mistakes of 2020 season

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Talk' started by kjstaudt86, Feb 24, 2021.

  1. kjstaudt86

    kjstaudt86 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Each year as hunters, mistakes and mishaps happen eventually getting the best of everyone. Curious to know what kind of mistakes or mishaps you guys had during the season this year? What will you change and make different going into the 21' hunting season?

    I made two costly errors on my buck I took this year. After 5+ seasons on my lease of never even drawing back on a buck, I was finally able to connect on one. As the deer came out of the brush, I saw antlers and immediately got excited like most hunters would typically do. I thought the deer was going to bug out on me, and probably rushed my shot. He was slightly quartered to me resulting in what I thought was originally a good hit on a deer at impact. The shot ended up being further back than I wanted too resulting in gut shot. 14hrs later and with the help of friends I was able to find the deer some 500 yards away through the nastiest of stuff and the meat had gone bad. *disclaimer, I live in Tx, so with warmer temps I don't have the luxury of leaving a deer overnight lol*

    My second mistake, was that I let the antlers do the talking. Yes, I was excited and that's all that should matter in the long run, but my lease has a 4.5yr old or better rule for bucks. The deer ended up being aged at 3.5. I had pics of this deer early in the season along with last year and we said then and there that he was probably a young deer. This cost me a small fine on the lease of $200. I'll apply what I learned this year towards next year for sure!
     
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  2. westdesign03

    westdesign03 Newb

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    Admittedly I’m a total newb when it comes to deer hunting but I have no idea how you’re supposed to tell the difference between a 3.5 and 4.5 year old within a few short moments especially from a distance when it’s almost dark outside (assuming it’s that time of day). And then you get fined several hundred dollars on top of it? Wow. I applaud you for paying to play in a place like that but that would be too much of a risk for me. Especially under threat of fining like that.


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  3. westdesign03

    westdesign03 Newb

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    My lessons from 2020 are- make more time to actually hunt. Don’t expect to get a good deer, or even a deer at all when you’re trying to focus the best of your hunting time on your friend getting a deer instead of yourself. (He’s on his own next year.) I did enjoy trying to mentor him, the problem is he doesn’t value deer hunting hardly at all so at the end of the day I felt like I cheated myself a little out of what I love for his sake. Hoping though that I planted a seed for him and it’ll grow into something he’ll really love to do going forward though.


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  4. dnoodles

    dnoodles Grizzled Veteran

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    not a mistake in 2020, but last season I applied lessons learned from previous seasons' mistakes
    which is to not over hunt specific stands. In 2020 I bounced around a lot which while a little frustrating at first ended up with me having shooter bucks in range on 4 consecutive sits all on different stands.
     
  5. GregH

    GregH Legendary Woodsman

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    Not this season ,but one of the worst mistakes I ever made was to pull my face off of my anchor point (nose button, etc.) in order to mouth grunt a buck to stop him. By the time I got back on and aimed, He ducked my arrow. Gone. Would have been my largest 8 point, ever. He would have netted 150+.

    I'll admit I sat back down in my stand with a tear or two in my eyes. Sh1t!
     
  6. cantexian

    cantexian Grizzled Veteran

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    I made the mistake of not having a sight light on my bow, since it is legal here. It cost me a doe on my second sit of the season. I had her broadside at 14 yards in the grey light of the woods a few minutes after shooting light. I could see her plainly, but when I went to draw, I couldn't tell where the pin was on her in the low light. My wife remedied that problem at Christmas, but it cost me one this year.
     
  7. Suncrest08

    Suncrest08 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    I made the mistake to not kill more doe when I had the chance earlier in the season, then went out a bunch late season chasing my tail trying to fill tags.
     
  8. dnoodles

    dnoodles Grizzled Veteran

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    It's hard to do, but depending on your area the easiest way I know of to determine a 4+ yo deer vs. a 3.5 is the belly. Generally, a 3.5yo is going to be more or less straight lines across from brisket to belly (visible from side to side) or shoulders and hips in a more or less straight line (front to back.) An older deer will start to get a pot belly and a sway back. Admittedly that is a lot more noticeable on a 5 year old but typically you start to see it on a 4.

    And you will also start to see that in the rut, on most 3.5yos their neck will still be clearly defined where it meets the shoulders. On an older deer not so much; it looks like a solid block.

    As far as antlers go, very general rule of thumb is a hands-width wider than the ears or 2x higher than the ears. But antler size is not a very good indicator especially when money is on the line.
     
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  9. westdesign03

    westdesign03 Newb

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    Cool thanks for explaining. Makes sense. Forgot about the belly thing. I think I’ve heard of the neck and ear/antler spacing before. I don’t get the chance to hunt areas with that caliber of deer. So not in the mindset very often to consider that kind of stuff.


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  10. dnoodles

    dnoodles Grizzled Veteran

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    Also, while I have never hunted or been a member of a hunt club, I imagine at least on some there's a lot of trail camera work which results in a "buck-ography" so members can track specific deer over the years.
     
  11. kjstaudt86

    kjstaudt86 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Man, the shot actually came first thing in the morning and had plenty of light. We have tracked deer the last several years and have a good idea in the off season roughly how old a deer is. I just got "buck fever" and saw horns and shot. I didn't look at the body, or anything really. This was the first year that we implemented that rule on the lease, so it was tough considering I have not even taken one with my bow in that long of a period. I had to get the jaw officially aged by a local biologist to confirm the exact age. We are trying to get better quality deer in the long run so I think it will only make us all on the lease better hunters. I wasn't the only one at least lol.... there were 2 other guys that ended up having to pay a fine.
     
  12. wl704

    wl704 Legendary Woodsman

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    I think i saw 1 deer while sitting with the bow this year. No errs in the stand to speak of, other than I couldn't find them (didn't set up where they were). So, maybe more off season scouting - planned to start with spring Turkey season and more time in the woods.
     
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  13. westdesign03

    westdesign03 Newb

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    Yeah that would make sense. I’m sure they keep close tabs on them in that setting.


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  14. westdesign03

    westdesign03 Newb

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    Ah yeah. Got the fever huh. I get it. I dunno, just seems harsh to me to have to pay a fine. But I get it a little I guess. Rules are rules. I’m sure everyone knows about it going into the club to begin with.


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  15. Bone Head Hunter

    Bone Head Hunter Grizzled Veteran

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    It was meant to be harsh. That is the the whole purpose of the fines. Bet you make sure next year....

    I have been there done that.. You start letting people slide on tweeners the next thing you know every Joe in the club has a mind set that the rules don't matter anymore...
     
  16. Okiebob

    Okiebob Grizzled Veteran

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    I know that my mistake this year was a combination of weather events that kept me from hunting pretty hard like I normally do. That being said, I also took a different approach to my hunting grounds this year by trying to stay off the place as much as possible during the spring, summer and early fall. I think it was a mistake. I starting to believe deer are more curious about human activity than we may believe. I have made a ton of improvements to the place over the last ten years and this being the first that I just sat back and did nothing but refresh the mineral sites. Ive always had something big to chase but when I finally hung cameras this year I never got one pic of anything over 120". I missed a shot on November 27th and dusk, shot right under a buck that at the time I would have swore was 160-170" but now know was only about 140". This year I'm not traveling for work so I will do my normal food plots and probably supplemental feeding. Every year is a learning experience and if its not than I'm either dead or not hunting... I did shoot a buck on November 28th at 8am with the .308, let's just say he has been some tender eating, lol.
     
  17. Fix

    Fix Grizzled Veteran

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    I'll try but after the season you had I don't think I'm going to find sympathy
     
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  18. Suncrest08

    Suncrest08 Die Hard Bowhunter

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    ‘Twas a great season! No complaints whatsoever, but I def could use more meat. I been making sausage and snack sticks like it’s my job!
     
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  19. Vabowman

    Vabowman Grizzled Veteran

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    No mistakes. I continued my quest of not killing a buck with a bow for the 8th straight year. What a streak I am on! perfection is achieved by repetition! :bhod:
     
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  20. westdesign03

    westdesign03 Newb

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    Yep. I know. I get it. That’s usually how it goes with just one side.


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