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I did something that fills me with remorse and happiness.I was sitting in my stand and to make it short,along came the lifetime buck.I could have made the shot but it was iffy.I decided to pass on that buck.The shot wasn't the best so rather than risking him,I let him pass.Just a crossbow hunters thoughts.If a question arises in my mind I don't shoot.I could have taken a shot but harvesting an animal was not my quest.I was one with nature that day and did not want to risk harming the deer on a maybe shot.I know most feel the same way.The size of him tempted my self control though.
 

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A lot of people hunt for different reasons. The hunt it's self brings me more gratification then the kill. If I would see the buck of a lifetime while out hunting that would mean just as much to me as putting an arrow through him. Thank you for sharing your story.
 

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5chunter said:
The hunt it's self brings me more gratification then the kill.
Totally agree. Often I come back to work and the people there ask if I got anything. If I say no but I saw 3 one day and 2 the other they always reply "So it was a waste of time." I always remind them that's why they call it "hunting" and not "killing." Some of my best outings did not result in a kill but seeing something really cool - like the time a squirrel jumped off a tree and onto a yearlings back. That was quite the show.
 

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The above posts have some great insight and I also will say basically the same. Its about the journey NOT the destination. Hunting means different things to different people. In reading your post one REALLY great things stands out--it says allot about you and your true hunting integrity.
It says you have a true inner honor and integrity that is instilled in you that allowed you to simply "put-on-the-brakes." Yes it was a trophy in your minds eye HOWEVER--your experience and that inner voice allowed you to know--things simply were not right. You knew that taking that shot was NOT right because as you stated--"it was iffy"
What that says about YOU is that you have respect for yourself, fellow hunters, and the game you pursue.
DO NOT have remorse--reflect on the fact that you did the right thing. Be happy about that because I for one have my hat off and my hand extended to you and will say:
Good judgement call by you and what the sport of hunting truly needs are folks who have that inner voice that "puts-the-brakes-on", and makes them stop and truly ask themselves--"Is this right?" "If I take this iffy shot, and it all goes wrong-can I live with the outcome?"
I can tell you my good man--I have been there--have NO regrets because if you would have taken that shot--knowing full well things simply did not feel right--you knew full well things were not adding up to make a good ethical shot.
Think how you would have felt after the shot when it all went south--long, frustrating tracking job with no recovered buck of a lifetime---yeah--that's as sour memory and you would have that haunting you--going over it in your mind forever--regretting the whole mess.
Instead you can smile and say to yourself-"Yeah-I did the right thing-it was a great hunt that day."
 
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