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Today is day seven after I shot and lost a deer. While I believe the shot was well placed, I have been thinking and replaying that afternoon over and over in my mind and have thought of a few things I would do different. Not that the outcome would change.

Something my father taught me long ago and it is still hard to do is;

#1. If a deer is walking towards you, let him come closer. If he is calm and doesn't know you are there, let him approach.
Although the buck was at twenty yards and in my 'comfort zone', allowing him to get closer could have given me a different angle, maybe better shot placement.

#2. Pay very close attention to where the deer goes out of your sight! This was tough because there were 3 other deer in sight at the time I shot. Because there was no exit wound, it took us 45 minutes to find first blood because (I thought) I was sure where he entered the woods.

#3. Don't push a wounded deer. If you have not been hearing coyotes recently in the area, don't be afraid to let him die and recover the deer in the morning. This is tougher to do during rifle season, due to the higher numbers of hunters afield. This one thing is the only thing I can think of that might have changed the outcome of my hunt.
Had I done this, the last place we found blood (bed) MAY HAVE been where we found him in the morning.

It is said that hindsite is 20/20 but I say hindsite is torture. Relearning old lessons are the hardest but sometimes nessesary.
 

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Some good stuff there Jack! Thanks for sharing.
 
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