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Archery opening week


Well-known member
Since the forum seems to be working well I figured I would post about my first few days of archery season.
I did not leave my house until noon on Saturday since I was waiting for the painters to be finished or almost finished. My buddy had gone up on Thursday and I arrived in camp late Saturday afternoon. After I set up my camp we had time to go to a glassing location for a couple of hours. Lots of hikers and campers in the area so it was difficult to find somewhere that was away from other people. We didn't see anything on Saturday. On Sunday we got out early and saw about 5 does and lots of hikers. Another group of hunters that camped near us said they had seen 2 bucks but no opportunities for shots. About half of the hikers left Sunday at noon and so did two groups of hunters near us. My plan for Sunday afternoon was to ride the quads a few miles to an area where we could glass till dark. We were about half way to our spot when I saw a buck run across the road in front of me. My buddy was way back so after I stopped and waited for him I explained where the buck had gone and I didn't think he was really spooked too bad. We made a plan. He would go way around the canyon and see if he could get ahead of the buck (if he was even going up the creek). I would slowly follow the bucks tracks into the timber just to see. I spotted a tail about 150 yards up hill from the quad road behind a tree. I figured if it wasn't him I would be stalking a doe but so what. It took a fair amount of time to sneak to within 45 yards of that tail. I then moved sideways until I could see his head. It was him just standing behind a fallen tree. I moved until I had a good view of his chest and took my shot. I had ranged him over and over as I was sneaking sideways. I expected a good hit when I shot. I have a 45 yard hold and I never miss the bull at 45. He just trotted away at my shot. I couldn't believe I had a clean miss but apparently I did. I spent 20 minutes just waiting before I went up to look for blood or my arrow. No blood and no arrow. I saw the running tracks and left them alone for another 30 minutes but I was afraid it was a miss. I started to slowly track the buck and had gone about 100 yards when I thought I heard someone say something. I yelled and it was my buddy but I couldn't understand him. I turned my radio on but his batteries were dead so he couldn't transmit. When we finally got within voice range I told him about my shot and he said he had the buck and it was dead. I asked him where I hit it and he said I didn't hit it. It saw him up the canyon but was determined to go that way and tried to sneak past him at about 45 yards. He didn't miss.
Even though he had a dead buck I still spent another hour that night on the tracks as well as the next morning in that area. I was able to follow the tracks to where my buddy first saw him so I am now sure it was the buck I missed.
Playing everything over and over again in my head I am 90% sure I used my 55 yard pin and not my 45 yard. Using the wrong aiming point is a clean miss. I was holding a little high because of the downed logs but I still could see the center of his chest.
I stayed until Tuesday but only saw a few does. I was amazed at how full the campgrounds were on Tuesday as I was going home. I guess it was the last week of summer for some so they were taking advantage of it.
This was in D 3-5.
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Well-known member
Well archery season is over and I missed again on the last weekend. Almost the same set of circumstances and once again I shot over the buck. He was in heavy timber and I had a clean shot at his chest at around 48 yards. I had a hard time convincing myself he wasn't further away and I talked myself into using the wrong aiming point. I was convinced I was getting a reading on the trees he was behind so I figured I should add 3-4 yards to what my rangefinder was telling me. WRONG. Even being wrong by 5 yards I should still have hit him but I did not. I spent over an hour searching for any sign of a hit and returned the following morning for a few hours. Nothing. He was on a little high spot with the ground dropping away behind him so the arrow went way past him and I never did find it.
I am not a big fan of lighted nocks (my groups are slightly larger at 50 yards with lighted nocks) and I have 2 different brands. I think for next year I will shoot lighted nocks since I already own them and it won't cost me anything to use them. My groups at 50 are still good with lighted nocks just not as good. No I will not shoot better with lighted nocks but when I have used them in the past you immediately know where your arrow went so you can avoid spending a day searching for something that is not there.
All I really know about the buck was he was larger than the one my buddy killed earlier in the season. Probably a 3 point but maybe just a big fork. I didn't really focus on the horns since it was obvious he was a shooter.

I did not have to do anything different to log in. I just logged in as I always have. I did not need to reset my password.


Well-known member
Sometimes it's best to just trust your equipment and not overthink it. You'll get him next time!

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