Lessons Learned The Hard Way Are Often Worth Repeating! By Darrell Holland

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We can all look back over our shooting career and note dreadful if not embarrassing moments when we really blew it. Anybody who claims to have never experienced such a moment is either telling a "Big Windy" or hasn’t shot much!

After the humiliation of the screw-up, often in front of witnesses, but not always, we internally beat ourselves to a pulp on the trip home. Often displays of foul language, kicking dirt and occasionally hurling objects into trees and off canyon precipices accompany such mental lapses in our shooting performance.
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This is a thread for discussion of the article, Lessons Learned The Hard Way Are Often Worth Repeating!, By Darrell Holland. Here you can ask questions or make comments about the article.
 

Chas1

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Good article. Honest and well written. When I screw up I call it a flub and I've had a few.
 

justgoto

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I had one of those during bow season. I just saw a buck 30 yards from me looking right at me so I froze. After a few minutes of looking at each other I figured I needed to make a move, I ever so slowly strung an arrow and just as slowly raised it and cocked my arm... while the arrow hinged off to the side like in the cartoons.
:D
 

Goofycat

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Darrell is right! Things can happen to equipment during travel to hunting areas, and those same areas can feature differences in where bullets are "supposed" to travel due to changes in humidity, altitude, temperature, karma, etc.

At least it warms my heart to know that someone as sharp and knowledgeable as Darrell Holland can screw up as much as those of us who are rank novices compared to him. BTW, I purchased my first bench rest/hunting rifle from Darrell in 1996. A great rifle that still shoots as accurately as the day I bought it.

I found that making a list of hunting/shooting equipment to take really helps me to not have to worry about leaving something behind. I keep the list on the desktop of my iMac so I can modify it if needed. I print out a copy when I am putting together the "stuff," and check off each item. I just don't trust things to memory. It has worked well so far.
 

Dadof10

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I once knew two buddies who went deer hunting. Upon arriving where they were going to hunt, one guy realized he left his cartridges at home.

Fortunately, they had the same guns (.30-.30 Winchester lever actions), so the 2nd guy pulled out his shells to share. When he opened the box, he realized that he had grabbed a box with empties in it. (Note: Never put empty shells back in the box and close the box up so that it looks brand new.)

Fortunately, I had about 6 shells in my pocket that I could share with my buddy or that would have been one short trip.

Wait a minute, I didn't mean to imply that I did this. Uhh, it was a friend who did this. I would never be so foolish.:D
 

Chas1

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Dadof10, I did the same thing when I went to the range one time.
 

HUAINAMACHERO

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Nice article Darrell, thanks for making us remember the mistakes and humbling moments we have had in the outdoors:D:D:D
We all have screwed up eventually. Learning from our mistakes is a good experience, even though it hurts our ego.
Thanks for the article.
 

jonoMT

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I once gave some scope ring screws an extra bit of tightening "just to be sure" before leaving on a hunting trip. That day I'd been to the range and the zero was great. But probably bouncing along the bumpy road home the screws loosened up just enough to let the reticle cant over about 7 degrees. I got to my friend's cabin and he looked through the scope and brought it to my attention. We had a hex wrench close in size but those screws weren't coming loose. So I had the "honor" of following him around and helping him carry out a mighty fine mulie buck that I spotted.

Since then, I've gone with the highest quality picatinny rails and rings (usually Seekins) and always doublecheck that everything looks right and is tight...and I bring along tools, at least to have back at the vehicle. I don't mind saying that I have put more into quality optics than into rifles these days as well. I fell hard enough on a snow-covered slope last season that my NF 2.5-10X32 bruised the inside of my arm. I took two shots from it down at the trailhead on a box I set up a 100 yards away. It still was zeroed.
 

Chas1

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jonoMT, good point on the tools. I hate it when I get to the range and need a tool I left at the house 35 miles away.
 
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