I spend a lot of time around guns. I'm the one who keeps everyone safe and is constantly vigilant when people are handling them. It has come to my attention that I'm not so vigilant setting up clay bird trap for trap shooting.

We were in rural Raymond, Minnesota at my in-law's farm for Easter. After the noon meal, which they called dinner, several of us went to the edge of the yard with a couple cases of clay bird targets, a couple cases of 12-gauge birdshot ammo, and a few shotguns.

After several turns shooting, throwing, shooting, throwing, and shooting again, I took another turn cocking and loading the trap for the others. As you can see in the photo, this particular trap, which was easy to set because you only had to turn it counter clockwise a short distance, had a foot pedal that was rigged to a length of rope to the catch so that one could activate the trap and shoot. I turned the arm back to the ready position and was instantly startled with throbbing pain at the end of my right forearm and index finger.

The instant the arm got to the cocked position and I let go of it, it went off. I am 90 percent sure this was due to my foot still holding down the trigger pedal. I don't know how else it could have happened.

The good news is nothing is broken. I have a bruise on my finger and a hell of a sore bump on my arm. I also learned a lesson. When someone brings out a home-modified device capable of breaking a limb, cut the rope and just pull the handle.

Keeping you head out of your ass helps too.


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