6 deer, no bear, no hunters.
Spent a lot of hours there today. After driving hundreds of miles over the past few months, spending countless hours in the woods, gathering hours of intel via trai cams, and prepping 5 different stand sites... I'm a MORON!!!! I spent exactly 12 hours in the stand yesterday. I saw 1 doe, and 1 fisher, until 6:30 pm when my bear finally showed up and I somehow blew the shot. At a distance of 20 yards I somehow managed to hit him high in the shoulder. I left the area once it got dark and after a sleepless night took up the search this morning. It was bad immedietly. My busted arrow was found at the point of impact and I only got 3" of penetration. After taking the pathetic blood trail one drop at a time for over 100 yards it finally petered out. I'm sure the bear will survive because there's no vitals behind the top of the shoulder but I'm sure he's not feeling too hot right now. I'm completely sick. I have no idea what happened and have been through all of the "what ifs" and "should've, could've, would'ves, but the bottom line is it was 100% operator error. I was confident with the shot and would take it again. I'm dumbfounded. It's been 28 years since I've lost an animal and this is the first ever with a crossbow. I've pulled the plug on the bear season. I'm done! That was my bear and I blew it. Even going to be hard to get into chasing deer at this point.Probably have the place to yourself tomorrow, that should help. Keep the updates coming, it's very enjoyable.
Agree 100% with loridr! I understand where you are coming from also, as I too have considered a tag filled when I have put a shot on a deer that I knew was fatal or was going to ultimately be fatal but was unable to recover it.... BUT as you said yourself, that bear will most likely be fine, its not like you blew a bolt through its guts. Also if that stand was in that bear's home turf you very well may get a crack at it again. At very least go out and sit in a stand. If you see a bear and it feels right, take a shot, if not dont. Dont close your season based on the sick feeling you have right now!TBrom,
It happens. Put it behind you. I disagree with your decision to quit on the bear, I think you should continue to hunt him in the hope that you might get another crack at him. Stranger things have happened.
I know exactly what you mean, 2 years ago put what I thought was a perfect arrow in a doe, had good blood for 100-150 yards then dried up, never found her. Went out the next day and made a horrible shot on a buck, I was about to give up and be done but I kept sticking with it and was able to put another arrow in him about a mile from the original shot. Keep grinding TbromLast time I lost a buck I concidered giving up bowhunting forever.
Yes, i know it's that heartbreaking.
I tried every one liner I knew to cheer you up, I'm no head shrinker, and I have walked a trail or two in them very boots myself, it's no picnic. I would have grid searched with you all day but the broken arrow was the smoking gun as it were but I bet we have not seen the last of that bear, I think he is the one I had on camera early spring looking like he was half starved. I'm gonna give it a good effort this week and the rest of archery. If I get him I'll frame your broadhead..................................
I want to extend a HUGE thank you to RegularJoe. He ain't no regular Joe. He's the person that turned me onto this particular piece of public property, gave me his thoughts and opinions about it, and then turned me loose. He's become a great friend and he and his entire family (wife & boys) helped me with the search today. They're all good people. My bear season is over but I've left my stands in place for RegularJoe to take over. Pulling for him to bust that big boy that's in the area. Go get'em, Joe. I'm forever in your debt and beyond sick about the way this turned out.