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5 Reasons You’ll Blow Your Shot on Opening Day

5 Reasons You’ll Blow Your Shot on Opening Day

We wait all year for the opening day of deer season. We daydream, plan, prepare, and anxiously await what lies ahead in the deer woods. But for many hunters, opening day will end in disappointment. The opportunity they’ve been dreaming about arrived, but for one reason or another, they blew it. The chance came and went, leaving them frustrated and walking out of the woods with an unpunched tag in their pocket. Here’s a look at 5 reasons hunters often blow their shot when the opportunity comes their way.


Making the mistakes mentioned below will ensure that you walk out of the woods with an unpunched tag still in your pocket.

You Never Practiced

Sure, there are plenty of hunters out there that pull their gun from the case the night before the opener every year and go with what they got. They never practice, and they never check to make sure their gun is still dialed in.

But smart hunters take the time to check their gear. They spend extra time at the bench to make sure they are still solid, mentally and physically. At least once, commit to practicing before opening day this season. It’ll make a difference in your confidence as you step into the woods. 

Remember, practice isn’t just for little kids. Big kids need practice too. It helps us recall the nature of our rifle’s trigger. We need those reminders each year. That’s why practicing with our rifle before opening day is so important.

You Can’t Handle the Fever

The ability to handle buck fever will make or break your chance of notching your tag. It’s just that simple. If you can’t handle the adrenaline that surges through your body, you’ll struggle to make the shot. Almost every one of us struggles to fight the nerves that ravage our body at the moment of truth, but the guy or gal that can fight through it will find success. Learn to control buck fever, or at least maintain it at a controllable level, and you’ll kill more deer, guaranteed.

You Rushed the Shot

Rushing the shot is a symptom of the fever mentioned above. We often rush the shot to get us through the fight or flight dilemma that hits us when a buck is standing in range. We just want to get past the pressure that’s on us. The excitement and adrenaline pouring through our bodies are enough to make us pass out!

For many, the only way to get through it is to hurry up and get the shot off. And this mentality rarely seems to go well. Even when you need to hurry, slow down with your shot execution. Don’t blow it by rushing your shot.

5 Reasons You’ll Blow Your Shot on Opening Day-1

Few things are as humbling as missed opportunities because you failed to load your gun. Don’t let it happen to you!

Your Gun Was Never Loaded

This one sounds simple enough, but every year it’ll bite the best of hunters. The effort to keep things as safe as possible with an unloaded gun can easily turn into a missed opportunity if you fail to chamber a round once safely in your stand. Don’t think it could happen to you? Trust me, it can happen to anyone. This mistake tends to creep in when our minds are preoccupied with other tasks, rushing to the stand, or a last-minute scramble in the stand as deer are approaching sooner than you anticipated.
This one will make you feel like an idiot. Don’t let this one be the reason you miss an opportunity this season.

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Is your gun loaded? Do you have the right ammo? Make sure you know before a big buck walks into range this season.

You Don’t Know Your Ammo

Every year, countless hunters head to the woods with the ammo they’re not familiar with. They buy a box of bullets thinking it’s fairly close to what they shot last year. How much different can it really be, right? The truth is, not all ammo is created equal. One brand will often shoot differently from another, even when it appears everything else is comparable. Brands and grains make a big difference. Know the ammunition you are shooting, and how it performs, before you climb into the stand on opening day.

Final Thoughts

Don’t let these simple mistakes cost you big opportunities this deer season. Take the time to practice, know your equipment, and how to calm your body down enough to execute proper shot placement this season. Beat these 5 mistakes and you’ll notch more tags in the hunting seasons to come.

About the Author

Brodie Swisher

Brodie Swisher is a world champion game caller, outdoor writer, and seminar speaker.
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