My Trusty Old 12-Gauge
By Uncle Joe
Virginia Beach, Virginia
January 29, 2016 2:41pm CST
Although I have never considered myself a sportsman, I have been a hunter most of my life. Even that was altered in the latter part when I exchanged my weapon for a video camera. Yet, as a teen and on up until more mouths came along that needed food. Before that, my primary game was squirrels. I could easily pop them off with a .22 rifle, and sometimes with a .22 pistol. As my family grew, the need for bigger game did too. I chose a single-shot 12 Gauge because of it’s versatility. There is a wide variety of ammunition for this weapon. You can buy Number 6 shot that is a very light buckshot load for squirrels, rabbit, or doves, or you can purchase a very high-powered Double .00 Magnum that will take down a deer at 100 yards or reach way up in the sky to knock one of those tasty Canadian Geese down onto the table. Whatever game was available was what we lived on in the winter. That was how we survived. The best feature about a single-shot weapon is just that. If the shooter only has one shot that will make the difference between meat or oatmeal, he will make that one shot count. During one of the times when money wasn’t too much of a problem, I purchased a Mossberg 12 Gauge Pump that I never could hit anything with. I think if you know you have more shots to count on you may take too many “chance” ones. Nevertheless, as I sat hunkered down under an oak tree one afternoon waiting on Mister Squirrel to show himself, I caught a slight movement out of my right eye. Slowly swinging the barrel in that direction, I froze. Two doe were moving slowly toward my position. Here was my chance. Venison would be better than squirrel any old day. There was only one problem. The gun was loaded with Number 6. That would do no more than just wound the animal, and it would probably run off where I couldn’t find it and die from infections. However, I DID happen to be wearing my kaki hunting vest with elastic shell pockets that contained a variety of different sized ammo including the high-powered Magnum load. All I had to do was switch shells. Thumbing the lever that releases the breach, I eased it open as slowly as possible. Just before the farthest point, there is a very audible “click”. However, in that woodsy silence it sounded more like I had smacked a cast iron skillet with a frying pan. Those two deer melted away right before my eyes so quickly, I wondered if I had truly seen them at all. For a long time, when I still rode ATV’s I used to hunt all kinds of creatures with a video camera. Some of my footage was sellable but I never made enough to cover the expenses. That didn’t bother me because it afforded me many opportunities to still get out and enjoy nature where I was too old to walk.
6 people like this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
29 Jan 16
If we had to depend on my husbands success at hunting and fishing we'd starve (it's a standing family joke the only time he ever catches fish is when he's not allowed to keep them and the only venison he's brought home came from his brother's freezer).