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Joined: 06/03/2010

          Murphy’s Law applies to outdoor adventures just like it does to anything else and I’ve had many run-ins with it. One of the worst things a hunter hears is a loud “click” when the trigger is pulled and the quarry is gone never to return. A horrendous snarl of line and tangles hanging out of your fishing reel while you have a huge fish on is equally as terrible; the fish usually wins. Out of alignment scopes, broken reels or poles, forgotten ammunition when you’re miles from camp, leaky boots, broken gunstocks, horses falling on you, and on and on it goes. I think every hunter or sportsman has experienced at least one bad event that humbles that person. Sometimes it is simply the missed shot that was so foolproof it couldn’t be missed or the down and dead trophy gets up and walks away, other times it is a buddy who spooks your animal just when you are going to shoot or a pal netting your trophy musky with a hole in the net. No matter what it is, it is never forgotten.
          Bow hunting was particularly trying since I started the sport when it was still in its infancy in Michigan and most other places as well. My very first night of posting for deer near a small opening in the woods was rewarded with a nice little fork or six-point buck no more than thirty yards from me. He had no idea I was there and I confidently put all six of my arrows into the ground all around him. I couldn’t hit that deer for the life of me, and he left when I finally stood up to retrieve my arrows.
          A bow hunting loss happened at the family camp after Gail and I were married. We were spending a long weekend up at camp and I was bow hunting on a small trail back in the woods. I had learned to shoot very well after that long ago first time and was used to putting my arrows in nice small groups on my target. I intercepted a six-point coming along a trail one afternoon and put an arrow right into his side behind his front leg. It should have been a killing shot but when I went to trail him I found my bloody arrow very close to where I had shot. After several hours of tracking, the blood trail was lost and I never found that deer, even searching for several more hours the next day proved fruitless. I have lost some deer since and each has been a hard pill to swallow but that six-point still haunts me to this day.
          Another deer season I went with my brother Kevin to a wood lot where we thought we could find deer. We hunted along a trail and towards dark I heard a cracking in the brush. I was anxiously waiting for something when a beautiful buck crashed into the open heading right past me. As I swung my rifle to my shoulder all I could see in my scope was a brown blur and the buck disappeared without a shot being fired. I looked at my scope (a variable power type) and realized it was set on the highest power setting and that was why I couldn’t see the deer at such close range. 
          I once caught a nice small mouth bass on the Cedar River when it was a real poor season. He was over fifteen inches and the size limit was twelve or thirteen at that time so he was a keeper. No sooner had I strung him than I caught another that fought even harder. As I got this fish close to the bank I saw he was probably over sixteen inches or better and I became so excited trying to land him I snagged my line on a bush and lost the fish. The line was still snagged on the bush and the fish was still hooked as I watched him swim exhausted by the bank but I couldn’t get to the line or snag it with my pole and he soon regained his strength and swam away.
          I was fly fishing on a stream in New Mexico when I hooked a trout that was putting up quite a fight and drawing me along so my tippet wouldn’t break when my waders suddenly started filling with water. I either had to lose the fish and release my waders or drown. I lost both fish and waders that time but I kept myself and I have no idea why a fairly new pair of waders suddenly started leaking for no reason. . Murphy has a wry sense of humor sometimes!

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Joined: 05/25/2010

...was an optimist by my experience! The Scope set on high in close quarters, tangled lines, sounds like some of my stories.