Shots fired, lessons learned.

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Scomber, Sep 20, 2006.

  1. Scomber

    Scomber Well-Known Member

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    I was sitting in the living room with the cat when he got up and growled. I listened. Coyotes were singing. I went to the door. They were singing from the general area of where I have six sheep, two goats, and a heifer on pasture, surrounded by electronet. Back to the living room. I grabbed the 30-30 and two cartridges and loaded on my way to the door. On the way through the mud room I grabbed the 1,000,000 candle power hand held spot light. Across the road and in sight of the pasture I shone the light. I had one set of eyes looking back from halfway between the woods and the rumenants. Hard to aim. Hard to hold the light and see through the scope. Nothing else back there though. I pointed the gun in the general direction and fired. Then I headed foreward. Low fog in the mid-ground. I couldn't see a thing. I stopped long enough to lever the second shell in. Ten paces later the gun went off in my hand, still generally pointing at the direction the coyotes should be in, but low. I saw goldenrod fly up 30 feet in front of me. I hadn't been thinking hard enough about keeping my finger out of the trigger guard. Stupid, dangerous, and a waste of a shell. In the light, I saw the eyes reflection disappear into the woods. I went to the fence and took inventory: All present. Fence up. Charger normal. I stood on the milking stand for a minute and considered things. I changed position of the light, holding it upside down in my left hand with my little finger holding it's trigger. Then I used my left hand, still holding the light, to support the barrel of the gun. Looking through the scope, I found I could illuminate and target. This will be good to know if the situation arrises again. Tomorrow I move that fence some and make sure it's well set. My Ex wouldn't have liked the gun in the living room, but I'm glad it was handy and there were two shells at the ready, not in a box. I must consider this when I build a gun cabinet. And before anyone complains, no, I don't have kids that would be endangered by leaving gun and shells out. Before I came back in, I pee'd next to the fence in a couple places.

    Dan
     
  2. silvergirl

    silvergirl Well-Known Member

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    Easy for you! I have to take a jar out to mark my territory!!! rotfl

    Good that you had the rifle handy...

    Silvergirl
     

  3. Siryet

    Siryet In Remembrance

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    I always use my 20 ga shotgun aimed at the ground about 30 or 40 feet in front of me. Makes one hella racket and scares anything within earshot. Usually the coyotes do not return for a day or two. I use the old shells to keep the cost down.
     
  4. Blu3duk

    Blu3duk Well-Known Member

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    mag light, duck tape, dont let the game warden catch ya though.....

    and the million power aint big enough, there are a few makes out that are 10 and 15 millioncandle power, now those will light the woods on fire from a distance! and you can shoot to yer hearts content with one setting on the ground or the hood of yer rig..... hangin offin the porch.... but dont let the warden ketch ya.

    an old trick the hound hunters used to do was wear a carbidelight [miners lantern] and black the reflector, which allowed just enough light to walk by, but the coons would look into the light and their eeyes lit up so as the hunters could hit atwixt the eyes.... which were glowing.

    another trick to do is get a whole bunch of high power flood lights, and switches and mount them in different directions on a pole [Red Green would did this doncha know] and then you could shoot in any direction with good light from above.....

    William
     
  5. michiganfarmer

    michiganfarmer Max Supporter

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    Im going to be as delicate as I can saying this.

    Guun safety has to be the first priority. Being conscious of where a gun is pointed, whether the saftey is on, and knowing where your hands are on the gun have to take a higher priority than the possible threat to livestock from predators. I have cattle, and chickens. I have shot cats that were after my chickens. Im not saying livestock protection isnt a priority. There are anti-gun zealots out there just itching to legislate gun restrictions that make gun ownership, and use either financially prohibitive, or alltogether illeagle. We as gun owners cant afford to make these mistakes.
     
  6. gccrook

    gccrook Well-Known Member

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    I have to say I am glad you do not live anywhere near me if this is as it sounds. You couldn't really see what you were shooting at, so just aim in the general direction. Hopefully not some kid out playing around in the dark. I know this sounds stupid of me, but I cannot imagine ever shooting a gun where I cannot clearly see, regardless of there supposedly being nothing back there or not. Yikes!!!
     
  7. michiganfarmer

    michiganfarmer Max Supporter

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    yeah, ditto that.

    We have to be more carefull than that. We have to be extremely anal about target recognition, and gun handling safety
     
  8. diamondtim

    diamondtim Well-Known Member

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    Take a look at your light. Mine has a button that will lock down the trigger. Kind of like on a cordless drill.

    Hope you get the coyote next time. :)
     
  9. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm not going to be critical of you like others....like you said lesson learned....

    We have used bum goat kids to hunt coyote....we try to be proactive instead of reactive around our camp and in Lexington...here in China its not a big problem...and my border collie is loose 99% of the time....Got room for a dog or two?

    A shotgun is our gun "at hand" around here....and yes we do have children that shoot, hunt and will get the gun if told to...kids shoot better than I do :cool:
    A .22 is also a good option...but ours is only a single shot..
     
  10. Scomber

    Scomber Well-Known Member

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    I take your comments seriously. I know I screwed up. That's why I say "lessons learned". I posted this with the hopes that it would prevent someone else from making some of the same mistakes.

    A Winchester 94 doesn't have a normal safety. That's a complaint that I can overcome through using my head and keeping my finger out of the trigger guard, which I failed to do last night. Down range there's nothing but field, swamp, trees, and coyotes for two miles. Shots were both fired at a slight down angle. Nearest neighbor was almost a quarter mile in the other direction. As for target recognition, there was a cluster of eyes reflecting, one of which was going "MOOOOOOOoooooo". Half way from there to the woods there was another set of eyes, which had very recently been howling like a coyote, and which I'd made sure was a four legged in the light before fireing.

    And I don't want to kill them. I want a stable population that's scared rather than a constantly changing population that's always testing.

    Dan
     
  11. MarleneS

    MarleneS Well-Known Member

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    huisjen, this is too funny...I was starting to post nearly verbatim what you said in your last post to those who took it upon themselves to be judgemental of you.

    Not that what any of you said about gun safety was wrong, it's just that the man risking being judge etc. took the time to share with you his admitted mistake so that we could all learn from his lesson.

    It would be great if those of you who found that so important to do would apologize and admit you might have spoken out of turn to someone who was only being thoughtful and helpful of others.

    Hugs all around,
    marlene
     
  12. kitty32_z8

    kitty32_z8 Well-Known Member

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    hmmmm.....
    You might get to looking into having a donkey. I guess they are great for keeping out the coyotes.
    Just a thought, not one I agree with,but... If a neighbor kid or for that matter any kid breaks into your home and gets your gun and commits a crime, YOU will be held liable for having a gun where a child can get to it. I am not for the law but have seen it prosecuted throughout the US.
     
  13. CountryMamaof5

    CountryMamaof5 Well-Known Member

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    So you didn't nail anything? I was hoping you would post some kind of update that says "hey i went out this morning and I actually nailed a coyote " LOL.. Good luck next time!
     
  14. gccrook

    gccrook Well-Known Member

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    Good for you. I can understand that anyone can make a mistake (myself included), but not everyone learns from them. Good job. :)
     
  15. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

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    For the light situation, may I suggest a double-head halogen shop light on an adjustable stand? When we had deer problems in the garden, we left the light set up pointing at the garden when the weather was okay. At night, every few hours we would sneak out the door and illuminate the garden, which was lit up like it was high noon. DH would creep up close to the garden with the gun and I would flick the light on. Deer were easy to target when they were jacked and two hands were available for the gun.
     
  16. susieM

    susieM Well-Known Member

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    I like the part about peeing on a coupla' fenceposts.
     
  17. vtfarma

    vtfarma Well-Known Member

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    My initial thought was how lucky you were to not have shot someone or one of your animals and I do realize that you are saying lesson learned. My gut just ached with the thought that I might have shot something like a kid or cat or one of our cows if that was me doing the shooting. By all means set up the lights if you can and shoot the little suckers if they are preying on your animals.

    I do think that dog ownership is an excellent idea too. We have 2 ACDs that are our animals protectors (even birth control at times for our female goat who wants to be left alone by our male). We have not lost any more chickens to foxes or neighborhood dogs since we started keeping them outside more.

    Thanks for sharing what happened. It is daunting being a farmer at times when you have to juggle the safety of your animals and the reality of shooting something.

    Good luck with the critters!
     
  18. pyrnad

    pyrnad Well-Known Member

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    Maybe a Livestock Guardian dog? My Great Pyrenees do the job here. They keep the coyotees away, and scared.
     
  19. pepper

    pepper Well-Known Member

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    M~i~ss~i~ss~i~pp~i !
    ooohhh thanks mr. dan!
    you just saved me from a whole lot of stupidity,[by doing it first! :p ]

    well you are gonna make me look smart when i take my flashlights down to the range & see which one i can handle at the same time as the 22 rim shot my dad gave to me. 'cause i had not given a single thought as to how that takes TWO hands not one like my pistol.... :baby04:

    so again thank you for putting your lesson learned & neck out there for the hyper critical so i hit what i aim at !

    ->pepper who thinks things are even weirder than she thougt if a minor/person who trespasses, breaks into a house & steals a gun then uses it would have ANY right to sue for 'negligence' on the gun owners part???
    now as mr. dan pointed out he does not have kids on his place, i do and have to follow many more safety steps so by the time i'm ready to shoot i'm in a hurry & the whole flashlight boondoggle really would have thrown me for a loop and threatened many innocent pine trees!
    btw ms.prynad is right, i've only had to shoot once since i got sissy dog the great pyr. & she came & got me since she knew she was out classed by 2 pit bulls in the pig yard with angry boars!
     
  20. Jan Doling

    Jan Doling Well-Known Member

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    It takes a really strong person to admit they should have done it differently. It takes an even stronger person to post their error so that others may benefit from the lesson learned. Thank you for being strong.