An odd story of how things went right, and then wrong, and then right, and then wrong, and then right again...

On Thursday, my friend Brian and I had decided to try going to a deer hunting spot via boat for the first time as a fun way of wrapping up the muzzleloader season. We split up upon landing the boat, separated by a couple hundred yards of thicket and hardwood in an area we'd never been before on public land.

Around 7:45, I heard the familiar sound of a deer's footsteps behind me. As I rotated around the side of the tree I was sitting against, I saw a doe picking her way through the thicket. I raised my muzzleloader, aimed, and squeezed the trigger on my dad's in-line - CLICK! The primer did not ignite, nothing. The deer went on its way while I frantically tried to switch primers. Upon inspecting the cap, I noticed that there wasn't even a mark from the firing pin!

About 30 seconds later, I hear another familiar noise - the pop of a primer going off without the accompanying "boom". I knew Brian was experiencing the same frustration I had just been through. Meanwhile, I finished putting a new primer in my gun, and got ready in case she came back my way. 15 or 20 seconds later, and I hear a different sound: "crack-BOOM. The delay was troublesome - at least a half-second gap in his hang-fire. I was hopeful that he had pulled off the shot, but felt it was unlikely. At this point, I thought "I'd better get ready!".

Sure enough, she back-tracked on her previous trail and came right back by me. She stopped for a moment, and I got a satisfying BOOM with the pull of the trigger, and knew I'd made a good shot.

Brian calls me and says "Did you get your deer?!? They must be running all over us! I'm checking for blood from my shot."

I had to break the bad news to him - we had been shooting at the same deer, and that I could verify that she had not been hit by his shot. But imagine his surprise when I told him that I had a gun malfunction before both of his! All totaled, there were 4 trigger pulls on the same deer! I could not have killed the deer if he hadn't been there to push it back to me, and he could not have killed it without me, since his gun was gunked up with oil and could not fire properly \:\)

By my best guess, I must have inserted my primer poorly so that it wasn't seated properly. Otherwise, I can't account for why the firing pin didn't indent the primer on the first try. Live and learn!

This wasn't a trophy deer or anything, but it was by far one of my most memorable hunts. Sorry for the long narrative \:\)

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I'm hungry and tired. Don't poke my belly.