By: Ted Nugent
I missed. I mean, I missed really, really bad!
I know, we all miss and it is always a painful thing. Some misses are manageable, some not so much.
I am having a very hard time getting over this one.
When you have been addicted to the mystical flight of the arrow as long as I have, missing the mark on occasion, even often, is just part of the projectile management lifestyle.
Ya win some ya lose some.
No biggie in the great scheme of things.
When we miss a shot that was executed reasonably well, we can live with it. In archery some things are simply not within our control no matter how dedicated we are and how proficient we become.
Even on those occasions when we blow the shot and we know where we failed, the pain is not all that difficult to work out and get over with.
But on those mind torturing misses that we are clueless as to the cause, the constant reliving of the shot can be what I call the archery waterboarding effect.
And it aint pretty.
So as always, I practice diligently with total concentration to each finite element of my shot sequence, whether with archery gear or my favorite firearms.
At 70 years of age and a lifetime of shooting, I have a reasonable grasp of how things work and what my focus on the minutia demands.
Heading to what can only be described as whitetail deer hunting nirvana where the Texas Hill Country blends into famous South Texas outside Uvalde, my deerhunting dreams were at defcom1!
On this particular backstrap safari I decided to exercise my good old reliable sniper Excalibur crossbow just for a little diversionary shaft management.
I mean this thing is crazy accurate and I have no problem shooting killer groups out to 50 yards and beyond.
As the saying goes, I was oh so cocked, locked and ready to rock doc!
My buddy Greg’s vast ranchlands are some of the best deergrounds anywhere and I was going to hold off for a bruiser.
First day was a skunker, but the next afternoon, after a typical patience testing vigil, substantial bone was weaving its way to my ambush zone and I could already taste the strappage!
I’m telling you, this beast was a huge, mature, 160 class trophy stud of a buck and I could not have been more cock sure that I was going to kill him.
He cautiously stepped into a shooting lane at 25 yards, my crosshairs owned the crease to his pumper, my triggerfinger performed its ultimate muscle memory engineered redundancy and the lighted bolt in all its graphic visibility horror zipped under his armpit and slammed into the ground beyond.
The earth didn’t just stand still, the damn axis reversed and my mind, body, spirit and soul went numb. As in numbnut!
Are you kidding me! What in God’s good name just happened! How can this be! What in the wide world of sports is going on here!
I went limp. My head hung like I had no vertebrae. Life was a fog. A very, very painful, ugly, toxic fog that left me breathless.
This was the best buck of my season after 100s of encounters and many kills. I wanted this deer so bad it was kind of stupid.
Maybe that’s what went wrong. Maybe I had a psychotic hiccup.
Maybe this, maybe that, but there is no maybe I missed.
It took all my inner self control to get that imagery out of my mind. It haunted me for days. Days hell! Its been two weeks and I still wake up in the middle of the night asking why, how, what!
I just thought I would share this heartbreak with everyone here in the hunting world to let you know that we all miss. Everybody misses and everybody will miss again.
I am slowly but surely getting over it, but on the other hand I won’t let myself get completely over it so as to make certain I never forget how painful it is and summon all my powers to never miss again.
Since I am brave enough to share this lowest of low horror with you, next week here at the deeranddeerhunting.com internet campfire I will share with you the highest of highs that came my way lastnight with my new Mathews Vertix bow!
I think lastnight’s happiness was at least partially due to the painful lessons of that miss, inspiring me to dig deeper and find the killer beast within me that must always be in control when we are hunting.