Heartbreak

Mountain Hunter

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Saturday I hunted on snow on GMNF land. I put on a fair amount of mileage looking for a nice buck track. At 1:00pm, I found what I was looking for, and then some. I was walking a log road when I saw a scrape in the snow. The track was big for VT, and he had a wide chest. His track was frozen solid, so I knew I was a long way behind him. I hustled on him until 3:00pm. In that time, he laid 2 more scrapes, fed the whole way, and bedded twice. I decided to get right back on him the following morning.
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Mountain Hunter

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The following morning, I was back on his track before 8:00am with 1/2" of fresh snow. Within an hour, I realized he was bedded down a couple hundred yards from where I left him the day before. By 9:15, we had crossed my boot tracks from the day before.
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He stayed in a large basin, slowly feeding and bedding his way up to the top of a ridge. By the time we made it 3/4 of the way up the ridge, I had a bed with no snow in it. He continued to feed his way to the top. When we almost arrived at the peak, he showed me that he was a big buck.
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I thought for sure he would be bedded in the pines on top. He had zig zagged his way up, feeding the whole way. When he reached the peak, he broke over the other side, and picked up a whole lot of steam. His track was straight as an arrow and he was walking so fast, he was flinging snow. He must have smelled something he liked.
 
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Mountain Hunter

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About an hour later, we were in a pocket of deer, and he was running a doe around. It took me a bit of time to decifer all the tracks. I was able to pick up his track and a doe track leaving the barnyard. It was now noon, and I was almost 3 miles from the truck. I called a friend, and he agreed to pick me up wherever I came out so I could stay on him as long as I needed to.

I followed the two of them through a stand of softwoods. When they exited the softwoods, he started feeding. I slowed it down some. 100 yards later I broke down into a ravine with a stream running through it. I caught movement on the other side. It was a doe getting out of bed. She stood broadside. I kept looking around for him.

All of a sudden I spotted another deer walking towards a perfect opening. I got my gun ready. The first thing that popped into the opening was the left side of his rack, and it was HUGE! He came the rest of the way into the opening, quartering away. I settled the bead on him and pulled the trigger.

CLICK! Are you f#$&!#@ kidding me? When the hammer hit the primer he turned broadside and looked at me. When he did, I could see his whole rack. Tall, wide, and tall tines to boot. The buck of a lifetime in Vermont!

I hurried to get another primer into my brand new CVA Wolf. I popped one in, snapped it shut, and looked up to see him getting away through some thick brush. I sent a hail mary and ended up missing him by inches.
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I followed them both until 3:30 but the doe had my number all day. I'm still in shock over the size of his rack. I have to work tomorrow and then I'm off the rest of the week. I hope there is still some snow so I can pick him back up Wednesday and try to create a second chance.
 
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NoDeerHere

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Wow that sure was exciting. You took me along on that hunt. Why did the Wolf not fire?
 

Mountain Hunter

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I'm not sure. Perhaps the primer got wet, or it was a dud? It went off with a new primer.
 

NH Mountains

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I'm not sure. Perhaps the primer got wet, or it was a dud? It went off with a new primer.
I had that happen to me on a buck on Thursday as well. I’m not sure why it was a dud. Not a good feeling when you hear the hammer go click instead of a pop. I keep my primers in a rubber TC Arms holder I’ve used for years. I know it wasn’t a previously used primer because I checked them before I left that morning. I did get him on Friday though.
 

Mikejd

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Thats damp powder. I can tell you arleast a dozen stories just like that. Not bucks of that caliber though. Buddy of mine capped the same buck 3 times reaching in his pack for a new primer every time without lowering the gun until the 4th finally went off shooting his buck in the throat patch. It's a joke at our camp muzzy season when most guys shoot there round out on the last day we always have a few clicks. If we have a day of drastic weather or temp changes I always push my round out and re load. I'm not chance g it.
 

longbow

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Thats damp powder. I can tell you arleast a dozen stories just like that. Not bucks of that caliber though. Buddy of mine capped the same buck 3 times reaching in his pack for a new primer every time without lowering the gun until the 4th finally went off shooting his buck in the throat patch. It's a joke at our camp muzzy season when most guys shoot there round out on the last day we always have a few clicks. If we have a day of drastic weather or temp changes I always push my round out and re load. I'm not chance g it.
His primer didn't go off. Do you mean damp powder in the primer?
 

JJM6

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I've been that guy at the end of the season where the primer pops but there's no boom. If its cool and dry my gun stays in the garage all season. I firmly believe that 777 pellets absorb moisture with temperature changes. I keep a 3/8" dowel handy and punch that load out, dry patch and reload if there is ANY doubt. Always snap a cap before reloading. Muzzleloaders are great but that powder is unforgiving. Also will not use 777 primers. Tried them a few years back and had nothing but hang fires and no fires. Standard 209's work every time.
 

sneaky_pete000

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I learned a valuable lesson last weekend with my sons Wolf. He went outside camp and put a cap into the breech, then closed the break action. He said it didn't feel like it "clicked" in, so he opened it back up and close it again....and the gun went off. Luckily my kids are incredibly reliable with their muzzle control and he blew a huge hole in the ground outside camp. (He was pretty shook up, but it was a great learning moment because no one was hurt) While it was unloaded, I put a couple caps in it and tried to recreate the fire and it never did, but it was definitely putting some nics in the cap. We took it apart and inside the assembly where the pin is, was wicked corroded.

Point being, his pin was stuck in the "out" position just a hair, but yours might be stuck in the "in" position just a hair and it took 2 hammer drops to hit the primer hard enough.
 

NH Hunter

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I learned a valuable lesson last weekend with my sons Wolf. He went outside camp and put a cap into the breech, then closed the break action. He said it didn't feel like it "clicked" in, so he opened it back up and close it again....and the gun went off. Luckily my kids are incredibly reliable with their muzzle control and he blew a huge hole in the ground outside camp. (He was pretty shook up, but it was a great learning moment because no one was hurt) While it was unloaded, I put a couple caps in it and tried to recreate the fire and it never did, but it was definitely putting some nics in the cap. We took it apart and inside the assembly where the pin is, was wicked corroded.

Point being, his pin was stuck in the "out" position just a hair, but yours might be stuck in the "in" position just a hair and it took 2 hammer drops to hit the primer hard enough.
that’s a hell of a lesson. Good for them with their muzzle control. “A safety is a mechanical devise. It’s not a matter of if it will fail but when it will fail”.
 

sneaky_pete000

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that’s a hell of a lesson. Good for them with their muzzle control. “A safety is a mechanical devise. It’s not a matter of if it will fail but when it will fail”.
Great quote. This scenario takes it a step farther - the hammer was never pulled back, so logic would tell you there's no mechanical way for the gun to go off.

Anyway, I didn't mean to hijack -I just wanted Mountain Hunter to take a look in by the firing pin for corrosion.
 

Mountain Hunter

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Great quote. This scenario takes it a step farther - the hammer was never pulled back, so logic would tell you there's no mechanical way for the gun to go off.

Anyway, I didn't mean to hijack -I just wanted Mountain Hunter to take a look in by the firing pin for corrosion.
That is wild. I'm glad nobody was injured.
 

Fixed blade

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You still shooting Black Horn 209? If I remember. This has happened before as well? My experience with that powder was negative. When it was super cold and snowy it never went off correct. I switched back to 777 and yeah arming a second or third sucks but the first has never let me down. I just found 209 had two many variables for my a simple guy like me. Take it for what it’s worth. The buck I tracked that I learned my lesson on was shot the next year with in 2 miles and green scored 136 here in VT. Happy for the hunter but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I puked in my mouth a little.
 

Mountain Hunter

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You still shooting Black Horn 209? If I remember. This has happened before as well? My experience with that powder was negative. When it was super cold and snowy it never went off correct. I switched back to 777 and yeah arming a second or third sucks but the first has never let me down. I just found 209 had two many variables for my a simple guy like me. Take it for what it’s worth. The buck I tracked that I learned my lesson on was shot the next year with in 2 miles and green scored 136 here in VT. Happy for the hunter but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I puked in my mouth a little.
You may be right. What are the odds, two years in a row, two misfires, on two separate guns?

4 of us use it at camp and I'm the only one who has ever had misfire issues.
 

Fixed blade

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I went through the exact same thing and just decided to eliminate what I could. It’s also possible you got a bad batch of powder. That is what was suggested to me as well. But after my experience and loss I never had the stones to try it again. Good luck with whatever direction you take it.
 

Mikejd

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His primer didn't go off. Do you mean damp powder in the primer?
I did not really read it that way. I just read click wich usually is that the primer did go off but not enough to ignite the charge.
 

shawn_in_MA

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I learned a valuable lesson last weekend with my sons Wolf. He went outside camp and put a cap into the breech, then closed the break action. He said it didn't feel like it "clicked" in, so he opened it back up and close it again....and the gun went off. Luckily my kids are incredibly reliable with their muzzle control and he blew a huge hole in the ground outside camp. (He was pretty shook up, but it was a great learning moment because no one was hurt) While it was unloaded, I put a couple caps in it and tried to recreate the fire and it never did, but it was definitely putting some nics in the cap. We took it apart and inside the assembly where the pin is, was wicked corroded.

Point being, his pin was stuck in the "out" position just a hair, but yours might be stuck in the "in" position just a hair and it took 2 hammer drops to hit the primer hard enough.
I had the same thing happen on my Omega a few years ago. We took apart the firing pin mechanism. It was completely corroded and sticky and the firing pin spring was in pieces...scary shit and what a mess!
 

Mountain Hunter

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Yesterday I hiked up in where I left this buck track on Sunday, mostly in the dark. When I got there, there were two tracks coming down off the hill that they had been on. One was small, and one was bigger. I assumed it was the same two deer, but it was hard to tell because they were melted out a bit. I decided to take the buck track.

The deer zig-zagged through the hardwoods, feeding and bedding along the way. He eventually made his way up a 3,000 foot ridge. I kicked him up when we got to the very top.

I gave him a half hour, and then started my pursuit. This deer was a runner. He went a long ways before slowing down to a walk, and then bedded in some thick pines. We did this 3 times, eventually we circled the 3,000' ridge, and crossed my boot tracks from the morning.

By noon, I had realized that this was not the giant buck I had tracked on Sunday. I decided to keep going. I hadn't seen another deer track all day. I kicked him up at noon. At 1:15, he made an abrupt turn in to a stand of pines on the side of a ridge. I knew he would be in there, so I went really slow through them. An hour later, I could hear a deer walking through the crusty snow ahead, but I couldn't see him because the pines were so thick.

I followed the track to an empty bed with walking tracks leaving it. He continued up the ridge, feeding. It was now 2:30. I felt I was close. I followed slowly. Every time he fed, I'd gain on him. Eventually, I heard a stick snap above me. A short while later, he started bounding again. He took me over the top of the ridge. The other side was a beautiful mix of hardwood and softwoods. He kept zig zagging through the patches of softwood.

At around 3:00, I came over a knob, and 50 yards in front of me was a deer feeding. I pulled up, saw the bow of a main beam in my scope, and fired. The deer jumped in the air and took off. I reloaded, and went over to the shot site. No blood.

I started following and found a few little specs of blood. I went on him as fast as I could because I wanted to finish the job before dark. He went over a mile, all down hill, towards my truck. As we went I was seeing more and more blood. I kicked him out of a bed, and there was a lot of blood in it. When he took off, it looked like he only had horns on one side. I didn't see a shed along the way. At 4:05, I caught up to him, and was able to get one into the pump house. He had a nice rack on one side, and a straight antler on the other, with a fork at the top.

I cleaned him out, and started dragging. I ended up getting him to the truck at 6:30. He is technically a 5 pointer, and he weighed in at 138 fully cleaned out.

I'm happy I was able to take a buck tracking, but part of me is upset with myself for not holding out for that giant I missed on Sunday.

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