Friday, November 13, 2015


A funny thing happened to me on my way home from the gun smith’s last Tuesday. Recently I added a Stevens Model 59A 410 bore bolt action shotgun to my collection. What “made” me buy this gun was because we were both “were made” in the same year – 1944. The $75 I paid for this gun was twice as much as the original owner had spent when purchased at Montgomery Wards. For some time now I have wanted a fixed choke 410 for small game and that is exactly what this gun had. In addition it was in like new condition. When I fired it at the range I was quite pleased; shooting at a life sized squirrel target. At 25 yards 26 of the pellets were in the squirrel; 4 of which were in the head. And overall 58 pellets were within a 5 inch circle. Also, four 410 slugs shot at a metal plate at 25 yards were on target. However there was a problem with the rod that holds the rounds in the shell tube. Thus my reason for the trip to the gun smith!

Rather than going home after picking up the gun I decided to stop by my friend’s house where he and I first tested the shotgun and show it to him; and on the way I could check out a few of my goose hunting fields. I hadn’t gone too far when a big cock pheasant flew right in front of my truck and I watched him fly into the woods and land in the brush. Less than half a mile later I pulled over; this pheasant was in property I could legally hunt. I had a shotgun, ammo and even a bright yellow jacket to wear; WHY NOT!  However it was pouring and the jacket wasn’t waterproof, nor was the pants or slip on moccasins I had on. I turned the truck around and headed back about 30-40 yards from where the pheasant had crossed and headed in.

It was quite thick and I did not see the up to the knee ditch that was filled with water until I stepped into it. Might as well keep going and within 20 minutes I was totally wet. Wandering miserably through the brush for another half hour I decided to head out and turn the heat on in my truck. I hadn’t taken more than 4 or 5 steps when the cock exploded off to my right. I don’t know how, but that one shot, at what turned out to be 27 steps from me, brought him down.  And this 71 year old gun, and man walked happily back to the truck.  It was a perfect beginning of what I believe will find me and this 410 spending a lot of time hunting rabbits, squirrels and a grouse.  And on May 1 st we will be in the turkey woods. You can check out my trophy cock pheasant at,

This Saturday is the opening of deer hunting with a firearm in the Southern Zone and there will be tens of thousands of hunters entering the woods looking for that buck of a lifetime. As a reminder I HIGHLY recommend the wearing of hunter orange before you put that rifle/shotgun to your shoulder and that you positively identify your target. Although New York has had low rates of hunter incidents; one is really too many. Don’t be one of those who says “I thought I saw,” “it sounded like;” and always be sure of what is beyond your target. And for those of you who are going to be treestand hunting don’t forget that safety harness; not belt. Also take the time and go to  and familiarize yourself with the new regulations.

Good luck and send me your Buck Tale. Include city where you live, where you hunted, deer rack and weight, gun/bow used and anything else that will add to the tale.

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