It’s a common scenario: you’re zeroed in, positioned perfectly and ready to take your shot, but something happens and you miss it. Maybe the deer ran at the last second, your hand twitched, or you weren’t as far away from the deer as you thought you were. Whatever the reason, it happens and it’s how you recover that matters. Here are some tips to help you recover from a missed shot.
Change Your Angle
One reason you might miss a shot is that you forgot to account for the elevation of your blind. Our Stump blinds, like the Stump 4 ‘Whitetail Properties Pro Hunter’, can be elevated on our Steel Tower System or wooden legs to give you a great vantage point on the deer. The elevation helps you see a wider range of land, but it also means that you have to account for that elevation in your shot. If you set your sight to the distance the deer is from your blind and shoot as you normally would, you’ll likely miss. The distance from the ground and the distance from your elevated blind is not the same. You need to account for how high above the ground you are in your calculations and set your sight according to that distance. Here’s the formula, where “a” is the horizontal distance from the ground to the animal, “b” is the vertical distance from the ground to your blind, and “c” is the distance from you in the blind to the deer on the ground:
Once you’ve determined the correct distance, you should start shooting better.
Take a Moment to Relax
It’s also possible that you missed a shot because your adrenaline kicked in and you took the shot too early. If that’s the case, then take some time to unwind. Relax for a minute and take in your surroundings. Don’t pressure yourself to stay on high alert. There’s enough room in our Stump blinds for you to move away from the window and focus on something else. Take a break and listen to the sounds of nature or talk with your hunting partner. The heavy insulation in our Stump blinds will keep the deer from hearing your conversation. Then, when you’re ready to tune back in, make sure you take the time to set up your shot properly. Don’t release the second the deer is in your sights. Take a moment to make sure your shot placement is correct and that deer isn’t moving. Then, you can take your shot.
Don’t Give Your Hunting Partner Too Hard of a Time
It’s important to think about the comfort level between you and your hunting partner when your partner misses a shot. If you are incredibly close friends and know that joking about the miss will make them laugh and relax, then that’s OK. But, if you’re hunting with a new hunter, or someone you’ve just started hunting with, don’t be overly eager to tease them about the miss. Give them the space to react in their own way. Let them process it. Then, if they ask you a question or advice as to what happened, that’s the time to jump in and offer helpful tips. Explain what you observed and give them direct tips on what they can do differently next time. Encourage them by reminding them they’ll have other opportunities.
Missing a shot during a hunting trip can be incredibly frustrating. It’s understandable that it might throw you off your game for a moment. Take a second to relax and reset. How you handle your next shot is what matters. Don’t let the fact that you’re still thinking about the last missed shot cause you to miss the next one. Recovering is part of the hunting process.
How do you recover after missing a shot? Let us know in the comments below!