Wednesday, October 14, 2009

From father to son ...

For clarity, let me just say I'm not much of a hunter. In my house, we have a grand total of three "firearms," one of which is a .177 caliber air rifle (and that's the one we use most). I do enjoy bird hunting, but mostly I'm a fly fisherman--a gift handed down to me from my two grandfathers, who stood over my shoulder as I caught brookies, browns and rainbows from black-bottomed beaver ponds high in the Colorado Rockies.

A few years back, as I got the itch to join friends of mine here in eastern Idaho in the fields and on the waters each fall in pursuit of upland game birds and waterfowl, I asked my dad if he'd send me his old shotgun, a Remington 870 Wingmaster. He'd stopped using it, and I figured I'd be able to put it to good use.

After a couple years of fruitless bird hunting--remember, I'm an angler by preference--I finally came home from a hunting trip with a couple of ducks. It was my second duck hunting trip of the fall--the first ended as I watched trout rise on the South Fork of the Snake, and cased the shotgun in favor of the fly rod. This last trip, though, I made a commitment to stick with it, and work my way through the Snake River bottoms with the shotgun at the ready. A couple hours later, after jumping a few dozen birds, I managed to hit a couple of mallards that foolishly remained within range.

While the success of most of my outdoor pursuits can be credited to two old men who reveled in the idea of their grandsons taking up fishing, the first two ducks I shot with that old shotgun can be credited to my dad.

Just wanted to say thanks, Old Man.


  1. I have an old wingmaster just like that, that gun can take a beating not even flinch! it was and will be a hand me down as well.

  2. I remember, as a kid, my dad using it to chase pheasants, rabbits and doves ... To put it to good use is a reward unmeasured.