves moving down the opposite side. Then a nice 6x6 bull followed them. I was sitting and shot at him (about a 200 yd shot) and down he went. I sat there and in about 10 mins one of my pards showed up. we decided to go get him. As we got across the canyon and about 20 yards from where he went down, he got up and took off. We found a big pool of blood and followed it for several hundred yard and lost it. 4 of us spent all day and part of the next looking to no avail. Big mistake not sitting where I shot from and directing my pard to the bull. When he got up I would have had another shot at him.

    The other was not doing enough research before selecting an area and outfitter for a guided wilderness elk hunt. Eastman's MRS has said the wolves were getting bad near Yellowstone NP, but I wanted to go and did anyway. You guessed it, a blown hunt and a bunch of $$$ down the drain. Do your research, ask lots of questions and then listen to what you hear and learn.
    Colorado Cowboy
    Cowboy Action Shooter; Endowment Life Member-NRA
    The Original Rocket Scientist-Retired
    "My Father always considered a walk in the mountains as the equivalent of church going."
    Aldous Huxley

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