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The Donk

A painful lesson

5 posts in this topic

I hunted Sat, Sun, and Monday NW of Bemidji, we saw a fair number of deer and a number of different weather conditions. Saturday was a bluebird day, Sunday started OK, then got windy and rained from 3:00 until I got off the stand. Got back to the cabin and brought my gun inside and opened the bolt and let it dry off. Monday it snowed in the morning, with about 30 mph winds, and by Mon night, was getting cold. Anyways, that is only the precursor to the story...

I hadn't seen much Mon night due to the high winds (I think) and it was getting dark. At about 5:30 I started to get my things together to take off, and out of the corner of my eye, caught a deer trotting only about 50-60 yds from me. I got my gun up and, through the scope, could see he had a nice rack. I put it on him, and pulled the trigger... nothing! Pulled the trigger again, this time harder.... NOTHING! The buck made it to the woods, and disappeared. I sat in shock. I grunted at him a couple times, but he didn't come out and 5 minutes later, it was time to get out of the stand. I was P.O'ed. I ejected my shells and pulled the trigger so hard I think I broke the trigger mechanism or the safety because it sticks in fire until you open the bolt, and then when you get it in safe, as soon as you flip it to fire, it clicks to shoot.

Ok, let me hear it.. confused.gif

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I had this happen one time with my 11-87 after the one time I hunted in the rain, I took the trigger assy apart lubed it never had a problem since. Luckily I wasnt shooting at a big buck at the time.

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Yea, that was the worst part of the ordeal, I now have that image burned into my mind of the crosshairs on him and not being able to do anything! Thanks for the tip on the assembly, hopefully I didn't do any major damage to it.

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Don't beat yourself up too bad. Sure, let the image burn in your head as a self reminder to check your gear, but it happens to the best of us.

Heck, this weekend I froze solid, looking at Mr. Big, when I should have shot.

Pobodys nerfect.

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Sorry in advance for the long post...The worst hunting day in my life (still better than a day at work, though!) happened because of a trigger assembly freezing up. About 10 years ago, conditions were much like this past Monday only more of a sleet than snow. Nonetheless it was cold and windy. I had my rifle under my jacket to keep it from getting ice on the bolt/trigger mechanism--bad move. Anyway, I got off the stand around noon. It was one of those "you gotta be a gymnast to get in and out of" stands and when my feet hit the ground I heard deer running. A fawn was running right at me. I passed on the fawn, but locked in on the big doe behind. When she was about 30 yards and still coming right at me I pulled the trigger--nothing. My first thought was that I forgot the safety, but no it was in the fire position. I pulled up again and she was filling up the scope fast. I kept pulling and pulling but no bang. Well, the deer saw me at about 5 yards, hit the skids and took off at a 90 degree from me to join up with the fawn--both ran to the north with tails waggin'. It was now that I thought "Why were those deer running at me rather than away from me?" Then I saw Mr. Big in the balsams about 50 yards away. He was moving towards where the doe and fawn took off to. I forgot my gun wouldn't shoot and pulled up. I had him in the crosshairs broadside at 50 yards and couldn't get the trigger to move!!!

Well of course he didn't wait, but I thought I might be able to head them off down the trail if I could get to a stand before they passed it. So I hustled out to the road to get to that stand. I had to get my gun to fire first, so I took all the shells out and warmed the gun up inside my jacket for about 2-3 minutes--bad move again! I loaded 'er up and touched off a round. Back in business! Hustled to the stand and sat for 2 hours--nothing. Decided to bunch it at about 4:30 as the sleet was pickin' up and the wind was colder knowing I could have had a couple deer down--one a nice buck. On the way out, I saw deer legs next to a big blow down. At first sight it looked like the deer had its head right in among the branches--until it lifted its head and the branches came up with it. You guessed it--no branches, big rack. The wind was perfect, blowing right in my face with the sleet making it tough to see 50 yards. I duck-walked slowly to another blow down with the big boy and his twelve perfectly symmetrical points looking right at me wondering if he should charge me or make, you know, advances. I stopped at the blowdown to use it for a rest, took off the safe, and thought the rest of the day was worth it because now I am going to shoot the biggest deer I have ever seen at 25 yards...

Do you think that gun would shoot? NO WAY! I got so mad I started jackin' out shells and trying to blow hot breath into the action, all the time keeping one eye on the buck who is really interested in what was going on in the blowdown and started moving towards me, cutting the distance to about 15 yards. I slipped one last chance shell into the chamber, slowly raised up and brown filled the scope. No dice--still stuck! I had one crazy thought to grunt him under the log and take my chances with my knife, but thought better of that move. By that time the buck figured out I wasn't worth his time and he bounded away. I was so mad I thought about wrapping that little Remington around the nearest tree.

It was a slow walk to the truck. Before I cased my gun I just had to know--I pointed the muzzle out and toward the frozen turf; put the safe to fire; and, pulled the trigger. I'll never forget the vision of the blaze coming out of the barrel as the sun was just below the horizon.

According to the gun smith, the moral of the story is this: often the grease in the trigger and firing pin assemblies will gather moisture or condensation by going in and out of warm houses into cold weather. The moisture freezes up and the grease thickens and locks up parts that should be moving when one is interested in putting a deer down. I had the gunsmith remove the grease and now leave my gun in the truck for the duration of the season.

I feel your pain and have been there, Donker.

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