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I am a long time bowhunter. I have shot big and small deer. Last year I missed a big 8 pt. and passed on some doe. This year

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  • I am a long time bowhunter. I have shot big and small deer. Last year I missed a big 8 pt. and passed on some doe. This year

    I am a long time bowhunter. I have shot big and small deer. Last year I missed a big 8 pt. and passed on some doe. This year I passed up a 5 pointer two spikes and some doe. Somebody else killed the 5 pt. and a spike in my area. I know of big deer in this area. This past Friday evening I killed a 3 pointer around 115 lbs. Why do I feel like I "settled" for this deer. There is nothing saying the 8 pointer is still alive, or any other buck. I should be happy with my 3 pointer. What would make me feel this way?

  • #2
    IMO, if you made a good shot and the deer died quickly, you have accomplished the main goal of archery hunting. Hunters who go to the woods with archery tackle take with them hours of practice and hope they can make the shot when presented. The size of the animal is way down the list of priorities behind the meat, enjoyment of the outdoors, the friends you make in the sport, taking time off work... and the list goes on.

    Don't get me wrong, a big buck is great but it's the journey you should always remember.

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    • #3
      All of our media nowadays is hyping the giant rack and the TV shows and hunting magazines make it look like everybody needs to get a Boone and Crockett category leader or they are a complete failure. You need to realize that you have accomplished a very challenging task using a primitive weapon in a natural wild setting.

      Don't succumb to the hype and be thankful for your success. Most of us get in range of only one or two wall hangers in a life time of hunting and they don't even exist in most patches of timber.

      Congratulations on your harvest and enjoy those steaks! You are an accomplished hunter or you would be eating your tag.

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      • #4
        I like a big old hoary buck as well as the next guy, but I also absolutely LOVE the meat.
        EVERYBODY wants a "Booner" buck, but I can't eat horns (antlers?).

        Remember, it doesn't matter how big the deer is you kill, there's probably a larger one out there.

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        • #5
          Count your blessings.

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          • #6
            It sounds like you have mentally set a higher standard for yourself with regard to buck harvest but lacked the discipline to pass up a perfect shot opportunity at a sub-standard buck (not being judgmental, just answering the question you asked). We are all faced with choices in the deer woods. My advice is to make choices that leave you with no regrets. A buddy of mine has a rule for shooting bucks...if he has to think about or debate whether or not to shoot the animal, he doesn't shoot because obviously it wasn't up to his standards if he had to question it.

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            • #7
              Life is full of regrets because anytime you make a choice the other option can haunt you with the grass is greener syndrome. I just try to own the decision and choose better next time if there are too many regrets. IMHO you did just fine the shot and recovery matter much more than antler size. I just took a Doe and the recovery was so rough I wish I had just let her walk. Next time I will, that's how I make do.

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