The sun was popping up on a cold January morning. I sat in a duck blind with a good friend over flooded corn as steam drifted off the water. The sound of jets flying overhead put my heart in a ‘giddy up’ mode as a dozen Mallards cupped their wings to settle in our decoys. Gripping my 1898 Parker DH 10 bore double gun I stood, and took an eye on a bird settling in. The KABOOOM of the old Parker’s black powder load sent the green head to the water like a giant tennis racket had swatted him from the sky. The white smoke and smell of burnt powder made me smile. Oh, how I love to hunt……and oh, how I love old guns!
I said to my friend, ”Ross, what a beautiful morning, and what a beautiful place you have to shoot ducks”.
We live in a camo world……Mossy Oak, Real Tree, BassPro ,Drake, and many more make great products that relatively control the market. These patterns simulate trees, leaves, reeds and moss. But what about the old camo of the 50’s, 60’s and early 1970’s? Why did it give way to the modern patterns we see today? And, does the old camo of our Grandpa’s still work in the dove fields, duck ponds, turkey woods and deer stands?? You better believe it will!!!
I drove a 1969 yellow Dodge Dart all through college. It had a standard shift on the column, no air conditioning, no power steering – it was a plain car. But when you stepped back and looked at the old car, she was downright pleasing to the eye.
I have found that rifles are the same. Personally, I prefer walnut and blue steel. Now, I don’t want to throw off on many of the fine plastic guns on the market. These rifles represent the norm of hunting today and many of my close friends use them – they are just not for me… most of the time. They also remind me of modern cars… can’t tell one plastic one from the other. But make no mistake, the younger generation, the Millennials, like plastic stock rifles.
I want to tell you about two old, plain… some say gangly… beautiful rifles. Without a doubt, I love and admire the classic fine lines of a Winchester pre-64 Model 70, or the 6.5 x 54 Mannlicher Schoenauer, and the beautiful custom stocked Springfield Sporter… but there is something quite wonderful and special about a few old, plain rifles that time has turned into real pearls.
This article originally appeared on Foxworthy Outdoors. Jan. 18, 2012.
It was cold and the night was on us.
The moon was bright over Alaska’s Chilikadratna River. A father and his 14-year-old son, carrying a stringer of fish, walked along the river towards camp where their two rafts were tied and an inviting fire was waiting. That father and son was me and my oldest son, Matt.
I had caught my greyling on an 8-weight fly rod with a small orange egg pattern fly. The secret was to attach a tiny split shot twelve inches above the fly. You allow the fly to work downstream then you feel for the fish as the fly drifts along the bottom. Man….. every other cast I caught a greyling! Matt was also busy catching them with a spinning rod using a Mepps spinner, allowing it to bump along the bottom with a slow retrieve.