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Old March 3, 2017, 09:34 PM   #1
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What's the most spectacular missed shot you've witnessed?

Mine is probably minor but it astounded me all the same.

A visiting brother in law wanted to go pig hunting and I said "sure".

He was alway the cocky deer hunter type, or so he lead on, granted he had never night hunted.

So we went out, I had my mini 14 (converted red spotlight that used a motorcycle headlamp) and he took his 270.

No pigs that night; not far away I spotted a coyote sitting down watching us. I pointed out the coyote to him and asked if he wanted to take it, he indicated that he did. BIL got into a squatting firing position and I kept the coyote in my red spotlight. The coyote was about 30 yards. He fired and I saw the bullet strike TWO FEET to the right of the coyote. Needless to say the coyote peeled out. I'm there kinda stunned and he excitedly asked if he got it.
I explained that the coyote ran off but it looked like he shot right through the dog.

I pretended to track the coyote for a bit then we gave up. My brother-in-law sure was beaming the rest of his visit, so I left it at that.
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Old March 3, 2017, 10:25 PM   #2
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I'm sure I saw a bad shot or two but on pheasants and geese there isn't much to remember.

I do remember going to the range the week before deer season to confirm my rifles. I stopped shooting because I was on and watched this guy shooting a 12 gauge slug gun with open sights off a rest at 25 yards. He would shoot and nothing appeared on target. Then again and nothing. Kept moving the sight up and down getting nowhere. After 5 boxes of Hornady expensive slugs he ran down to the last box.

Finally he asked the range officer to try. He put two shots low, moved the sights and the next shot dead on. The guys son went back to the office and bought a few more boxes of shells. Out of those the guy put one shot on a 2x2 foot target.

I'm sure all deer he shot at survived.
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Old March 4, 2017, 10:48 AM   #3
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Deer hunting years ago in New Mexico with a bunch of guys. It was in a area of pretty flat ground broken up by a lot of canyons. The middle of the day was pretty boring so we decided to walk out some of the canyons to see if we could scare up something. We put one guy at the end of a canyon and managed to jump up half a dozen does and bucks that ran right past him within probably 30 yds. He managed to jack every round out of his 94 Winchester without firing a shot. No explanation from him as he couldn't explain it....and he was known to be a good hunter within the group of guys.
We just chalked it up to adrenaline/buck fever. Later that day, he made a beautiful shot on one at probably 200 yds. Just one of those strange things you witness in your lifetime that sticks in your head. He is probably still scratching his head over that one.
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Old March 4, 2017, 11:19 AM   #4
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Both my shooting partner and I retired from the AK NG Rifle Team but decided to go to 29 Palms for their 1000 yard matches using our DCM (pre CMP) M1s.

Figured we deserved a fun, non-competitive match.

He was scoring for me and I was banging away at my target and he told me to hold up. Well beyond the target, up the mountain was a coyote.

I couldn't see it with my naked eye so I got on with my spotting scope. Since I couldn't see it, he gave me the calls.

Not sure how far away it was, I couldn't see it over the iron sights, and the bullets went sub-sonic before it got to the coyote.

He guided me in, I could shoot, then shift to the spotting scope to see dust kick up around the critter. He couldn't hear the shot, but jumped every time I kicked dirt on him. Finely after 5 rounds (all misses) he ran off. Kind of like firing indirect artillery with a M1 Garand.

It was fun trying but every missed shot, cost me 10 pts. on my 1000 yard target. But shooting service grade M1s against match rifles, we weren't in the running anyway.
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Old March 4, 2017, 01:34 PM   #5
David R
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At an indoor range. A guy pulls out a shotgun with a laser sight on it. He fired 5 rounds with out hitting the 2 foot square target at 10 yards. He fired another 5 misses and put it away.

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Old March 4, 2017, 02:03 PM   #6
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I let a friend shoot one of my guns, when done, he handed it back over and said that my laser sight was adjusted perfectly... it was a red dot.
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Old March 4, 2017, 05:42 PM   #7
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My brother and I were pig hunting outside of Paso Robles, CA. We had been hunting 3 days with no luck. Finally, we were set up over a gully the pigs were using to move onto the property we were hunting. The herd of pigs showed up, pigs milling around, I told him to take the big boar and I would take a smaller one next to it. He aims, and CLICK. He opens the bolt, and says "guess I forgot to load it", then cycles a round into the chamber. Okaaayyy . . . So he aims at the boar at 60ish yds and fires. The pigs all take off, and I am watching the pig he shot. It runs across the flat and up a hill across the gully. 350-400 yds out it tops the hill. A few seconds later he shows up running up the next hill. I kept waiting for it to tip over. but no, it tops out on that hill at a dead run. I ask my brother where he held on the pig and he says "I held high because it was downhill". How high? "About a foot". My brother is not included in my next pig hunting trip.
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Old March 4, 2017, 07:19 PM   #8
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Probably my own, walking around one day, windy and cold. Carrying a Ruger Redhawk .44 Mag. I have killedndeer with his pistol and was pretty good with it. Came around a little patch of brush and there was a coyote maybe 15 yards away digging for a mouse or something. No clue I was there. Dropped the hammer on him, and not sure who was the most surprised him at the noise or me at the fact he wasn't dead, however he didn't waste any time putting some distance between us. Also watched a buddy on a dove hunt miss a dove sitting on a limb at 30 yards and another miss a sitting rabbit with a 12 gauge. Sometimes things just happen.
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Old March 5, 2017, 10:03 PM   #9
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This was a couple years back on a HAM (handgun, archery, muzzle loader) hunt for javelina. Me and 2 of my friends were out and it was late morning and I spotted a coyote on a hillside. I quickly ranged it at 325 yards and one of my good friends that was with me draws his G21, drops to a braced kneeling position and and let's one rip, and it hits just a foot low.

I said, not bad buddy that was close.

After he asked, how far did you say that was?

I replied, 325.

He then says sheepishly, I thought you said 225.

Either way, that was an impressive miss.
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Old March 6, 2017, 05:54 AM   #10
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Pronghorn antelope.
About 1,600 yards. --So far out there, that you can barely make out the body shape through the mirage.
.270 Win.
Two shooters.


Me: "What the [flark] are you guys doing?"

Them: "They're scared as hell and we ain't getting close today, so we might as well try when we see them."

Puff of dirt right under the belly of a fat doe antelope.
"I damn near got that one! It was only about two feet low!"

Or, my own stupidity...
As recently mentioned in another thread...
Driving from one side of a mountain range to the other on a muzzle loader deer hunt.
I'm riding in the bed of the truck, to avoid the cigarette smoke and 6,000 degree heat from the awesome heater core (gotta love, and hate, Chevy square-bodies).
Driver spots a legal deer and stops.
Passenger jumps out and fires a shot that doesn't even spook the deer.
I jump out, take a seat on the road bank, rest my caplock on a tree branch, take aim, and pull the set trigger. That deer is dead, and just doesn't know it yet.
Settle my sights.
Find the rhythm of my breathing and heartbeat.
Watch the figure-8 of my sights dance on the target.
Carefully touch the primary trigger, and....
I didn't cap the rifle.

Circa 1996:
There are more than 30 antelope tags to fill, both buck and doe/fawn, among a decently-sized group of hunters in south-central Wyoming.
A large herd is spotted miles away, and the group uses their armada of pickup trucks (and a Saturn) to try to get closer.
At some point, the hunters decide they can't get any closer and get out with the antelope still 800+ yards away.
One of them starts banging-away with their .30-06.
Additional hunters join in.
One of them yells, "Shoot into the herd! Just shoot into the herd! It doesn't matter what we hit. Just shoot into the herd!"
Over 140 rounds are fired.
The herd is followed for another four hours.
No animals were wounded.

...Until the next day, when every single antelope tagged was shot in both the left rear hoof and the testicles.
(Whenever possible, I avoid hunting with most of those people around.)
Don't even try it. It's even worse than the internet would lead you to believe.
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Old March 7, 2017, 09:19 PM   #11
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I watched a very ethical, law abiding pheasant hunter fail to lead a rooster enough and hit a following hen on TWO occasions in one afternoon. After the second instance, he left the field and we didn't hunt together ever again.
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Old March 8, 2017, 11:31 AM   #12
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One of my Fathers last deer hunts with his favorite gang of old pals. Neighbors 15 of us making post and drives back in the day. 86 years old garnered the old Gent one of easiest posts to walk too. A small bump out in the perimeter of a cut hay field.
Fawn burst out of the bush in front of Pops and danced around in front of him standing on the field and facing the direction he was told.
Not 30 ft feet in front of him the little deer danced. Back & forth.
Well haven given his 300 Savage to my sisters husband down in Chicago earlier in the year. The only rifle Patty had left. And preferred too use was a IBM made Paratrooper model M1 carbine and one clip. He toted that little assault rifle everywhere folded and loaded in his pick-up truck for "defensive purposes." as Patty called it.
Anyway that deer drive turned out to be a most entertaining event to my eyes and too many of the other posters along the fields edge watching. A most exciting situation for Patty I'm sure. Pops emptied a 20 rd clip on that little feller and never touched a hair on the animal. When Patty ran out of ammunition. The fawn just walked by him not 15 ft away into the brush behind and disappeared with not so much as a "Bye your leave Ol' Timer." just total ignorance of the human glaring at him/her.
Didn't find a spot of blood on the ground or in the brushes the first 100 ft of tracks. Just allot of empty Remington brass laying in the grass. Upon getting back to camp. We check Pattys rifle for accuracy. It shot spot on perfect at 75 yards. Of course we let Gramps go on using his excuse. "Damn rifle didn't shoot straight." Anywho. Just one of the many memories I have of Dad missing BIG time in those long ago deer hunts.
We all have heard of those fellows who can fish off on side of a canoe and you can't catch a thing off the other side. Dad was one of those lucky fellow. Fish deer partridge rabbits pheasants it was amazing just to walk with him and see how fortunate he was. Wow!! What gift he was given in his life.
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Old March 8, 2017, 06:09 PM   #13
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A couple of mine.

Squirrel hunting one morning, I heard a rustling behind me, and turned to see a squirrel about ten feet from me, standing on his back legs, looking for all the world to be in the "surrender position."

I eased around, lined him up in the scope with the crosshairs on his chest, and missed him clean as a whistle. Squirrel looked bored, and hopped away.

Deer drive one evening. Dogs jumped and came my way. A doe broke the clearing right in front of me, not more than ten yards. My 3", Remington 1100 came up, the bead hit her shoulder, and I put all 10, 000 buckshot into a little poplar tree that jumped between me and the deer. The deer didn't speed up or slow down. She kept on going.

Nice pattern though.
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Old March 8, 2017, 06:21 PM   #14
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The most spectacular miss I ever witnessed was on a public sight-in day at the range. An older gentleman was sighting in a pair of 300 magnums in anticipation of a "once in a lifetime" hunt. The first rifle he battled with until he got it to hit a 12x14 inch target at 25 yards. his hit was at 2 o'clock about 3 inches high and a solid 2 inches right. He was very pleased with his ability. He picked up the next gun and fired it once, hitting about 4 feet in front of the target. He peered into his spotting scope and declared that he had put that round through the same hole! As he was putting his guns into their cases I just smiled politely and walked away. I feel sorry for his guide.
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Old March 8, 2017, 07:23 PM   #15
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I was qualifying with the Sheriff's office about fifteen years ago. We had a big cook out day and qualified with several other agencies. One of the deputies shooting beside me was "grandfathered"; meaning he was old enough that he was working before the state started police academy. He never had to go to police academy. Fast forward 20+ years and the state decided that every officer had to re-qualify annually. This was his first time "re-qualifying." He was hitting the concrete between him and the target from 7 yards. He hit my target more than he hit his. He hit a tree on top of the berm behind the targets. The instructor running the range at the time, said something to him and he busted out laughing and said, "Capin, you knows shooting is for white folks." I don't know and don't want to know who falsified the paperwork, but he successfully "re-qualified."

Last edited by reynolds357; March 9, 2017 at 09:43 PM.
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Old March 8, 2017, 09:06 PM   #16
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Well, you guys may give me some hell for participating in reckless tomfoolery but the story is 100% true. In my defense (of the charge of recklessness... we did this absolutely in the sticks and on a purpose-built & privately owned range/berm, nothing flammable within much distance in every direction.)

We had a very old propane tank pulled from a 70's pop-up camper that was nearly empty and so horribly rusted that it was a liability just because it had some remaining contents. So of course the plan was to shoot it. We chained it down in the unlikely event that it might go mobile and then... well, we lit an LP hand torch in the near vicinity.

The plan was simple-- shoot a hole in this rusted old LP tank and with a torch burning, enjoy a fireball from some decades-old propane.

My buddy was to take the shot with the 460XVR, as it was his revolver. We all knew that he was the worst shot and I was the best shot so he said "I will take one shot and if I miss, you get to do it."

I was almost sure I would get no opportunity. This was a standard camper size stubby LP tank and we were 35 yards back. This is a large, easy target. My buddy took aim and the .460 roared as it does and NUTHIN'. Breaking his own rule, he cocks single action for a second attempt and zilch.

Dejected, he hands the cannon over to me and I take my one shot at this huge target and I score a clean and well-centered hit. No big feat here, I would have been shocked to miss.

We knew instantly that I hit it. The tank didn't blast apart or attempt to go mobile and the loud hissing of escaping gas was easy to hear. And in just a matter of seconds... the irrational and completely rotten stench was everywhere and unavoidable. But no explosion, no fireball and not even a hint of a flame of any sort.

We all stayed back and waited (we're reckless and stupid but we have limits) and long after the hissing had ended and the air cleared a bit (still stunk), we cautiously approached to figure out what went wrong.

My buddy, in either shot 1 or 2, literally shot the screw-on torch attachment on the hand-held LP tank. The little tank was fine, still usable and with gas in it. He managed to miss a camper LP tank (same size as the gas grill on your patio) that's like a foot wide and taller than it is fat... and instead puts a .452" slug thru a torch that was 3/4" wide.
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Old March 22, 2017, 02:07 PM   #17
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Both a best and worst shot. Dove hunting with my trusty vintage Model 12 20 gauge. Two doves at 50 or 60 yards, a pretty long shot, one following about 5 feet behind the other as they are wont to do. I carefully lead the first bird and fire. The trailing bird promptly falls DOA!

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Old March 23, 2017, 08:04 PM   #18
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I cut a furrow into a deer's hide by holding too high once. The second shot got him though.

I have too many spectacular misses on turkey's to count. I've had a few that were so close, I don't think the pattern had time to open up. I've had others that got knocked down only to get up and fly away.
To a much greater extent than most mechanical devices, firearms are terribly unforgiving of any overconfidence, complacency or negligence.
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Old March 25, 2017, 03:41 PM   #19
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Furrow ? One fall my last shot at a chuck caused him to have a reaction like a hit a hit but he took off.
Next spring my first opportunity at a chuck was instantly a success !
Checking him I saw a scar on his shoulder not much more than shaved hair. As I walked away I suddenly realized that scar was the "hit " from the previous fall !!

My hunt that had the very worst visual conditions I'd ever seen included lots of luck. I had pushed a bunch of does off the ridge. Soon after I heard the sound of a single deer coming up the ridge to see what pushed the does. Heavy fog and I was guided by sound not sight. Suddenly he was visible but immediately turned back . At that point all I could see was the barest outline of the white tail .My 44mag had a good penetrating power so I thought I would try a "Texas heart shot " !
He took off but obviously hit .A short track and he was there.
I had pulled the shot to the right ,shaved a furrow through fur about 10"long, through the shoulder but not hitting bone, blood, or nerves . But he was dead ??? The bullet had just luckily cut a major blood vessel in the neck !!
And Watson , bring your revolver !
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Old April 7, 2017, 05:32 AM   #20
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A couple of guys and I were hunting woodchucks near Belgrade, ME one day. One buddy was using a .350 Remington mag. It was his turn to shoot, and he decided to sneak a bit closer by using a manure pile for cover as he crouched-walked ahead.

I was about 40 feet to his right and behind when he straightened up to shoot, about 4 yards from the pile.

The scope image cleared the pile, but the bore didn't. It was quite a spectacular sight as the relatively fresh manure flew all over the place, including on my buddy and his rifle!
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Old April 7, 2017, 07:29 AM   #21
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I was hunting with a group of guys and we had stalked to within about 70-80 yards of a ~200 lb boar. This should have been an easy chip-shot - a moderately short distance on a mostly stationary large target. We got set up to shoot and started the countdown. We are to fire immediately AFTER "one" is reached. Shooter #4 jumps the count and fired before "one." It really would not have been an issue, but he totally missed the hog in the process. Of course the hog ran, spoiling the opening salvo for the other shooters that should have been fired in unison. We had to pick him up on the move, and fortunately, that worked out fine.

Video of the hunt...
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Old April 14, 2017, 07:28 AM   #22
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It was a cool, cloudy day in April. I was about 18 and hunting woodchucks with my buddy Dave in China, ME, using our .30-06 deer rifles. Mine had a 2.5X Weaver on it.

We pulled in behind the dairy barn and glassed the fields down back. Only one chuck appeared, about 600 yards down the hill, but on the flat. We took prone shooting positions a few yards from the car.

Dave shot first, then me...both misses, so Dave went back to the car for more ammo and brought me some. I fired again, holding about 6 feet above the chuck and a second later saw a blue flash! I first thought, "Got it!", then thought, "They don't do that!"...then wondered if Dave slipped a tracer to me.

The flash got way bigger, then a huge "HUMMMM"! Then the 30,000 volt transmission line parted and, upon hitting the wet field, arced across the grass tips. The power line wasn't very visible in my scope and being only about 250 yards away and downhill, difficult to see against the early spring grass.

The milking machine in the barn behind us went silent and the farmer emerged. I asked if we could use his phone to call the power company and he said he thought I might want to.

The Line Chief wasn't convinced that I didn't try to shoot the wire, and wasn't happy about being called out on a Saturday. The power company never billed me for the repair, and the line, which had run on an old trolley line, isn't there anymore! The line used to supply power to 5 towns.
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Old April 14, 2017, 09:51 AM   #23
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That does sound pretty spectacular
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Old April 16, 2017, 08:13 AM   #24
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I thought stuff like that only happened to me...

Mine was myself...
Had gotten my Savage 111 in 7mm Rem Mag a few months previous to rifle season. Scope on it was 6.5-20 something or other..

Neighbor asks me to go with him to a new spot. We walk in, and he drops me off at a spot just in the woods, along a field. After about an hour, I heard movement through the woods, off to my left. So I'm turned and looking, nothing. I turn back around, and 2 does are standing there, looking at me from literally 20feet away.. Spin around, bring gun up, all I see through the scope is brown... Shoot.... 2 does run away... Found the bullet hole on the back side of the tree... Wrong brown...
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