Still can't work it out!!

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Andy L

Well-Known Member
I was in Hertfordshire yesterday morning and managed to get myself in a perfect position on my first nice Muntjac Buck with the .243. 80yds and I had a good rest. I had the perfect broadside shot and was already thinking of the possible medal I was going to have!! I squeezed the trigger and sent the 95grain Hornady on its way. Everything sounded perfect but I did not get the tell tale thump as the bullet hit home. The muntie lifted his head and looked at me as if to say 'tosser' and trotted off into the trees. Why??
I immediately checked the area for a splash just in case I had hit him and he had run. Nothing. I had missed.
I immediately went to another area of ground and set myself up with a target at 80 yds. I put 6 rounds through a 1.5inch circle with no effort at all.
Did I have a rogue round?? The rounds were made up by a friend of mine who had been shooting for years and I have never known to make a mistake before and surely I would have noticed the difference when I heard the crack of the rifle. Or is it just me and I missed?? Dont know how though!!
Has anyone else experienced a shot that they cannot understand?


Well-Known Member
I had the perfect broadside shot and was already thinking of the possible medal I was going to have!!

Perhaps you should have shot the beast 1st then thought about the trophy "BUCK FEVER"! I thought I had done this earlier this year but I then found my rear mount on the Sako was knackered and the POI could wander although I could shoot good groups with it! Did you not see the bullet strike the ground eg "mud flying" it sounds as if you were over the top of the beast by its reaction aswell. Oh I also missed the same beast another time again again as you I thought I had a good rest but I was standing using a concrete post as a rest instead I should have moved 10 feet to my left a set the bipod up on a good flat platform! We live and learn!!!


Andy L

Well-Known Member
We all miss at some time but I have always known why I have missed in the past i.e. felt myself pull the shot etc. This time I could see or feel no reason for the miss. Although I was over the moon to be in the position with the buck, I don't think that I was suffering from buck fever but who knows. I did not see the bullet impact the ground but it was in some thick meadow grass so this did not surprise me.
I checked the mounts and they were both locked in place.
Trouble is I keep examining everything in my mind and it is starting to wind me up! Hey Ho, onwards and upwards. Atleast I missed it cleanly!


Well-Known Member
l had an apparent miss earlier on this year, l stalked into a roe buck got prone and took the shot and the beast just trotted of the way it was standing when l got to the area it was l could not find anything apart from a broken twig that was not noticed in the scope, anyway after the usual search there was the buck stone dead in the bottom of a ditch about 50yds away so never judge a book by its cover.

Most misses are pilot error if you have satisfied yourself that the rifle and scope are ok put it down to experience dust yourself of and go out next time with a clear head and try not to think about the trophy when you are looking down the scope at the animal, buck fever does do strange things to us just try and concentrate on the task in hand, a humane kill.

Try not to dwell on it we have all done it at sometime and it does not do your head any good.


Well-Known Member
Hi Andy L, don't want to teach granny to suck eggs or anything like that but are you sure that you had stripped all the oil out of your barrel? Or was there condensation in it? I was out yesterday and went up into a high seat, as usual I pulled the rifle up after me and then had a look down the barrel, just in case, and decided to pull through as there seemed to be some dust or debris down there. The patch seemed to come out a bit damp! (maybe just cold, but I was convinced it was slightly wet). I think it was so cold that whatever humidity was left in the air had condensed in the chamber and barrel. That would have been more than enough to throw the first shot off by a few inches. I have long since been religious about putting the pull through down my rifle before I start zeroing or stalking.
Buck fever won't help of course, and we all get it sometimes, nothing to be ashamed of.
At least you're honest!
Hope you get the muntie next time :D

Andy L

Well-Known Member
Cheers for the advice.
Don't think that there was any oil in the barrel at I always put a couple of patches through at the end of cleaning.
I did have a look for at least 20 minutes but could not find any blood or signs of a hit at all so am convinced that I missed. I am not sure that there is any Muntie that could take a 95 grain bullet and not show any signs of being hit.
I will catch up with him next week!


Well-Known Member
By he sounds of it the rifle is fine. When I shoot deer under normal conditions I try to focus on the POI being a small .30 cal dot on whichever part of the beast I am aiming at rather than say just the point of the elbow. Focus on the spot and sqeeze the trigger and once the gun fires keep looking through the scope at the spot even if the beast is not there any more. Focus and follow through. It sounds like you may have got a little excited about the trophy quality and lost focus and possibly neglected the follow through. We have all done it. Its the same when you have shot 9/10 clays and then some helpful sod says thats going to be a 10 and ten you miss.
As far as the looking for pins and paint some animals even well hit may not shed a drop of blood for 10-20 meters. I always would follow up with the dog and in the past have found the muntjac dead in the deepest darkest bunch of brambles you can imagine.
Just get back in the saddle and keep riding :D :D




Well-Known Member
Andy just anothet twist on my fecked rings mate, when I tested them the were fine but the recoil lug inside was knackered! It was only noticed when a mate of mine neede a 30mm set of Sako rings and these were spare as I had lost confidence in the scope and changed to another scope which had a 25mm tube!!!!


Hi Andy L,
I don`t know how long you`ve been involved with stalking or what your experiences are, so i`ll assume for the purpose of this reply that you are reasonably new to the munty expeirience since you say its your first buck.
If this is not the case then please accept my appology.
I`d just like to give you a bit of advice if I may concerning muntjac, NEVER underestimate the muntjac`s ability to deceive the stalker, pound for pound it is, in my opinion, probably the toughest of all our deer, and that includes the sika.
I have shot one or two deer of all species in my time and to say that the muntjac are hard little beggers would be a total underestimation of this wonderful little deer.
95grn..243 100grn..243 130grn..270 150grn..270 150grn..308 180grn..30.06 i`ve seen munties walk from all of these rifles as if nothing had happened, granted most were found within a short distance,but some did escape capture.
My point is , don`t ever assume that a muntjac is going to drop on the spot, just because its a little deer and your using a powerful rifle.This does not always give the perfect result, most times you will get a reaction as with all deer but occasionaly you won`t, this is proof enough for me that the new legistlation for deer concerning .22 centerfire for muntjac and CWD is to say the least questionable..... but thats another topic.
Sounds like you did all the right things, follow up etc. and then checked your rifle, conclusion...... a miss. NO SHAME IN THAT.
You`ve probably heard it before but, the more you shoot the more you`ll miss, and that`s a fact.
I hope you`re lucky enough to meet up again with your munty buck, and when you do maybe you could let us know if he has any battle scars?????
Oh and the day your heart stops thumping when you put the crosshairs on a deer, sell the rifles and buy a painting by numbers kit.
Hope this reply doesn`t sound like I know it all cos trust me I DON`T just trying to help someone whos been where I and plenty of others have been, thank fully SHITSVILLE is not a very popular place.

Andy L

Well-Known Member
Thanks Choz,
I have only been stalking for about 3 years and only had my own rifles for just over a year. Had half a dozen fallow, 3 Roe Bucks, 1 red stag and some goats so far.
I think that when you start stalking and using the rifle at the range you believe that you could never miss a deer. I have missed two now. The first by my own stupidity and not preparing for the shot properly and then this Munty. I have missed plenty of foxes though!
I reckon the more you stalk (and the more you miss) the easier it is to accept the misses.
Cheers for all of your support.


Well-Known Member
It should never get easier excepting the misses.
More like understanding why you missed and learning from the experience.

Good shooting



Hi Andy,
The thing to remember is that range work and stalking are two seperate disiplines.
When shooting on the range, testing ammo, scopes, rifles etc. you are in a static stable position, comfortable and with all the time in the world to take the shot.
you mentioned that your pal loaded your ammo for you, not a good idea in my opinion, thats not being disrespectful to your pal, he`s most likely to be as competent as the next man when it comes to reloading, BUT...... I think you should consider either loading your own ammo or buy factory stuff, when reloading remember this,
"THE NAME OF THE GAME IS TO MAKE IT THE SAME", same brass,primers powder, bullets, OAL, CHECK THE CASES IN THE RIFLE, seating depth of bullet etc. etc. etc. I could go on, then when you have a good load worked out for your rifle then your ready to take it stalking/foxing.
Out in the field your in a different world not many benches to rest on only flimsey trees, rocks walls fence posts etc. in other words you have to make the best of whats available, practise on your ground/range if allowed with split sticks, bipod,off trees left/right handed, prone off elbows practise practise practise.
Another tip for you if you have your own ground is to stalk into a shootable beast, and put the binos on it instead of the gun simulate the shot and perfect your fieldcraft/breathing etc. all helps for the day when that big trophy appears ......... CHOZ


Well-Known Member
I always smile a little at internet talk about never missing!! If I go rabbit shooting I expect to kill about 66% of the shots I take on. Now is a rabbit at 60 yards more or less difficult than a deer at 120 yards? In the real world we expect to miss rabbits, we expect too miss foxes why be so suprised to miss the odd deer? Check your zero, your range estimate, your marksmanship and move on.
Some nights you shoot 3 foxes with 3 shots, next night you might miss with all 3 shots. Deer in daylight are easier targets but you still can expect too miss 1 in a dozen or so without really knowing why.
Hell most shotgunners are satisfied with a 1 in 3 or 1 in 4 cartridge kill rate.


Well-Known Member
hornady sst

A year or so ago i had a zeroing session with a pal of mine. we took our shots and walked down to the target. I looked at richards and there were 2 holes and a patern that looked like a 410 or 9mm garden gun had hit it. It seems that the bullet hit a blade of grass on the way and fragmented fully. He couldn't see the grass through the scope.

I wonder if that maybe happenned.

I think Markh gave the advice of take in a very small spot on the animal and concentrate very hard on it and do a full follow through. That is good advice.



Well-Known Member
Good advice indeed by MarkH, its also in the British Army Sniper training manual, and those chaps can really shoot!
I'm glad I'm not the only one missing foxes. Admitting it is like going to an AA meeting and saying 'Hi I'm Steve and I'm an alcholic'. (I imagine)!
I feel strangely liberated :p

Andy L

Well-Known Member
Tried to get to Hertfordshire this morning to see if I could catch up with the elusive Muntie Buck or maybe a fallow buck but got onto the M25 at 5.15am and sat there for 2 hours!! They had shut the Dartford Tunnel and it was 2 hours before we were able to get to a slip road so that the police could allow us to leave. Nightmare. Ended up getting to the ground at about 8.30. A little too late to see anything about.
Had a fantastic days pheasant shooting though and saw a Muntie Buck come out of the wood we were shooting and run across the track and through the meadow that I had taken the shot in last week. Although I did not get a good look at him, the beaters said that he was a very large buck so I am confident that he was the same animal. I hope so as he was running well and showed no signs of some idiot putting a hole in him in the wrong place!!
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