You all know the fondness I feel for my rifles. One of my favorites is the Savage 110 in .30-06. It's the one I planned to hunt with this winter, and I may still get to hunt with it, although it needs a new stock.
I dropped it out of the deer stand this morning and broke the stock at the wrist.
No, I wasn't being careless. I was being careful. Here's what happened.
A long time ago, I resolved to never climb into a deer stand with a loaded rifle. More so, to never climb with a rifle on my back if possible. My stands have a piece of rope attached to the rail, whereby I can tie the rifle off, climb the stand, then raise the rifle into the stand. At that point, it's loaded and placed on safe. I reverse the process when it's time to climb down.
This morning was no different. I climbed the stand, hauled the rifle up, then loaded it. After several hours, I decided to climb down. I unloaded the rifle and tied it off. I used a slip knot around the forearm and a half-hitch around the barrel. I've lowered rifles using this combination of knots for years with nary a problem. This morning, the knot slipped. I watched the rifle fall to the ground butt first. I watched the muzzle as it fell, thinking how fortunate I was that the rifle was unloaded. Safety first. That's me.
This is what I saw after the rifle came to rest.
I said a silent prayer of thanks for my safety, then climbed down and collected the pieces.
Now, though, I have a project. New stock, fitting it, bedding it, making sure everything works. The old Savage rifle will be back, better and stronger than ever before. I'm thinking a laminate stock. What say you?