A couple of weeks ago I went on a driven boar shoot in Czech. It was well run and in the Central European tradition. The horn playing after the initial brief, nice food in the break, better lunch after... but on the actual shoot was something I was not expecting...
I was with an experienced shot who had come with me to see what it was like. He didn't have his Czech hunting permit yet so we were together on the peg, hearing the occasional shot, the dogs in the distance, the beaters walking past... but no boar for the first hour or so. It was sunny and then snowing, warmer and then the cold started to sink in.
I thought that when the beaters had gone past that was it for the drive but my friend said no. The boar could come any time, from any direction.
The view from my peg was ok, not great. Down a gully with arc up about 30 metres to the crest and a forested area.
Some Roe charged past. Fallow, Sika and Red can be had on a Driven in Czech but not Roe. Mentally I wonder if I'd been on target...
I had recently bought the rifle in my hands. A second hand Steyr Luxus in 308, good condition. I had taken off the Habicht x6 and was on the irons. 180 grain Selier and Balot with the belief that I was ready.
I had taken a large hare a couple of nights previously but hadn't yet been on the range. (I know, slightly over kill to have a 308 on a hare...but it was a new rifle in my hands!)
A shot came from further down... A saw a boar run across the gully around 150 metres that way... another couple of shots, closer that time.
My friend and I knew something was up... and then three big Loncak (boar up to two years) come charging down the gully towards me. They spot us and then correct their path, only 4 metres away... I raise, swing, aim and fire. Click. Nothing happens. I pull the bolt back and the bolt comes away in my hand. So I'm standing there with a rifle in one hand, a bolt in the other and a friend who thinks what the hell is this guy doing...
Boar safely away I try and pull together the pieces of this major FU.
The round had a light fire mark on the cap.
The bolt is released on the rifle by pressing in the trigger.
Through the snow and sleet the water must have mixed with the old oil in the rifle and frozen the firing pin and the trigger. So the round didn't fire and when I pressed in the trigger it stuck, releasing the bolt.
That was the only chance of boar that day.
My rifle will be serviced and re oiled.
And I will know what it feels like for a rifle to fail at a critical time!
Has anyone experienced anything similar?