ARTICLE: MY SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE HUNTS – THREE STRIKES AND YOU’RE OUT! Or Game Called On Account Of Rain - Part 2
Two shots, two misses. That pretty much sums up part one of my muzzleloader hunting trip to Oklahoma last fall.
The first miss was a doe on Saturday afternoon. After over an hour of searching I found no deer or any sign of hitting her.
The second one should have been meat on the pole. I took a shot at a doe right outside my blind at 15 yards. Instead of shooting her I shot through the side of the blind throwing the bullet who knows where. The view through the scope was clear but I failed to make sure the muzzle was out the window before pulling the trigger. The inside of the blind filled with smoke obstructing my view and everything else.
Part two began the afternoon after the “great smoke out”. I was back in the blind about 2:30 ready to make up for my mistakes.
About 15 minutes later I saw some movement through the brush over there and saw something brown moving. It was a hog and another and another. I lost count of them. The last one being the biggest damn hog I’ve ever seen. Had to be a big ‘ol sow. She had to have went over 250 pounds! Huge! Luckily they were going the other direction but if they had come close I would have either shot a small one or gut shot the big sow so she’d wonder off and die putting an end to her breeding days.
Around four I heard some noise on the right and looked to see a nice 8 point buck coming down the hill. He had his nose down and was on a mission.
He came down the right side, went down the hill and crossed in front of me about 30 yards away, went a little up my left and onto the trail I used to walk in on and turned away from me. I could not get him to stop. He had something in mind and it wasn’t hanging around with me.
Now I had to keep an eye peeled out of the right side since they seemed to be traveling from that direction and the left side hoping the buck wondered back around.
Sometime later I noticed something out of place way out to my left through the trees. Something just didn’t look right so I grabbed my binoculars and gave it a closer look. It was antlers!
“The buck is messing around over there” I thought “and he looks to be coming back this direction.”
The buck emerged onto the open path and stopped, looking around. It was a different buck and a nice 8 point at that! He walked down the path to his left going away from me. I kept my scope on him but the only time he stopped he was partially behind a small bush and I didn’t feel good about the shot so I watched him trot on down the hill and out of sight.
That was 4 deer in only a couple of hours and my excitement only got stronger. I was sure I’d score before that day ended. Yeah right.
A little later, out of nowhere a deer walked right in front of the blind! Couldn’t have been 20 feet away! I never heard a thing. The doe was just there!
I was trying to decide whether to lean out the front window to take a shot or go out the left side since that’s where it now was. While fiddling around with my new shooting stick I remembered to bring with me, a fork horn appeared coming up the hill toward the blind.
The two deer stood looking at the blind as I stuck the rifle out the front window not wanting to repeat the previous day’s mistake and took aim at the doe.
The firing pin struck the primer with a muffled thud but there was no boom or smoke. Not sure if it was a going to be a delay fire I kept the rifle pointed at the deer waiting to see what would happen. Both deer continued to look at me while I cocked the hammer back once again and pulled the trigger. Just another thud. “Well son-of-a-#&^%!”
As I eased the rifle back inside, keeping the muzzle pointed safely away from me the fork horn decided he had had enough and walked away. The doe just mingled around eating acorns.
Not sure if it was just a bad primer or what I broke open the action, discarded the primer, removed the breech plug and pushed the bullet and Pyrodex out. I then ran some patches I had with me through the barrel and did a complete reload. The whole time the doe was still outside munching away even though I wasn’t trying to be quite.
After getting everything cleaned and reloaded I looked out to see if I could try that shot again. The deer was behind some trees and did not offer me another chance. I think it was taunting me. I watched it go on its merry way.
I was kind of glad that the whole miss fire incident happened with the doe and not early on one of those bucks! I was sure I was in the groove and felt pretty good about the last hour of shooting time.
Short time later I heard some footsteps over my left shoulder I turned and looked out the left window as another doe walked right past the blind about 25 feet away. “I’m in a hot spot here!” I thought.
She stopped and I took my shot! I tried to watch which way she ran but the smoke obstructed the view. At least it wasn’t in the blind this time. I ran a couple of patches down the barrel and reloaded. Knowing dark was coming I set out to find her.
My heart sank as there was no sign of me hitting her where she had been standing and started the search. After looking for 30 minutes or so and with a light rain falling I figured I needed help so I headed back to camp.
After supper, Josh went with me to search once again in the dark. We made circle after circle around the blind going through brush, deadfalls, gullies and other obstacles but came up empty.
Strike three! You’re out!
I have no idea how I didn’t knock that doe off her feet as close as she was. Did the bullet pass through so fast it didn’t expand and cause no bad immediate damage allowing her to go really far away before succumbing to her injuries? Only she knows for sure.
I stuck my head out of the camper door the next morning and it was pouring. I went back to bed.
The forecast called for rain all day lasting into the evening. The day was going to be a washout. Since Josh had been called out to a job he was leaving that morning and since David was also leaving I didn’t want to stay there by myself in the rain. If it hadn’t been so wet and rainy I would have stayed and left the next day but I wanted to be sure I got back out to the main road. If I was by myself and had trouble there would have nobody around to help me. So I decided to bug out.
Game called on account of the rain.
Josh stuck around and helped me load up. We basically just threw stuff in the camper and once the four wheeler got loaded, stuff in the truck. We had it all shoved in somewhere in a little over 2 hours. As long as I got it home it could be sorted and dried out later.
I’m glad I left when I did. There was water over the gravel/dirt road in places. The ditches were running full with more water coming out of the hills. I may have gotten trapped a few days waiting for the water to go down if I had waited until the next day.
It rained the entire way home. And to make things real interesting, my windshield wipers stopped working on the regular cycle but would work on the fastest delay setting. Needless to say I said a prayer of thanks when I pulled up in front of the house some nine plus hours later. The trip taking longer than usual because of the rain and the wiper problem.
I’m real excited to hunt that new area again this fall. I might set up the blind again or I might take the climber so I can get above the smoke. Either way, I just hope it doesn’t rain! Until the next chapter, Jim Bob.