Tag Archives: Americana

Coronavirus Clays

When a pandemic strikes – grab a vintage Winchester Model 12 and go shoot some clays! This Model 12 skeet gun was made in 1946 (74 years old) and still smokes clay targets with authority. Today was picture perfect with sunny skies, a light breeze, and temps in the mid-40s. Crowds are thin with many sheltering on the couch. Stay well and wash your hands!

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Fox Sterlingworth

My friend showed up for a morning of bird dog training with this sweet 16-gauge Fox Sterlingworth. This is a very clean, original gun, circa 1924, and is a real pleasure to shoot. Though I have admired them for many years, this was my first opportunity to shoot a Fox.

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Arizona Mearns Quail

Back in 1999, my pals and I hired an Arizona quail guide to give bird hunting over pointing dogs a try.  We found a guy named Bob Krogh out of Phoenix, an excellent guide and dog handler. Back then, he charged us $250 per day for the hunt. Man, I sure miss those days!  We watched Bob work his excellent English Pointers and experienced the magic of these motivated, hard-driven dogs as they worked the land, sifting the air for scent and then transforming from a blur of energy into living statues. We would then witness the heart-pounding covey flush of little feathered rockets! It is hard to describe how intense and exhilarating it is. This hunt was a pivotal event for me. I have been enthusiastically pursuing wild birds ever since. It holds all the best elements of the sporting life – camaraderie, beautiful dogs, fine shotguns, and skills to be learned in awesome, wild places. On that hunt, I clearly remember thinking . . . “Man, THIS is what I want to do!! It is nice to find that in life.

On an Arizona quail hunt over two decades ago.

Finally, after a 21-year wait, I had the great fortune to return to Arizona for a guided quail hunt with the wonderful gentlemen from Classic Bird Hunts. This Orvis endorsed outfit operates out of the Babacomari Ranch just southeast of Sonoita. This is a terrific hunt, in the most beautiful country, with great dogs, perfect accommodations and excellent guides. We really enjoyed this hunt partly because it is not elitist or opulent (but very nice!). You hunt hard every day because it is real bird hunting at the mercy of luck and Mother Nature. You, for sure, at the end of the hunting day will savor getting out of your boots and the post-hunt cocktail! Learn more about them HERE.

A beautiful Mearns quail and the good old Armas Garbi 101 bird gun.

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Filed under Bird Hunts

Pushing Our Luck in North Dakota

Last year, our guide called to say that the bird counts were down and the hunting might not be so good.  We went anyway and had a terrific hunt!  This year the guide called again and said “hey, seriously, this year is going to suck” and advised that we skip again but we still went.  After all, these bird hunts are much more than hunting birds. . . right?  You know . . . camaraderie, communing with nature, getting away from accountability for a while, riding in pickup trucks with shotguns, hunting-camp cuisine, etc.  We were pushing our luck!  This year, we were rewarded with a dastardly cold hunt and the lowest bird count in our 20 years of chasing roosters.  All part of the game though.  The great hunts are appreciated because of the tough times endured.  This was definitely not the worst and we are glad we went.  Everyone is looking forward to a future of more birds and less frostbite!  Of course, bird dog Tex has no idea what I am whining about.  He had a terrific time!

Majestic Tex

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Reflected Dog

Tex takes a swim in a Texas stock pond during our annual dove hunt. The still morning gave us a pool of glass, reflecting a very happy puppy.

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Happy 4th of July!

May God continue to bless our great country!

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American flag and cross in Aspen, Colorado.

We hope you all have a wonderful 4th!

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Colt Single Action Army

Here is Colt’s iconic Single Action Army.  In production for one hundred and forty-two years, it is still made by Colt and still made in the USA. Nothing feels quite like it in hand, solid and superbly built. We love the click, click, click, click when you cock it. You should have one. This one is in .45 Long Colt, which is a pretty mild round and very fun to shoot.

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H&R Topper M48

This is an old Harrington and Richardson Arms Co. model Topper M48. I used this while on west Texas dove hunts many years ago.  It’s most likely the first shotgun that I ever fired.

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Remington 1100

America’s work horse shotgun since 1963. Wikipedia says this is the best selling auto-loading shotgun in U.S. history, with over 4 million produced. My dad bought this 1100 skeet gun in the mid 1970’s. It is an excellent dove gun and not a bad specimen at 40 years old!

 

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Old North Dakota Farm Truck

Sitting with the other detritus of long gone lives on a North Dakota farm is this lonely pick up truck.

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Filed under Seen in the field

Pheasant Hunting in Regent, ND

Regent, North Dakota is a favorite pheasant hunting destination. We hunt with Cannonball Company who always does a terrific job. Pheasant numbers were down this year, as they are everywhere, but there were plenty of birds to go around.

Here is an amazing pheasant sculpture just outside of town. These are huge, the cock’s legs are probably 12 feet tall.

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Sweet Sixteen Auto-5

There are two classic repeaters that we love; the Winchester Model 12 and the Browning Auto-5. Here is a late 1950’s minty Sweet 16. It is a gem.

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Windmills on the Great Plains

Ubiquitous  on the western landscape of the bird hunter is the lonely windmill. These were silent witness to hunts in Texas, Colorado and North Dakota.

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Parker VH

Here is a Parker Bros. 12 gauge VH grade shotgun. Made in 1928, this gun has 2 sets of 28″ barrels and sports decent stock dimensions (14 1/2″ LOP, 1 1/2″ DAC, 2 1/8″ DAH).  Enjoy the clean lines of this American classic.

 

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North Dakota Schoolin’

North Dakota is our state of choice for pheasant hunting. The wonderfully desolate landscape is dotted with remnants of past lives – abandoned homesteads, equipment and my favorite . . . old school houses.

Click for a better view.

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Filed under Hunters, Seen in the field