I am trying to deal with a mistake or maybe several I made over the past two weekends. I have been hunting from the same tree now for 3 years. Last year I got my first deer/buck from this tree. Last weekend on my first real attempt on rattling and grunting a buck, I pulled one within 5 minutes of the first sequence. he came right to the tree I was in and stopped with nothing between us except a heavily laden sapling. I opted to wait for him to present a better shot and watched as he put his nose to the ground and picked up the scent of something he didn't like and was gone. Raising the elevation of the stand that morning from my typical 20' to the new 30' height seemed like a good idea at the time. MISTAKE #1. I really didn't want to get busted and height has its advantages. As I descended later that day and came down to the 20' level, I realized I could have made the shot from there and wouldn't have had to wait for him to present a better one. Having shot this buck would have prevented me from second guessing my actions and I would have been here in this tree the next day. Since I didn't shoot this deer I began to look at the area he came in from MISTAKE #2 and noticed a lot of trail activity 50+ yards to the west of me. I moved the next day to an intercept position approx. 50yds form the tree and trail I had been hunting. MISTAKE #3 at around 8oam a nice 8-10 pointer (I say 8-10 pointer because I have trained myself not to count points on deer that are still standing, so I really don't know) comes into view and totally ignores all attempts to grunt rattle and snort wheeze him in my direction and then proceeds to walk within 10' of the tree I just moved from, 6 ' actually. My mechanical release is the type that the head swivels in front of the trigger so I can rotate my hand anyway I want even after engaging the bow string. It is also a hand held type, if you let go of it,it will fall from your hand. I just bought a strap on type of the same configuration and really have not spent much time getting used to it. MISTAKE #4 This past weekend, Saturday more specifically. I set up the hunt perfectly. Buck bomb, fuses, scent elimination procedures etc. After shooting at 1 buck in a group of 3 that came in together following the buck bomb trail. and ricocheting off a twig and embedding the arrow into a sapling, I had some time to reflect on what had happened and dismiss it as (oh well, that happens). Half an hour later, down the same trail I spot another deer. As it approaches the horn comes into view (looks like a nice buck!). he starts to move in the direction of the trail I setup on last week as an intercept point and then hangs a u turn and start to follow the buck bomb trail I put down that morning. As he gets increasingly closer, I realize this is the same buck I missed last week because I wasn't sitting here. (I am now in shock) He is following the trail which goes past a sapling little more than 5 yds in front of the tree I am in. As he passes the sapling the scent trail ends but he catches the full aroma of the fuse hanging in the sapling and does a 180. He is now at quartering toward me to broadside in front of me at 15' (this shot doesn't even require aiming) his nose high in the air, I start drawing and at 1/4 draw the releases calipers open and the arrow sails 20 yds to the left. (I thought the string had failed as it will need replacing after this season.) the buck flags and bolts away as I stand there in disbelief and utter shock. This deer mind you would have made up for 20 years of sitting in stands, braving the elements spending good money on new and improved tools of the trade etc. And all I had to do was what I have done so so many times before, go completely to full draw, point and shoot. THE DEER WAS SMOKED. PERIOD. I have had some time to replay all the events on the past 2 weekends and to revisit the ifs ands or buts as well as the whats and what ifs. The bottom line is every little decision you make can have a profound consequence on future results. but nothing is more important and controllable as proper preparation.