Redemption Shot

I heard the clicks as Paul adjusted his scope. I checked the focus through my lens one final time and hit “record”. We had been perched on a rocky outcrop for several hours waiting on this moment. I checked the distance through the range finder again and relayed the numbers to Paul as he settled in behind his gun. He had the right gun, the right gear, and the right experience to make a long range shot. We were in the right place, at the right time. Ready for the moment.

“511,” I called out.


Paul checked the math and made a final adjustment to his elevation. I heard him draw in a slow breath and release. He paused his exhale and squeezed the trigger. 


The 145 grain bullet exploded from the barrel and flew through the air toward the buck standing two ridges over. Looking through the binoculars I saw the splash as the round hit the dirt behind the animal. The buck wheeled around and took off behind the ridge. We were both unsure whether or not the bullet had found its mark. 


“How did it feel?” I asked Paul, trying to gauge whether or not he thought it was a good hit.

“High.” Paul answered as he exhaled. 


I played back the footage on the camera screen and the slow motion reveled that indeed the shot had missed just above the animal. 


Paul spent the remainder of the afternoon mulling over the scenario. What could he have done differently and how could he correct this miss on the next opportunity?


The problem with hunting, sometimes, is that we don’t always know if we’ll get another shot.


When we miss a shot we are always looking for redemption…

A second chance…

A do-over. 

Life has these same moments. Have you ever had an opportunity to make an impact but missed the mark? Have you ever been in the right place at the right time but somehow managed to fail?


You’re not alone. Whether you were hunting antelope in the Wyoming prairies, closing a deal in the corporate boardroom, or even just trying to navigate a moment with your kids, we’ve all blown it before. When we miss our shot we are all hoping for a second chance so we can redeem our mistake.


The real question for us today is will you be ready when that second chance happens? 

Can you own your failure on the first shot and make the adjustment necessary to capitalize when the moment comes back around? 


Twenty four hours later Paul and I were again tucked away in the same rocky outcrop. A herd of antelope came over the distant rise and we found ourselves in a deja-vu moment. I quickly grabbed the range finder and zeroed in on the lead buck. He was literally 50 yards from where the first buck was standing when the shot went high. I couldn’t believe it. 


“Paul,” I said, “he’s standing at 513 yards. This is your redemption shot!”


Paul clicked his scope to adjust for the distance and elevation. He moved the scope two clicks lower than the previous day to compensate for his earlier miss. Breathed in slowly, exhaled, held, and squeezed the trigger. 


This time through the binoculars I could see right away that the aim was true. Success! We had done it. We accomplished our mission. The feeling of relief was tangible. I could sense the pride in Paul that he had overcome his first mistake and affirmed his own ability. 

The challenge for us today is this… can we own our failures, overcome our disappointment, correct our mistakes, and be ready for the next opportunity life brings our way? 


Are you ready for your redemption shot?