Why have you missed?

Why have you missed?


  • Total voters
    98

Huntnful

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2020
Messages
1,132
Location
California
I just watched an elk hunt where the guy missed a prone shot on an elk at no more than 300 yards, maybe. And it got me thinking... how could you ever miss that?

So, assuming you're a serious long range enthusiast. Gun verified and absolutely dialed at 800+ yards right before you leave for a hunt. Why have you missed an animal on a hunt?

I'll go first. Missed one shot in the last three years and it was my most recent elk hunt in AZ. Found some bulls in the junipers and closed the distance to 430 yards and found a beautiful spot to shoot prone from. Got all set up and just waited. When the bulls got up and started cruising, I couldn't get a shot through any openings in the junipers. As they started to work around the knoll, I was forced to parallel them on my hillside and lost any clearing for a potential prone shot. Thick juniper everywhere. When I turned them back up, slightly panicking, they were at 460 yards and my target bull was broadside. I used my glassing tripod as a standing gun rest at this point. I rested my gun on top and although definitely not ultra steady, I could keep the crosshairs floating in the vitals with no crazy issues. I decided to take the shot. Shot felt good. And thinking I already had one bullet in him, I sent another one. I led him about three feet and sent a second one while he was on the run. It definitely connected in his hide quarter. I could tell by the sound of the impact and his reaction after the impact as he hobbled over the hill.

I'm thinking I have 2 bullets in this elk at this point and it's a slam dunk. I tried to find him that night, but it was a sea of junipers and light faded extremely fast before I could locate exactly where he was when I shot him. The next morning, a buddy met me at first light and walked me into where I last saw the bull. Found blood and bull tracks right away. Followed blood for about 200 yards and found him dead in his bed. The only bullet that hit the bull was my second shot. It broke both of his back hips and cut his arteries resulting in him dying at some point in the night.

But I still felt like total crap for taking that dog**** standing shot off that tripod and actually missing my first shot and him having to suffer overnight. Lesson learned 100%. If I can't get a GOOD rest, not a decent rest, I won't be shooting at another animal. That's for **** sure. I missed do to adrenaline and poor rest and take full responsibility for my miss.

What about you?
 

Quintus

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2013
Messages
1,372
The biggest Mulie I ever killed was with a 30+ MPH cross wind. At 250 or so yards my POA was last rib intending to hit him in the crease. Instead I hit front half of the on shoulder in front of the heart. He laid down after an 800 yard run and didn't get back up, but one more inch forward and I never would have seen him again. The wind can get ya.
 

Huntnful

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2020
Messages
1,132
Location
California
The biggest Mulie I ever killed was with a 30+ MPH cross wind. At 250 or so yards my POA was last rib intending to hit him in the crease. Instead I hit front half of the on shoulder in front of the heart. He laid down after an 800 yard run and didn't get back up, but one more inch forward and I never would have seen him again. The wind can get ya.
Wow! That's a lot of wind drift for that close! I wouldn't have expected that either.
 

bigngreen

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2008
Messages
8,734
Location
SW Montana
I've missed once since starting down the long range path, it was a ranging error at 950, first lesson on the importance of practicing with all your gear and the importance of beam divergence when it comes to ranging. Spent half a day retracing the shot and diagnosing the issue.
It was pretty disappointing because it was the first animal I had decided to take at range after a lot of hard work on the range, after that we shot and practiced in our hunting area finding the best shots and positions, using our entire kit and getting a good and automatic system down. The biggest lessons have been when NOT to shoot based on a condition, you can always try again or move to another position but you can't take back a shot!!
 

Ol' Red

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2018
Messages
1,633
Location
Wyoming
My turn to confess. I voted rushed shot / poor rest. I was hunting on a ranch where I could usually get within 80 to 100 yards from the does. I had an extra doe tag. I spent a couple months practicing shooting at that distance with my Ruger Blackhawk .44 mag. and was hitting consistent. Heading to a glassing point, the ranch hand that was driving pointed out a forkhorn 40 to 50 yards up a drainage ditch. I got out of the truck and knelt down. The ranch hand is telling me to hurry, he's going to run. I shot right over his back. Fired a second shot, also over his back. The ranch hand who is a good friend said "aren't they supposed to fall down when you shoot?" Now I start laughing and can't steady a pistol. I got back in the truck and gave that deer a free pass. I know that round sighted in at 100 yards is 15 inches high at that range. I allowed myself to get rushed. No matter what someone else is telling me to do, it was my finger on the trigger. The two seconds to qualify the shot before shooting was my fault. I should add that no animals were injured or mistreated during that part of the hunt.
 

DUCKMAN11

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2022
Messages
460
Location
West of the Brazos
Wind gets me more than anything else! I've missed a lot of chances on deer and hogs because I won't touch the trigger unless I have a good range and rest. I don't rush shots at distance EVER because I'm not good at it. I get the "why didn't you shoot" question asked 6x more times than anyone else I hunt with. Last year I shot my 45th deer and I've only shot 46 times at deer..... shot one buck in full rut down in south Texas twice before he fell over. I thought the first shot missed somehow. Both shots were in the vitals but his mind was on making life not losing his. But thats with deer. I missed a few hogs with my 25-06 because I was stretching it's limits across a wheat field. 80% of the time I would miss left or right. 115vld's don't have a lot of BC out around 800yds and the west Texas wind never stops.

Good survey idea!
 

Hugnot

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2020
Messages
1,164
Location
Montana
When shooting rodents at long range (over 300 yards), wait until they are laying flat then go for the upwind end including added windage if required. Almost all of my misses are wind caused.
 

Mark37082

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LRH Team Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2021
Messages
1,160
Location
Tennessee
I voted for “other”. Although I wish I could blame the limb for my miss, it was definitely my mistake. It was a short poke by a lot of peoples standards. Ranged at 300 yards just inside the tree line. I was in a tree stand all morning on the other side of clear cut. A nice buck ran across the far side of the clear cut and stopped to work a scrape. I was steady, but did have to work around some brush and limbs. I was sure I hit him after the shot. Wrong! Found a hole in a limb and no blood, hair, or any sign of making contact with the buck.
 

Creedmoor shooter

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Joined
Oct 21, 2013
Messages
3,181
Location
Monroe, Newhampshire
I dont ever remember missing any shot with my rifle on a deer that was just standing there. However, I missed a nh archery buck of a lifetime back in 2018. I still have nightmares about that lol. 40 yards broadside. Chip shot for me usually as I practice out to 70 or 80 yards and shoot my bow alot. Settled the pin on him and squeezed it off. In my excitement, I didn't do my follow through and I lifted my arm to watch my arrrow. Well when I did that I sailed the arrow right over his back. Nearly spining him. I immediately felt like I wanted to puke. Never ever again will I do that and I make sure before i take a shot at anything now I have a mental checklist in my head that I do to make sure everything is right. Archery is the most difficult form of hunting I've done.
 

sable tireur

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2010
Messages
1,996
The biggest lessons have been when NOT to shoot based on a condition, you can always try again or move to another position but you can't take back a shot!!

I believe that this is the right idea to use when hunting any species, when NOT to shoot!

I am a meat hunter, not a trophy hunter so the pressure to make a snap or hurried shot for me is nonexistent. I will intentionally pass on a shot if I am not satisfied with the environmental information or if I can't achieve a completely positive hold. I do NOT chase wounded animals because I don't wound them, therefore there is no 'wish and prayer' that I'll find them at some point.

As stated in a couple of posts above, practice, practice practice until it is automatic to make all the correct decisions then assess the real shot and decide if your target will fall immediately or just don't pull the trigger. Walking away from a questionable shot (wounded animal) is absolutely brilliant!

:)
 

HockeyDad

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2007
Messages
199
Location
Tempe, AZ
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This adds up to 145%. Some people probably missed because they're relying on technology thats giving them bum numbers.
 
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