I certainly agree with the general emphasis of Steve LaMascus "Biggest Danger in the Woods" article. However, as the owner of a Remington 700 that "had" a defective trigger/safety, now repaired by a professional gunsmith, I take exception to Mr. LaMascuss statement, "I was not a witness to any of these incidents, but I doubt them."
My well-maintained .22-250 discharged when I closed the bolt. Fortunately, I was pointing the rifle in a safe direction and there was no danger, although I had to change my shorts.
Subsequent evaluation with an empty rifle revealed that if the trigger was pulled while the rifle was on safety (no firing pin release at that time), the pin was released when the safety was disengaged. This was a serious problem with my Remington 700 that could have led to a fatal accident, for as you know in order to remove a round from the chamber, the safety must be disengaged.
This was a problem from the factory that revealed itself in a fortuitous manner---good gun handling practices prevented a serious accident.
You state that your "well maintained" rifle discharged when you closed the bolt.
This has absolutely no bearing on the statement I made in the article, although you state you discovered the problem after the accidental discharge.
The older Remington triggers could be adjusted after they left the factory. In my experience, the problem you describe is almost invariably caused by someone without the knowledge and skills required, trying to adjust the trigger and allowing either too little sear engagement or too little spring tension. I have never known the problem to happen with a Remington trigger that had not been tampered with post-factory.
I commend you on your gun handling, as that was obviously the reason there were no injuries from your incident.
All this being said, I stand by my statement that I have never personally seen such a thing happen and very much doubt that they do, except in the circumstances described above. ---Steve LaMascus
Shotguns & Spring Turkey
In the November 2012 issue, an article by Steve LaMascus states, and I quote from page 25, "During the special spring season it is illegal to hunt any turkey with anything except a shotgun, bow, or crossbow."
Is this a correct statement for hunting Rio Grande turkeys in central Texas? If this is correct, please direct me to the regulation in the 2012-2013 hunting rules.
Just want to be legal.
Good catch! The regulation stated applies only to the eastern species. It is legal to hunt Rio Grande turkey with any legal firearm or archery equipment. ---Steve LaMascus
Bird Dog Memories
I just finished reading Bob Hoods November Texas Hunting column, "How to Ruin a Good Dog." It engulfed me in nostalgia and sent me back 60 years in time.
My dad had exactly the same philosophy as Hood about how to train a bird dog. He also used that method on boys. He was known to have the best dogs in Harrison County; I am not sure about sons.
He was an avid quail hunter and always took his two-week vacation during bird season. He passed this love of quail hunting to me by giving me the opportunity to enjoy this seminal sport. How times have changed.
My dad allowed me to use his work truck during bird season, so that as a newly licensed 14-year-old driver, I would load my bird dog in the dog box before dawn and hunt until time to go to school. I would feed the dog my lunch and then we would hit the fields after school to hunt until dark.
A 12-gauge shotgun on the gun rack at school and a dog in the box in the back. Poor kids today cant even take a pocketknife to school.
We were 45-day bird hunters. We even hunted on Sunday afternoon after church. My mom didnt like it one bit, but she lived over it.
We had a young setter named April and she was a crackerjack singles dog. One morning after a covey rise, she pointed at a brush pile. My dad went over and kicked on the pile and there was no bird. He called April to move on, but she wouldnt budge. We walked off and she stayed there, even as we called for her.
We went back and my dad picked her up and tossed her away from the brush pile. She turned her head and landed with her head pointed back toward the pile. We went back and stomped on the pile, and then heard a bobwhite coming up through the sticks. It seemed like an eternity before the bird broke the surface of the pile.
My dad had always taught me to let the birds get off a piece before shooting so that you wouldnt tear them up. This time, I couldnt wait and I shot that bird about 10 feet away. My dad just shook his head as I retrieved a glob of feathers.
I have been reliving East Texas bird hunting for the last couple of hours after reading Hoods article. Thanks for the memories.