10 famous Canadian hunters share their most memorable missed shots

Brad Fenson eventually made up for his miss on a Dall’s sheep

BRAD FENSON

Brad Fenson is a well-known outdoor writer, podcaster and seminar presenter based in Ardrossan, Alberta.

“The miserable, wet weather prevented us from flying out from the main camp in the N.W.T.’s Mackenzie Mountains, but I was itching to start my dream hunt of a lifetime for Dall’s sheep. My guide suggested we could hunt the mountains behind camp, where several rams had wandered in and out of sight over the previous couple of weeks.

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Two mountains later, after hiking in the rain for 10 hours, we crept up on a band of white rams. The biggest and oldest had a long, curving horn on his right side and a similar horn on the left, but with the tip broken off. My motto is “age before beauty,” and this looked to be an old ram, so I slithered forward on the wet moss and rocks to get into shooting position. I had waited for this moment since I was just a boy.

Lying prone, I rested my muzzleloader on a rock and found the old ram in the scope. With years of dreams and preparation about to become a reality, I tightened up on the trigger. At the report of the smokepole, the rams just stood and watched for a second, then bolted for safer ground.

I was still trying to figure out what had happened when I noticed a sedge tussock smoldering in front of me. Lying so low to the ground, I could see the sheep in my scope, but the barrel and my bullet were in line with the clump of grass. As a result, the bullet never reached its intended target. I was speechless and broken-hearted.

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My misfortune that day was rewarded three days later when I harvested a great ram, with two intact horns beyond full curl, fulfilling my lifelong dream. Everything happens for a reason, I guess.”