Before I had a gps I went to hike into a new back country area and about 2 miles In I realized I forgot my map. Long story short my partner and I got a little turned around, and I got seriously sick from drinking out of a creek on the way in, and to make things worse every 10 steps we would see a huge pile of griz scat. The next morning we decided to hike back out because we never found the spring that we were going to use for our water supply, and being at almost 11000 feet there weren't many options for water. On the way out after hiking for about 1 1/2 hours I suddenly saw a sign on a tree, and thought to myself no way could there be a sign out where we were. Well the sign had actually grown into the tree from being so old, and it said "Yellowstone National Park Wilderness Boundary". I couldn't believe we had accidentally crossed the park border and I am glad we never actually got a chance to hunt. Lastly on the hike out we did run into a young griz that came in silently and we didn't notice him until he was at about 20 yards, thankfully he ran off, but not before I scat a little myself. Moral of the story, don't forget your map, or gps now, when going into new country.
Got my new Leica 1600 rangefinder took it out of the box and just figured everything was set on it. Well it wasn't. Had a left over doe tag and luckily it was some huge buck cause I missed it twice because my rangefinder was set in meters not yards. Probably you wouldn't think it would be a huge deal but at 500 yards it makes a difference. 500 meters comes out to be about 547 yards. So double check your rangefinder if u get a new one to see if it's in meters or yards.
Never pass up a high percentage shot opportunity on a mature buck that you want to take thinking "he will come back by, or he'll keep feeding this way". We were starting a drive and I was a poster. It is a mile long drive along a river, thick betting areas that feather out into fallow/pasture. I had just gotten to my posting spot while the drivers were probably still driving on the road to the other end of the push and I saw a buck chase a doe out of the woods right out into the meadow I was covering. I was resting comfortably with a good rifle on a sturdy sapling, no wind, and had my crosshairs on that bucks chest at about 150 yds. He was a mature 5x5 or better with some trash, probably mid 130s or better. He poked around with that doe in that field for 10-15 seconds and was still for a fair bit of it. I hesitated for a multitude of reasons, none of which involved an unsafe or unethical/low percentage shot. One thing was the thought that "he's trapped in this drive" which was being conducted by a bunch of us that are pretty darn good at driving this particular piece. So, he pushed that doe and he chased her back into the thick stuff.
So, he was still in the push and we pushed out a pile of deer. I was passing and passing thinking he would come out my way, where he had just been. As the drivers approached there was only 10 yds or so of woods left before they hit the meadow where the posters were about 70 yds out. 15 or so deer had come out, one small buck and a couple does were down, and darn if that big old boy didn't wait in the far corner of the woods til the driver about stepped on him and bolted out the corner but out the back at the same time, right towards the road. No shot. I had that deer dead to rights and never took my safety off. If I can see a deer is legal, mature and possibly within the goals I have for the caliber of animal I'm after, and he's up on his feet with any possibility of disappearing I shoot. If there is ground shrink, I have no one to blame but myself. For someone that has limited time to hunt and hasn't killed many "trophy" caliber animals, that's a lot easier to swallow than realizing it was a shooter while you get a final glimpse as they bounce out of sight.
1. Being in a hurry and going too fast
2. Being in a hurry and going too fast
3. Being in a hurry and going too fast
There are a few others, but that covers 95% of them.
Not my worse but could have been, this year ML for deer I was climbing from down my 12 ft buddy stand like I have done 100 times before. On the top step threw my ML and pack both over my left shoulder did not take time to lower my gun with the string I had. Was holding on to the pack and sling with my left hand and holding onto the to run with my right. The camo netting around the stand caught a buttion on my military style pants. I let go of the top run and reached down and pull the netting loose, next thing I knew I was laying flat on my back on the ground. It took me a couple of mins. to remember what happened but I walked away with nothing broken and I was only sore for a few days from the 12ft. fall. It scares me to think that I could have ended my hunting career by getting in a hurry and being so careless. I always thought when I hear of people falling from trees stands that they must have done something stupid and that it could never happen to me ! Well it did and have learned my lesson, it can happen to anyone if you get careless and in a hurry.
We were deer hunting in western Wyoming a few years back. Driving up a mountain trail while it was snowing big old snow flakes. We came up on a very fresh set of big tracks on the trail so I told my buddies to stop, I wanted to jump out and follow the tracks for just a little ways. I was in a hurry, so no coat or GPS, because of course, I was just going a little ways and I'd be right back. I was keeping my eyes on the tracks and looking ahead for the deer. He apparently knew I was there because all of a sudden there was a set of human tracks, they were mine! The deer had taken me in a complete circle. I decided that was enough because by that time it was snowing so hard it had covered my tracks so I couldn't follow my tracks out. I looked up and all I could see was trees and steep mountainsides and I swear I couldn't have been more than 50 yards from the road. I shot my rifle 3 times in the air hoping my buddies would signal back, but nothing. I waited a while and shot 3 more times, and I heard a horn honk, in totally opposite the direction I was walking. I turned and headed back and was back at the vehicle in just a few minutes. They said they didn't honk the first time because they thought I was shooting at the deer because I was so close. That was a huge lesson for me. Any time I leave a vehicle I grab my backpack, which has everything I need to live for a few days, including mu GPS, and a coat.
Another one is making sure your rifle is sighted in. I had previously been hunting elk in the mountains and now was headed out antelope hunting. I spotted easily the biggest antelope I had ever seen and snuck to within 100 yards. I was prone and he was standing broadside eating grass. Chip shot, right? I pulled the trigger and saw dirt fly waaaaay over his back and he was full speed over the hill in a flash. I made a target and set it up, shot a few times and found out my rifle was shooting a foot high at 100 yards. Apparently on my elk hunt I had bumped it hard enough to move it way off. Never saw that buck again.
This year, I missed a chance at a really nice bull. He came in behind a cow as I was scouting out a new area. I had my bow attached to my pack, since I was only "scouting". With all of the movement it took to get my bow in hand, the cow had pinned me down at 25 yards, and the bull was behind a tree at 40. She spooked, and he calmly walked straight away. If I had of been ready, it would have been an easy shot and a short packout. Always be ready for an animal to appear, you may only get one chance.
I've made so many mistakes I would not even know where to begin. Success doesn't mean you didn't make mistakes, it usually means you didn't quit.
Grand Slam #1005 + 2: Dall (1986 Yukon), Fannin/Stone (1987 Yukon), Bighorn (1988 Colorado Unit S-26), Stone (1995 British Columbia), Desert (2001 Nevada Unit 161), Bighorn (2009 Wyoming Unit 5)
I would say if there one mistake that I learned right a way is making sure to have the right clothes and gear for the hunt. I had one really bad hunt where I didnt have the right footwear and clothing and was freezing most of the hunt. It makes the experience miserable and 95 percent of the hunt is the experience
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