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Thread: Bad shot, Good Dog.

  1. #1

    Bad shot, Good Dog.

    All,

    My first stalking confession follows;

    I was out with John Yorkshire - Roe at the weekend. After a great day on various bits of John's ground we settled into a spot and waited for deer to make their way across the field in front of us.

    Right on cue a nice doe appeared at last light. She stopped broadside on, about 80 yards in front of us. John gave me the nod and I made what I thought was a good shot to the boiler room. She reacted mildly and alot of hair blew off her far side. She ran back into the wood she'd come from but John said he thought it was a good bullet strike.

    When we got to the shot site there was lots of hair about but not much blood. What blood there was seemed light coloured and not like it'd come from the boiler room. We followed what little trail there was to the edge of the wood and had a look. We couldn't see her and the light was going so I went back to the truck to get another torch. John began the search with his pointer, Breeze.

    I was feeling pretty terrible at this point. It looked like a gut shot and there was no obvious explaination other than a c*ck up on my part. I'd checked the zero on the rifle the Wednesday before so I thought it had to be me. Thoughts of putting the rifle on Guntrader and packing the whole thing in went through my mind.

    When I got back with the torch John was gralloching the doe. Breeze, had found her laid up further down the bank and John had despatched her with another shot. In all, probably about 5 minutes had elapsed from the first to the second shot, but it seemed like an age.

    It was dark by this time but it was clear from the gralloch that the diaphram had been penetrated and part of the rumen had been ruptured. There wasn't huge amounts of green but enough to see. I was very deflated and quiet on the way home. However, I was extremely relieved that Breeze had found the doe so quickly and John had finished the job.

    When we got back to John's we had a proper look at the carcass. The entry hole was about two inches low and back from the ideal spot, but still within the zone. If the bullet had passed through at right angles it would've taken the bottom of the heart away. The exit hole was further down the body. The doe had been at right angles when I fired so it looked like a combination of a less than perfect shot and a deflection.

    I've learnt more from this than from the deer I've shot cleanly. The value of practicing has become clearer than ever before. I am very grateful to John, who was superb throughout the whole episode and has helped to restore my confidence. Most of all, I am very grateful to Breeze. The value of a well trained deer dog in the situation was imeasurable.

    I've had a long hard think about what happened. I'm still into stalking, albeit my novice enthusiasm has been subdued a bit.

    Cheers,

    Bob

  2. #2
    Don't feel too bad Bob, it happens to everyone eventually. Whether it's a bit of bad luck, a bit of an iffy shot or a bit of both, feeling a bit crappy is a perfectly normal and healthy response. The important thing is that the deer was followed up properly, found and dispatched so it's just a case of learn and move on! You'll probably be ultra careful on your next one, but make it a good one and trust me your confidence will be back in no time!

    all the best,

    Alex

  3. #3
    +1 on alex.

    It does happen unfortunately and good on you for posting as we all learn from each others experiences. It is surprising the difference it makes if the deer is not quite broadside, it can be the difference between dropping on the spot or running 100 yards into cover.

    Dont give up it happens to everyone at some point the main thing is that it was followed up well and despatched.

    Keep at it!

    ATB

    Rob
    243Sako

  4. #4
    Bob
    The biggest mistake you made on the night is all written in the next quote

    Quote Originally Posted by Dovebob View Post
    When we got to the shot site there was lots of hair about but not much blood. What blood there was seemed light coloured and not like it'd come from the boiler room. We followed what little trail there was to the edge of the wood and had a look. We couldn't see her and the light was going so I went back to the truck to get another torch. John began the search with his pointer, Breeze.

    I was feeling pretty terrible at this point. It looked like a gut shot and there was no obvious explaination other than a c*ck up on my part. I'd checked the zero on the rifle the Wednesday before so I thought it had to be me. Thoughts of putting the rifle on Guntrader and packing the whole thing in went through my mind.

    When I got back with the torch John was gralloching the doe. Breeze, had found her laid up further down the bank and John had despatched her with another shot. In all, probably about 5 minutes had elapsed from the first to the second shot, but it seemed like an age.
    This I feel is where you should of stuck with John a little longer ,
    I'm sure you were feeling pretty sick at the time and probably still are
    mixed with fetching another torch for reasons I don't know, but not really interested in

    Just the valuable knowledge you missed out on from not seeing and learning from John and Breeze working a wounded deer is something else and you can't grasp that sort of knowledge from reading books
    But at the end of the day the shot went slightly wrong, It happens
    You had help on hand
    You gave the Dog something to do, which I'm sure Breeze appreciated
    John has earnt his keep once more and got some ammo to use and abuse you with at a later date
    the wounded Deer was gathered swiftly
    Job done & good result all round
    In a few days you will feel a lot better
    ATB

    PS
    Always carry a torch for evening stalks, even if you don't shoot something it's still a valuable bit of kit

  5. #5
    Hi mate,
    You posted then!
    Well done i'm sure everyone will wish you well and tell you it happens.
    IT DOES.
    But to fill in the spaces, she was stood perfect broadside in an open field.
    Those minutes we were together were slightly longer probably 10-15.
    Not a perfect shot I grant you, BUT a genuine deflection WITHIN the animal, theres nothing any of us can do to stop these.
    If your reasonable shot had flow true within her i doubt she would not have made the tree line.
    Anyway I will post the rather crappy photo like you asked me to if you posted.
    Well done she was found and bagged thats the main thing.
    Get back in the saddle now and grass another, see you soon I hope.
    Regards John.
    Last edited by www.yorkshireroestalking.; 12-01-2011 at 19:32.

  6. #6
    That's not bad shooting, probably just a tiny twitch when you pulled the trigger, or even a bit of shadow in the scope that you couldn't see due to the time of day, putting you just marginally off.

    God, if I felt bad about the amount of ducks I've had to go search high and low for that didn't fall when shooting in basically darkness, I'd top myself. I always say to myself - "This is to put food on the table and feed my family, not for fun, so I cannot feel bad for the animal, I am higher on the food chain",,and I always thank the animal (in my head).

    at the end of the day, one deer shot in the wild saves another animal from the slaughter house! ( I have won many conversations against the anti's using that argument).

    good on you mate, enjoy the sport and always strive for improvement.

  7. #7
    Good on you Dovebob for posting.

    Stone you are a hard man, but have, as I'm sure you will admit made your fair share of cock ups, (I was there for two of them).

    It will happen to all of us sooner or later, so don't be too down hearted for too long. Take your rifle and punch some paper for a spell. That will renew your confidence that you can be precise and consistent, or it will show you there is a problem with your equipment. Either of the above is good to know.

    One very experienced old boy off here who drinks a lot of tea had words along these lines for me some time ago when I was in a far worse position after losing a beast.

    If you were the kind of person who didn't feel bad about what had happened I wouldn't value you as a mate or a stalker. How you feel indicates you do hold the animals welfare high on the list and you are a better stalker than some because of that.

    Chin up Buddy. Your confidence will return soon enough.

    Mark.

  8. #8
    A happier looking bob when he found it was a deflection.


  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by buckup View Post
    Good on you Dovebob for posting.

    Stone you are a hard man, but have, as I'm sure you will admit made your fair share of cock ups, (I was there for two of them).

    .
    I might seem hard but genuine
    As you know I've been there and not just on a couple of occassions
    being there at the find, far outweighs the gut feeling of when it ran off

    but fair play to Bob for sharing

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by stone View Post
    I might seem hard but genuine
    As you know I've been there and not just on a couple of occassions
    being there at the find, far outweighs the gut feeling of when it ran off

    but fair play to Bob for sharing
    I knew you'd rise to the bait Stone.

    I'll bag one for you in Poland next week mate, and try not to belly shoot it.

    Mark

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