I put in a ton of time scouting all summer and fall and had three trailcams out as well. Was really prepared for archery with three different stands hung well before the season. Archery season was very slow for me....no acorns and just did not see many deer and I hunted 24 times including a few all day sits. And Yes - I am obsessed with scent control. Hunted at camp in Centre County on Monday and half day on Tuesday but did not see a single deer. Hunted my usual stomping grounds yesterday and finally it all came together at 8:45 a.m. Biggest buck I have seen while hunting in a few years shoes up out of nowehere 60 yards below my stand. I was not looking at horns but he was an 8 (maybe 10) with great height and spread. Slowly walking directly to the base of my tree. Coming straight at me the whole way. He stopped at 45 yards and I had the cross hairs on his chest for close to a minute. I do not like a head on shot at all even with a rifle and there were a few low hanging dead hemlock branches right in front of him. All I needed was one step right or left and a great buck would be down. I decided to NOT take the shot because I just did not like it at all. The gun drives tacks and I shoot a 270 with 150 gr Nosler Partions. I know I could have made the shot but my buddy took the same shot last year, watched the deer drop and roll down a hill......4 hours he never did find him. My buck's sixth sense kicked in and he did a quick 180 with three big jumps and just walked straight away from me. Have just really been second guessing my decision.......Thoughts?
If you didn't feel comfortable with the shot, then you did the right thing. To me hunting is full of second guessing. I do it all the time. You never know maybe you will kill that buck next year in bow season and he will be bigger or maybe you will get another crack at him this year.
Traditions only last if you pass them down to your kids!
If you weren't comfortable pulling the trigger, for whatever reason, you did the right thing. If you doubted the shot and took it, wounding the deer and not finding it, you know you would feel horrible and it would probably ruin your season. Kudos for showing some restraint and discipline. Most guys would have taken the chance.
We need more hunters like you. Don't second guess yourself. You made a decision not to shoot. It probably was the right decision for you. Personally, with my rifle (30.06 180 grain), I wouldn't hesitate to take a front on shot if it presents itself. With a bow, that's a different story. Good luck the rest of your season.