Missed Opportunity

 

Around 1993, I was bow hunting in an area and had a very interesting afternoon. I was sitting in a treestand and it was still early in the afternoon. I heard some noise down on the bench below me, but couldn't see what was down there. I heard the noise for several minutes and decided to call to whatever it was. I thought it was deer as there are numerous white oak trees all around and the acorns had just started to fall. I hit a few doe bleats and heard something coming up the ridge. It was a small buck. The stand I was in had perfect cover. A deer trail that ran along that bench was exactly 25 yards from my stand and crossed an old logging road. There was a beach tree in front of my stand that provided cover for drawing just before the deer crossed the logging road, providing a clean 25-yard lane to the deer. As the buck walked behind the beach tree, I drew. The deer stopped just short of the logging road and stood still. The wind was out of the Southeast and he was South of the stand ... he didn't smell me ... he was just cooling it. The deer was wide open except for one small limb about 3 feet from him that ran across his body. The limb was about the size of your thumb. I decided that one little small limb was worth the risk .... wrong! My arrow hit the limb and glanced straight up. The buck ran about 30 yards and stopped. I caught some movement and looked to the left ... here comes this big dude on the same trail. I already had another arrow nocked and he stops at the exact same spot as the other buck. I decide that there's no way I will hit that limb twice in a row .... wrong! Same story. I could see the arrow in flight the whole time - just like slow motion. I remember thinking, "It's just right". He and the other buck ran up on the other ridge about 60 yards from me and stopped. They stood there for about 20 minutes just looking back in my direction and milling around. I don't think they knew what happened. I watched this dude and his buddy all that time in utter disbelief of what had just happened.

I was suicidal for weeks.

Another guy harvested the buck a few weeks later about 500 yards from there across the property line. The buck scored around 170B&C. 10 point with all 4 back tines, G2 and G3, over 12 inches long.