let me share a little tip from my stalking experiences. in your scenario,i wouldve done one thing that may have let me get the shot off..
at the point that I gained composer and made sure the deer was still there,i would've made my draw while tucked behind the juniper. then,at full draw,slowly step out just enough to have clearance to make the shot,settle the pin,and release.
nothing is a guarantee in hunting and even the scenario i described may or may not have worked. there's no way of telling. as you said though,live and learn. you didnt get your buck. BUT you did make a successful stalk and put yourself in YOUR comfortable range and most of all you had a blast. you did everything right but the buck didnt want to finish the game. IMO, you had a successful hunt. and i commend you for not taking a shot that you weren't comfortable with.
job well done and hopefully your next hunt gets you your buck
'07 HCA Iron Mace
'08 Martin Bengal
'11 Martin Exile