Passing on the shot

Talk anything related to Rifle hunting
User avatar
TexasHunter83
2 point
2 point
Posts: 177
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2013 12:30 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Passing on the shot

Postby TexasHunter83 » Tue Nov 19, 2013 7:31 pm

bh107 wrote:The definition of a "shooter" is always changing for me. Personally I would like to take a mature deer, and leave the smaller ones to get bigger. As the hunt goes on the I'll sometimes shoot a smaller deer, but it depends on if we have other deer in camp as well. It's not only about the meat in the freezer, and since we all share anyways when we don't all tag out it isnt a big deal.

Another thing for us hunting in Colorado is that we chose to have the deer processed in town before bringing it home. In the past we would just bring the deer home whole and butcher it, but most western states now have laws requiring the meat to be completely de-boned before transport over state lines. So now its easier to just have it done there and have it packaged, frozen, and ready to pick up on our way out of town. That of course adds more cost to harvesting a deer.

Last year I passed on the deer I shot 2 times before finally taking him the 5th day. I saw him opening morning, the second day, and then finally again the day I shot him. He was a big bodied 3x3 that finally walked by me at 75 yards the last time and I decided to take him. I saw probably a dozen smaller deer in those 5 days as well.

Another year I shot a smaller deer only to regret it. I think I was about 18 and had missed a nice buck opening day, only to later find out my scope had been jarred and I couldn't hit a paper plate at 50 yards. I did not see any other nice bucks for the next few days, but my dad ended up getting a good buck. On day 4 of the hunt we did a push and I was posted at the bottom, with a different rifle. I few does got pushed out, and then a big forky which I decided to take. I dropped him in his tracks in the clearing at 200 yards. There was still one other hunter posted so I unloaded my rifle and stayed put waiting for the pushers to make their way through. Sure enough less than 5 minutes later a huge 4x4 comes down the same trail and nearly steps on my down deer. My tag was filled and I couldn't do anything about it, and the other hunter never saw it. That deer still haunts me to this day!


Thanks for the explanatino and WOW, what a story. That's the famous "unlucky" hunt. Similar thing just happened to a family friend of mine; only with whitetail. He killed a nice looking 9 point on opening day; the next evening a 10 point showed up at the feeder with a double main beam on his right side. It's definitely a unique buck to have hanging on the wall.

I guess my OP is a hard question to answer. There's so many different scenarios to cause you to pass on a buck.

User avatar
ridgetop
Monster
Monster
Posts: 1531
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2006 9:46 pm
Location: All over Utah

Re: Passing on the shot

Postby ridgetop » Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:00 pm

I feel like you are referring to me personally with your OP. I'm sure your not but it does feel that way. I could write a book about all the reasons I hunt and why I pass on so many nice bucks. So I'll bite.
I'm not a rich person, very much middle class but I've been lucky enough to always have plenty of elk and beef in the freezer. For that reason alone is why I'm not concerned about filling my deer tag every year. Another reason is that my garage wall is covered with small and medium sized 3 and 4 point racks from bucks I've shot over the years.
There is one thing that I can promise you though. A person will never kill "the one" buck that they always dream about if they keep shooting smaller bucks just to fill their tag. You will never kill that giant buck. Never, never, ever.
I have what I call the BB factor. BB is the initials of a good friend. BB was on his way home from hunting on the last day of the season several years ago. Just as he was about to leave the dirt road and enter the highway. He looked over and there was a huge buck standing out in the trees just a hundred yards off the road. Long story short, he ended up getting the buck and it was 33" wide and had 9 points on each side. He would have never had the chance to pull the trigger if he would have taken a smaller buck, "just to fill his tag". Also, My friend CC killed one of Utahs biggest general season bucks last year within the last hour of daylight on the last day.
I personally hate cutting my hunt short even if it is a giant buck just because I love being out there so much.
Hope this makes sence a little. (???)
There's always next year

User avatar
TexasHunter83
2 point
2 point
Posts: 177
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2013 12:30 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Passing on the shot

Postby TexasHunter83 » Fri Nov 22, 2013 3:53 am

Hey ridge,

Just to be clear, I wasn't referring to you personally. To be honest I'm sure I've read some of your reports on here, but I've read so many I can't remember whose is whose. I was speaking generally. I can assure you that my intent was to not critize any muleymadness members or their hunting practices; I was simply trying to understand it. Most of the instances I've seen on this have been by watching videos, reading magazines, other forums, as well as this one. Perhaps my fingers typed faster than my brain was working because it just seems like it's not typically a "practice," but rather is different scenarios that may bring a hunter to pass on a shot; one that may present itself to me one day. And I can certainly understand an experienced hunter passing on a shot when he's killed enough deer in his lifetime that simply "filling a tag" isn't a big issue.

BTW, your explanation makes perfect sense. I guess maybe I'm drawing from different experience; or lack thereof. I LOVE to hunt, but like you am not a wealthy person. As much as I love to hunt, I've lacked a place to hunt for the last few years; even whitetail here in Texas. (It's taking it's toll on me. I'm having withdrawals I think.) I guess I'm coming from an angle of a hunter not getting to hunt as much as he likes, therefore has a hard time seeing people "pass on the shot."

Once again, my intent was not to offend or speak about anyone specifically; especially on Muleymadness. Trust me, I do not want to burn my bridges to the wealth of knowledge in this forum... :not-worthy

User avatar
ridgetop
Monster
Monster
Posts: 1531
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2006 9:46 pm
Location: All over Utah

Re: Passing on the shot

Postby ridgetop » Sun Nov 24, 2013 6:38 am

Hey Tex, all's good. I was just messing with ya.
I admit, I have been very lucky. In 30 years hunting in Utah. There has been only one year that I didn't have a tag in my pocket and that was by my choice. I was in the middle of building my first house at the time.
I hope better luck comes your way.
There's always next year

User avatar
derekp1999
4 point
4 point
Posts: 646
Joined: Fri Oct 08, 2010 2:09 pm
Location: Clinton, UT
Contact:

Re: Passing on the shot

Postby derekp1999 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:44 pm

I hope to some day be confronted with such a situation! But as for now, I cannot say that I have ever passed up a shot. I have been mentored in my hunting endeavors by my grandfather and his philosophy is to never pass up a shot... ever. Granted we have spent the last 30 years hunting an area where we have not been fortunate to see a high number of what most would consider "mature bucks", and with his increasing age his hunting tactics over the last several years generally take him no further than a few steps from his mode of transportation. His definition of a "shooter" is a legal buck, and he does very well year after year.

I had high hopes two years ago as I ventured away from the roads a bit, made a couple trips to scout during the summer, maintained a couple trail cameras, and was encouraged by what I had seen so I was hoping to pull the trigger on something bigger. I ended up shooting, but was unable to recover, what I would consider a "huge buck" for the area (probably a 22-24" 4pt). This year I was again hopeful, but circumstances were such that a little 2pt right off the side of the road fit the bill as a "shooter." I still had that unrecovered buck in mind from last year, I messed up my sights during a range session, burned through all my bullets trying to get it right again, decided to try a new bullet since I was having to completely re-sight in anyway, I was unable to take enough time to get the new bullet really dialed in, the weather forecast was terrible, and I hadn't harvested a deer in 3 years so I was just wanting to get some blood on my hands. I tinkered with passing on this little buck for several seconds, but he fed leisurely and offered me a 20 yard broadside shot ten minutes into legal light... ultimately I determined I could not pass & he brought a much needed boost of confidence to take into next year and I was able to sit back and enjoy how the season played out for the rest of my family.

I have always hunted as a resident, so all my tags have been inexpensive in comparison to a non-resident tag and I feel like I have gotten my money's worth even when I haven't filled my tag. I'm hoping to get into the game in states other than UT, and I'd bet that when the price of tag goes up that I might feel differently.

The nice thing about hunting is that nobody pulls the trigger for you. We can all have our own agenda every time we go out and depending on what frame of mind we are in we get to determine individually whether or not to pull the trigger.
“The consequences of our actions are always so complicated, so diverse, that predicting the future is a very difficult business indeed.”
-Albus Dumbledore

JimmyB
Spike
Spike
Posts: 112
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2010 10:43 pm
Location: Northern UT

Re: Passing on the shot

Postby JimmyB » Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:24 pm

I hunt for meat not trophies. I've always shot the first buck I've seen but that's always been on a general season unit. If I had a limited entry tag for deer or elk I'd raise my "standards" a bit. Of course I'd like to shoot a massive buck or bull but I'm not going to be picky. I've been hunting elk for 13 years and finally took my first elk this past season which was a cow so if I ever do get a bull it's going to be a trophy bull in my mind whether it's a 400" or a spike but that's just me. Some guys draw tags and tell themselves they won't take any buck under 200" or a bull under 400". The elk tag I've been putting in for all my life, my buddy drew out on his first time ever putting in as well as his first big game hunt ever and came home empty handed cause he wanted a 380"+ bull cause that's what other guys told him he should expect out of that unit. And when he told me he had multiple chances to take 340-350" bulls at close range and passed on them I wanted to deck him right in the face but he's much bigger than me so I didn't haha. I see guys post pictures of their buck or bull that they took on a limited entry unit just happy as can be with what they got then have guys criticize them about the size of the rack, and how they would have held out for something bigger, and that was a waste of a tag. If you look through your scope and see antlers and your heart starts pounding out of your chest and adrenaline starts rushing through your body then I'd say it's a shooter. Shoot what makes you happy, not others.
Shooter McGavin

JBird
Monster
Monster
Posts: 963
Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 5:25 pm
Location: K-Town

Re: Passing on the shot

Postby JBird » Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:30 am

I agree, shoot what makes you happy. I get criticized frequently by my friends for not shooting something. I haven't killed a deer since 06, I've shot at a few really nice ones in that span but just haven't connected. I had a pretty awesome tag in AZ a few years ago and shot a big 3 point the last night of the hunt just to fill the tag and quite honestly it felt hollow. I'd been holding out for something bigger and the opportunity never presented it's self. So after that I decided that I wouldn't shoot something just to fill a tag. And like Ridge I usually have plenty of meat in the freezer so that's not an issue if it were I would have no problem dumping anything legal.


Return to “Rifle Hunting - Big Game”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest