There are so many-I had to think about this one for quite awhile...but I was able to recall one of my first out of state hunting trips to Iowa for pheasants.
My first Elhew English Pointer, Wyatt, was working a bird on a narrow strip of CRP. Unbeknownst to me, a few guys I was with and respected, were watching. He locked up tight, tail at twelve o clock and intensity that was nothing less than intimidating. I walked in and nothing. He worked the bird again this time locked up rock solid about 10 to 15 yard pointing to the end of the strip. I began to walk it in and a few steps in, a rooster cackled out. He angled left and I missed on the first, second and third shot out of my 11-87 automatic. Like Riflemester, but at a different level, I felt like I totally failed the dog.
I returned to the truck to be greeted by words I will never forget..."That point looked like it should have been on the cover of Gun Dog magazine!...Then, you missed."
Yup, the comments on a missed shot can be quite revealing in their clarity. After my missed shot one of the regulars on the NUCS circuit quipped," That dog needs to get a new shooter." And I knew he was right!
_________________ An elderly gentleman, his faithful dogs, and a 16 ga SXS. All is right with the world.
Joined: 17 Mar 2017
Location: Endless Mountains of Pa
A while back on a mountain side outside of Morgantown WVa, I wiffed the 1st shot on a real nice True Double that Ripper my Gordon Setter had set up for me. However I did knock down the 2nd Grouse, as it tried to bank over the hill side. Standing with empty gun I happened to notice Ripper had never moved off point to retrieve the fallen Grouse. Before I could even crack the breech open, 4 more Grouse exploded from under the snow covered Grape Vine, startled I stood with open Breech. A 6 Bird Covert and I ended up with just one bird. I was kind of stunned by what had just happened and still had not reloaded, on the retrieve back to me Ripper locked up again as 2 more Grouse came up just over the hill side. That incident happened over 12 years ago, I was taught to always immediately reload after the 2nd shot, it's engrained reflex action now, what happened on that particular day, I will never know. The old men in heaven who taught me how to Grouse hunt, must have been smiling as they watched this hunt from above.
Ripper thanks old boy for the incredible Memories!
_________________ "L.C. Smith America's Best" - John Houchins
Joined: 07 Mar 2010
Location: South Eastern PA
I had a worst day last year.
I'm usually a Fox guy and love to hunt grouse with one of my 16 gauge guns.
On this particular day I was using a new to me LW LC Smith 20 gauge that I had never used or even shot before. I had been looking forward to using it so out it came with me against my better judgment. I went on to have the best and worst day of my life. Grouse can be tough sometimes in NE Pennsylvania and few flushes in a day usually makes for a great outing. Well it was best in that I witnessed 11 flushes, worst in that I only got to see it rain a few feathers once and it still flew off.
I'm too embarrassed to say how many times I missed. Lets just say I'm one of those guys who usually carries too many shells and I just about ran out.
I hope I never have another day like that again. It had me mumbling to myself on the way home. The dogs must of thought I was a jerk too.
Joined: 09 Aug 2009
Location: N.E. Michigan
Mine happened in 93 or 94 when I lived three hours South of where I live now.
A friend and I went out on MI opening day of ringneck season,I shot the only ringneck I saw and two rabbits all with one shot each.
That afternoon we went out again and I missed the only ringneck and the only rabbit I saw.
My friend didn't bag anything that day but I can't remember if he even got a shot at anything.
Joined: 08 Aug 2011
Location: Central CT
1994 eastern Iowa. I had the dog that was hot and finding the majority of the birds. I struggled for 3 days killing any rooster cleanly with a 12 gauge O/U Beretta. At midweek, with 4 of my ‘buddies’ watching, my Brittany Maverick, went on point, absolutely as stylish as ever and with all eyes on me that bird went as dead straight away as you can get. I missed with both shots........and then one of the smart a$$e$ asked me if I needed more shells.
I went back to my 16 Gauge 1100 and haven’t picked up that Beretta since.
Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Location: Kelso, Tennessee
My misses are too numerous to single out a real doozy, but what a blessing to have been there to miss- "better to have strived valiantly.... than those poor and timid souls....". My most vivid loss was a shot NOT taken at a longbeard I'd called in to ten feet off the roost and came in on a dead run at daylight. He jumped and flew when I moved my gun to cover him, and I knocked him down but it was still too dark to see clearly, and a stick I was sure was a stick but looked really like a tom turkey head looking like a stick was ignored long enough to jump up and run off, I wished I'd shot a stick. He was a good bird . My good friend used to say to my son who was a little slow to shoot early in his duckin career, " Shoot boy! Shells are the cheapest part of the trip!" In the younger days, those misses haunted me. Now that I'm older and slower, and they come much more frequently, they haunt me even more, but I forget them quicker
_________________ i reckon so. I guess we all died a little in that damn war.
Joined: 15 May 2011
Location: Ontario, Canada
Just had a real beauty last Thursday. Kaiser, my wirehair was working a running rooster in a bean field and finally pressured him enough for a lift off....missed once, then twice, which caused an even bigger rooster to rise a little closer. I then missed that bird which lit high in a tree, so I quickly reloaded and shot....and missed him in the tree
All of it on GoPro....
Joined: 16 Mar 2017
Location: Valdosta GA
I squeezed the trigger as the tom turkey I had been hunting for years was 5 yards in front of me notice me and cock his head back to run. The shot and wad blasted past where his head was and looked as if I had walked 50 yards with a weed eater past him. He flew into a tree.....I walked under him and cursed him, but let him have another day. Got him the next year though. You can see him on the rst Facebook page under Keith S
3 shots, actually....all at one pheasant slicing down an Iowa field in front of me as if running a gauntlet.
I put the miss to the glide angle, convulted terrain and an optical delusion, collusion or illusion but, I simply never caught up after I was so supremely confident that the bird was dead......before the first shot was triggered.
I wish it was a unique experience but dead birds flying are not.
I wish it was a unique experience but dead birds flying are not.
How true that is! I have had quite a few dead birds carried off on what I can only assume was their spirit to a distance too far to be seen.
I missed the first solo wild find my pup Emma had this September on a sage grouse. It flushed at maybe just under 30 yards. A straight going away bird the size of a frozen turkey and flying about as fast and I chose my IM barrel. I was so certain of the kill I even took my head off the stock to watch (I know, I screwed up!) it fall, only it never did. By the time I realized it wasn't going down I stepped all over my self trying to get more shot into it with my IC barrel. I watched that bird sail for the horizon until I could no longer see it. I was just able to make out a flicker of it's wings as it set down. We didn't have much light left and my pup was pretty worn out by the time she made her find. We tried to find that bird, a nice adult male, and never did. I watched that first shot quake through it's body and it knocked a pretty good amount of feathers off. I know that bird is dead and I just failed to do it cleanly. Failing to reward my pup on her first find is bad enough but loosing a bird and not seeing it through is something that never has sat right with me. To me those always have and always will be my worst shots.
Joined: 08 Feb 2009
Location: Western WA
No question, mid season 1970 or thereabouts, hunting with buddy and his mutt in MI. Spotted two roosters FIGHTING in tall grass at 50 yds. Began stalking them and planning sumptuous meal of pheasant, when mutt entered the picture from the far right. It turned into a footrace between me and the mutt and the birds went up together, I fired on the run and of course missed both.
Memory still fresh, still makes me grind my teeth, gotta let it go.
Joined: 24 Jun 2013
Location: canandaigua - western n.y. (formerly deerhunter)
2 ....Ist yr at the Rez , Peach did a perfect pt and like DC , whiffed with the 2 shots ... 2nd . I 'm 14 and grouse hunting . Walked right into a 2'' pointy pricker and embedded it into my thigh . Just couldn't keep going , stopped to try to get it outta there . Put the gun down , dropped trows , and a grouse flushed , flew right at me and landed in a tree, no more than 8ft away and watched me try to dig that bugger out . Bird laughing , no shots fired !!
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