April 25, 2007
By Norm Sargent
Outdoors with Norm
I remember the first time I saw the Rocky Mountains. I was moving from Hancock, Maine to the foothills in Fort Collins, Colorado. As we drove down I-70 across Kansas all I could think about was seeing the mountains. Shortly after crossing into Colorado in the distance there they stood, the Rockies. As if it were yesterday I remember saying “my God they are big.” My traveling partner kind of chuckled to herself and responded “that’s nothing, we are a long ways off.” I guess from growing up in Colorado she chuckled at my amazement of the Rockies. Each mile down the interstate brought more and more excitement to me. I was in awe as we drove closer and closer . Finally we had reached Denver. I was speechless at the sights. These were only the foothills to the Rockies also.
I spent the next eight years of my life in Colorado. I never grew tired of the majesty of those mountains. Even though Maine is my home and I would not trade it for anything, I was extremely lucky to have spent some great years in Colorado.
So many great memories come to mind. There were those long horseback rides into heart lake for some outstanding rainbow trout fishing, watching and participating in rodeo events, and top of that list would be elk hunting in those great Rockies.
I remember growing up watching hunting shows, talking with my buddies throughout my life, and dreaming about having one chance to travel west and pursue one of the most incredible animals. So after fulfilling the subjected amount of time to gain resident status it was now my time. I was set up to go head to head with a bull elk. My good buddies, Dan B(Big Dan), Dan S(Little Dan), and Jim had all grown up in Colorado and each had plenty of experience spent hunting elk. I remember marking each day off on the calendar as opening day approached. Just like a kid waiting for Christmas.
During those weeks that seemed like an eternity I remember looking over topographical maps with Jim. The area that they had hunted each year for their entire life was Gore Pass. This year would be no different. I studied the layout of the land where we would be hunting. I studied Gore Pass as if my life depended on it. We had all gone up scouting the area prior to opening day also. With the maps, scouting, and reading about the pass I knew by the time hunting season arrived I would know the layout as well as I knew my back yard in Maine. Gore pass is known for its open meadows. Sir George Gore, a colorful and eccentric hunter and explorer, passed through the area in the 1850′s. The Ute Indians used to camp along Teepee Creek, a favorite hunting area, which Gore Pass remains today for deer and elk hunters.
Still a very clear picture in my mind of the area. I would have to say it ranks as one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen with my own two eyes.
We arrived a couple days before opening day in order to get settled in, do some more scouting, and just get away for a couple extra days. We spent these days glassing the valleys, riding the horses, and just enjoying Gods great outdoors. Sitting around the campfire and sharing stories with each other are probably the fondest memories I have of those times.
Finally opening morning had arrived. With hardly any sleep the night before due to the sheer excitement of what I was about to partake in, I woke early to get ready. None of us took the time to eat much for breakfast. A cereal bar and a mountain dew was my breakfast that morning. I finished up breakfast, got dressed, and gathered all my gear. Then I grabbed my saddle out of the horse trailer. Walked over to my wild mustang and threw the saddle on him. Gave him a pat on the head and asked “are you ready?” As if Tonopah knew what I had said, he shook his head up and down. The rest of the guys saddled up and it was now time. We took a path up along the edge of the woods through a ravine. Once halfway up we broke into two groups in order to cover more area. Jim and I headed off to the north. It was a quick horse ride and we dismounted and set up in order for Jim to call. Jim could really work that call. We continued to call, ride, call, and ride throughout the day. As darkness approached we unloaded our guns and rode back towards camp. It was pitch black dark as we traveled through trees along edges of mountains. Let me tell you I was some glad to have a sure footed mustang as my partner.
Back at camp Jim made a big supper for all of us. The three of them seemed a little disappointed that none of us had any luck. I remember not caring about that. Listening to Jim call, riding Tonopah through the trees and mountains was enough to keep a smile on my face.
The next couple days brought much of the same. Warm temperatures and bad luck seemed to be against us. We had a few responses to our calls and some sightings of cows that kept me holding my head held high. Heck this was a dream for a Maine boy.
On the fourth morning we all decided to not travel as far from camp. We gave the horses the morning off and set off on foot. We passed through a small patch of trees and began to glass a valley. As we all searched the area Jim said “I see one, it’s a good bull.” He showed us all the direction and sure enough there was a nice bull making its way through the aspens.
Each of the guys agreed that I should be the one to shoot the bull as each of them had experienced harvesting an elk. I quickly agreed that worked for me. The bull seemed like it was miles away so I said “are we going to attempt to make our way down to him?” Jim responded with a chuckle and a big “no, your going to shoot from here.” You see being a Maine boy a hundred yard shot seemed a mile to me. Of course we had practiced at distances a lot further than I was used to. I had managed to shoot well at distances this elk was away from us. Just the unknown had me feeling a little timid. So with confidence I pulled my 270 to my shoulder, rested up against a tree, took a deep breath, said a prayer, and BANG let her fly. The bull took off down the hill. Jim said “nice shot!!!! You hit him for sure.” Dan and Dan went back to camp to gather the horses. I sat there almost in tears while Jim assured me there would be an elk waiting for me down there. The boys came back with the horses after what seemed like forever. We quietly and slowly made our way down to where the elk was standing when I shot. Sure enough there was lots of good blood sign. We dismounted our horses and began to travel the blood trail. Then all of a sudden there appeared a huge elk laying on the ground. After a few minutes of jumping up and down celebrating I made my way over to see my elk. I fell to my knees and thanked God for this opportunity. The elk was a nice 5 x 5. A trophy by anyone’s standards.
By the end of the season each of us had harvested a bull. More importantly we had started a tradition that each of us would carry on for the next eight years. Some of those years brought us luck and some the big skunk. One thing for sure they will be years that we will treasure for the rest of our lives. Since moving back to Maine 6 years ago I have not been able to travel out west to hunt with the group. Someday my son, Kolten and I will make that trip again.
Think back over the years of your hunting experiences. What great memories they bring to each of us. The friendships that have come about from hunting and fishing trips. I will always remember those days in Colorado.
April 20, 2007
By A. Sayward Lamb
Rattlin’ The Alders
This story happened during the last week of November, in 1992. It was a beautiful day, with a foot of snow to hunt on, and my son, Jim; son-in-law, Blane Morse; and myself, decided we would go down to Dead Man’s Curve, in West Paris, to see if we could find any deer. We were especially interested in finding the where-a-bouts of a big buck, who had been frequenting the area for the past ten days. His tracks were huge, so we assumed it was an older buck, in full rut, seeking out the several does that lived in that lowland area. It is made up of several small swamps, swale grass, alders, “puckerbrush”, and small knolls. They are covered with gray birch trees and junipers, along with mature hardwoods, a few evergreens, and some overgrown pastures, all of which provide excellent cover for deer. It was not an easy place to hunt; in fact a person hunting alone there doesn’t stand much of a chance of ever seeing a deer. It takes several people to get them moving out into the open; due to the many knolls, swampy areas, and heavy undergrowth. This morning the three of us were planning to do just that.
We hunted hard all morning for that buck, but never saw any of his fresh tracks, although we did see where the buck had roamed about during the snowstorm of the previous day.. It was very apparent he was bedded down some where in this area, and up until now, we hadn’t found that spot. By noontime there was only a thick cover of alders, between Moose Pond stream and Route 26, that we had not checked out. I tried to get one of those younger fellows to go into that “hell hole” of alders, to see if they could kick him out of his bed. Neither Jim, or Blane, wanted any part of going into that thicket, and no amount of urging on my part could get them to change their minds. I had such a strong feeling about that buck hiding there that I finally told them I would go look for him after lunch. For some reason or other, they agreed to this, so we all went back to my house to eat. After eating we took a brief rest, then drove back down to that area and resumed our hunting.
As promised, I headed into the thick cover, while Jim and Blaine took up positions where they could watch the meadow. They told me they both were very dubious of my judgment, and didn’t expect the “old man” would find any deer in those alders. Somehow, I had a “gut feeling” that I would be successful. I walked only about one hundred yards, into; over; under; and around those alders; when I heard the sound of horns rattling and striking against the alders. I caught a glimpse of that huge buck and a large doe, as they jumped up out of their beds and started running off! I tried to hurry, but it was impossible in that tangled mess of bushes. Soon I came upon the fresh beds in the snow. I continually heard the buck’s horns rattling, and slamming against the alders, even though he was a lot farther away. I could tell he was going a lot faster than I was. I only hoped those two deer would come out where one of those younger fellows would see them. Both deer were headed for a big open meadow; and I knew that once they reached the meadow, they would have to go about three hundred yards before reaching cover on the other side. I also realized there was no way I would ever get out into the meadow before the deer crossed the opening and fled out of sight, so I slowed down and continued to follow the fresh tracks. Soon I saw where the buck continued to head westerly towards the meadow, while the doe turned right and went off in a northerly direction. Naturally, I followed the buck’s tracks, because I wanted to be sure it went out into that meadow. Now I could only hope he would be intercepted along his route by Jim, or Blane. I noticed that I could not hear the horns hitting the alders, so I knew the buck had reached the meadow and moved out into the open. I wasn’t sure if he might be seen, but I certainly hoped so. I didn’t have to wait long to find out, because I heard a rifle shot, followed by another! After a short pause I heard two more shots. Soon this pattern was repeated a third time as I heard two more shots! It sure had me wondering what was happening, because those shots were not fired quickly. I would guess that a couple of minutes had passed from the time I heard those first two shots. until I heard the last two shots being fired.
I finally arrived to the meadow, and looked all around, hoping to see the buck. Instead all I saw was Jim, standing on a knoll, with his rifle down to his side. When he saw me he started walking my way. Soon we met along the buck’s tracks, where it had crossed the meadow. Jim was pretty excited, and at the same time dejected, because he told me the buck was about three hundred fifty yards from him when it ran across the meadow. He said his .30-.30 Winchester rifle would not reach the buck, at that long range. He said his rifle was sighted in for one hundred yards, so he kept shooting higher every time he fired his gun. He had no idea if the bullets was coming anywhere near to hitting the buck. He said the buck seemed confused as he was firing at it, because it would run a short distance, then stop and look all around, before starting to run again. We followed the tracks clear across the field and never saw any signs of blood, so we concluded he never did hit the deer. Jim was even more upset when he counted the ten points on that big bucks rack of horns, which he said were very huge, even ,and beautiful.
Jim also lamented the fact that we did not trade guns before I started out through the alders, because I was carrying my Savage .308, with a variable power 1.5 X 4.5 telescope sight. He felt if he had my gun, he would have had a much better chance of hitting it, especially at that long range. Then I reminded him if he had gone into the alders, I might have been the one who would have had the chance to shoot it. I don’t think he appreciated my comments. I did have to agree; his chances would have been much better with my rifle, but that was a mistake we made and it was too late now to do anything about it. I knew that wise old buck would be leaving the area after all that shooting, so we stayed in place and waited for Blane to show up.
After Blane arrived I told both of them I wanted to drive around to the other side of the follow the tracks on the other side Little Androscoggin river. They told me they both had enough hunting for that day, and wanted to go home. I took them back home, then headed for a big field and gravel pits located adjacent to the westerly side of the river. On the westerly side of the field were railroad tracks, and west of that were more woods that extended for three-fourths of a mile, to High Street, in West Paris. I parked my pick-up truck on the northern end of the big field, near the railroad tracks, then I walked down the tracks to see if I could find where the deer was headed. I had to walk about a quarter of a mile before I came upon the buck’s tracks. It had slowed down to a walk, so I still hoped I would be able to catch up to him. Perhaps he would bed down in some thick cover, as he headed towards High Street. After following the tracks for quite some distance, I noticed that cagey old buck would not travel through heavy cover. Instead, he walked through all the openings that it came to. Maybe he felt safer doing that, for some unknown reason. One thing for sure, this was not the usual pattern for an older buck to do. After tracking the buck for a couple of hours, I came out to High Street. In all this distance I did not find a single place where the buck stopped walking. It acted like it was headed for a predetermined spot, and did not linger along the way. Just before arriving at the highway, that buck walked up through a long field, and past a barn belonging to Kenny Poland. After it crossed the High Street road, it walked between two houses, before reaching the woods again. Apparently it knew where it was going and was headed directly for that destination. By now I was over a mile from my pick-up truck, and have to admit I was getting discouraged, because I hadn’t caught even a glimpse of that ten point buck. I didn’t want to give up, so I continued to follow the tracks towards the Porter Neighborhood. After another half hour I knew I had to quit following the tracks, because it was getting late in the day and I had a long ways to walk through the deep snow to get back to my vehicle.
I finally turned back and hurriedly retraced my steps. It was nearly dark by the time I got back to my pick-up truck. I was exhausted from hiking so far in the deep snow. Even though we did not get that nice buck, I had the satisfaction of knowing that we gave it our best try, but that was not good enough. There is no question, that ten point buck learned a lesson that day, because we never did find his tracks again at Dead Man’s Curve, during the rest of the deer hunting season, that fall.
A. Sayward Lamb
April 18, 2007
By Thomas K. Remington
So what’s the big deal about the turkey anyways? Why are Americans everywhere in love with this bird? After all, most references used with the word turkey in them aren’t something that we all want to be associated with. So, I ask again, “What’s the big deal?” I decided to do some research to see if I could discover for myself why so many people are in love with the wild turkey.
It seems that this romance began a long, long time ago. I read in one account that the wild turkey “diverged” from the pheasant 11 million years ago and were spread from mid-America to northern South America. Now when I first read this I thought what they were trying to say was that the turkey “evolved” from the pheasant 11 million years ago. So, I looked up the definition of diverge and this is what it read as: di-verge – To go or extend in different directions from a common point; branch out. 2. To depart from a set course or norm; deviate.
It sounds to me as though turkeys and pheasants hung out together 11 million years ago until whoever was in charge no longer enforced the “integration of birds law” and the turkeys took off.
Maybe that was the turning point for the poor turkey. The ancient Aztecs of Mexico fell in love with the gobbler so much so that they had two religious festivals a year to honor their fine feathered friends. In addition to eating, they used every part of the bird for something; necklaces, head ornaments and arrows.
The Mayan culture was said to have used parts of the bird in sacred ceremonies. That’s nice! Then I began to wonder what parts of the turkey they would use. Maybe they would use the feet as a sacrifice to the ancient god of the strut. You know I decided I probably shouldn’t go there. Fortunately, the turkey realized it was being consumed too rapidly by these adoring ancient natives and banded together and headed farther north into what would become the United States. They would be safe there they thought.
Then they ran into the Navajos of North America. They were trying to grow corn in the desert and the turkeys found that pretty easy grazing. At first the Navajos tried to fence them out of the crops but it wasn’t working so they decided to fence in the birds. Soon they discovered you could eat the little darlings. That is when the Navajos fell in love with this not so attractive bird.
Because of the high level of reasoning of this remarkable bird, they decided that if they were going to prolong their life expectancy they better move on and so they did. They headed further east and north and ran into some of the North American Indian tribes but these Indians had a different kind of respect for the bird and let it roam wild and prosper. Food was abundant and the bird flourished. Mostly the Indians used bow and arrow to hunt the bird but sometimes they would “call” the bird (not with a cell phone either) by imitating the bird’s call. This they found worked well. The children would hide in the bushes and when the turkey would come to investigate the call the kids would jump out and catch the unsuspecting Tom.
I don’t really know what people back then called this bird but some say that Christopher Columbus called it a “tuka”. Of course this came from a man who thought he was actually in India at the time. Others have said that the native Indians called the big bird “firkee”. Somehow I think over the years if we had continued to call them “firkees” we wouldn’t have been calling some of our not well liked acquaintances a “friggin firkee”.
Now here’s a more believable story about the name of the turkey. Around about 1530, English merchants were traveling to the Mediterranean area to do business. The locals called them “Turkey Merchants” because that entire area was called at the time the Turkish Empire. The Spaniards had brought the turkey back from the new world and when the English saw it for the first time they of course called it a “turkey bird”.
Look out turkey because in 1620 the Pilgrims crashed into Plymouth, Massachusetts and they were hungry. In talking with the Northeastern Native Americans, the Pilgrims heard stories about a big bird they could hunt and eat. Much to their surprise, they spotted these big birds and they very closely resembled the tamed ones they brought with them from the old world that the “Turkey Merchants” had brought back from the Turkish Empire.
The new Americans quickly fell in love with this bird. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the fact that if it hadn’t been for the wild turkey they would have starved to death. On July 4, 1776 the First Continental Congress picked some guys to try and figure out what they could declare as the symbol or seal of the United States. They picked three guys one of which was a die hard turkey enthusiast and was thought of by some to be the first man to leave his wife for hours, days and sometimes even weeks to go turkey hunting (this part is not true). The other two guys thought that to be a bald eagle and soar above everyone was next to godliness. Many who believe in reincarnation do believe that John Adams and Thomas Jefferson together were reincarnated as the first Goodyear blimp (also not true). Benjamin Franklin adored the turkey and believed that it more closely symbolized all that America stood for; after all, you know the gobbler can make his head turn red, white and blue by holding its breath. We know who won that battle. I have to ask, “If we had in fact elected to have the turkey as our national seal, would we be eating eagles and protecting turkeys?”
Americans ate turkeys and ate turkeys and ate turkeys until they nearly killed and ate them all up. I find this odd coming from people who just adored this bird. Settlers discovered that this bird wasn’t the brightest bird on the block nor could it see very well. In other words, they found out the turkey was just slightly dumber than they were and that the bird could be easily trapped. The turkey soon became the primary if not sole means of food.
The pioneers began to move west cutting down every tree in their way and most that weren’t in their way. By eliminating much of the birds natural cover and feeding grounds, the numbers began it dwindle rapidly. By the early 1900s the turkey was nearly extinct. An estimated 30,000 birds remained in a small geographical area of the United States. It wasn’t until real efforts began in the late 30s did the turkey begin to come back. Biologists discovered new ways to capture and reintroduce healthy turkeys to other parts of the U.S.
Again, the American people began to show their real love and admiration of the wild turkey. In 1973 the National Wild Turkey Federation was founded and since its inception has contributed in excess of $82 million on restoration of wild turkeys. Today more than 5 million turkeys roam about in 49 states (excluding Alaska). There is quite a large group of turkeys that spend a lot of time in the Washington D.C. area but that species is not considered a viable part of the real turkey restoration efforts. Scientists have discovered that no matter what their efforts have been, there is no known help for any of these turkeys.
This is the history of the big bird we call turkey so let’s take a closer look at how this bird survives and seems to do quite well if not over hunted. So what is the attraction, the intrigue of this wild animal? No one knows for sure. Some believe because it is the only game animal that is not smarter than man and man can “call” a turkey easily by imitating its sounds. Others think it has more to do with tradition. I think it may have something to do with the powers of suggestion and association of activities surrounding the turkey. For example: My love of venison and deer hunting has everything to do with the wonderful memories surrounding the years of hunting with family and friends. I think it is the same with the turkey. We all love to come home to a house that is radiating the odors of a turkey roasting in the oven. We begin to conjure up pictures and memories of days gone by. I remember drawing pictures of turkeys in grade school while learning about the Pilgrims. It seemed we studied the Pilgrims just before the Thanksgiving holiday. It helped us to better understand and relate.
Turkeys mate in the spring of the year. Gobblers like to stand on high places and gobble. The gobbler is not territorial. Instead it tries to “dominate” the other male turkeys. See why we call politicians “turkeys”. Unlike a politician, a real turkey has the ability to recognize other individuals. Through fighting and posturing, one Tom becomes the big cheese. Usually the hen will come a calling but sometimes poor feller has to do some traveling of his own if there are no hens around.
The hen will begin laying her eggs; about one a day for approximately twelve days (a normal clutch). Once all the eggs are laid, then the hen will begin the incubation period of about 26-28 days. Turkey nests are built on the ground and the mortality rate of the egg is quite high. Only about one third of the hens are successful in raising young ones.
Chicks are called poults and it takes them about 24 hours to bust out of their shell. They can get up and go in about 12-24 hours but look out. Nearly half of the chicks will die or be killed in the first 2 weeks.
The Gobbler moves on after mating and doesn’t assist with the raising of the young. They are called dead beat Gobblers. They generally live a solitary life but will hook-up with some other younger Toms; frequently his own offspring.
The hens and chicks basically spend the rest of the summer, fall and winter eating to survive. The young males in a hens group will move on around November but most of the hens will stay with mother until spring. As food supplies diminish the diet becomes quiet varied. They on average remain within about 350 acres.
During the winter, turkeys will be seen in large flocks sometimes numbering as high as 100 to 200 but usually less than 100. The biggest reason they are together is as much coincidence as anything. They are congregating where the food is. At night they roost in trees. During cold and windy weather, turkeys can be found roosting in heavy conifer trees such as hemlock or fir to protect themselves from the elements otherwise they will be found roosting in hardwood trees not too far from their food supply.
The turkey is a quiet hardy bird and seldom dies of starvation although it can occur in extreme climates. Some fear the increased population of turkeys is consuming the necessary food for ruffed grouse and white tail deer but studies have shown this not to be true. Many times because we are seeing turkeys in large flocks, we assume they must be eating a lot of food.
Like many of the other species of game, it appears that about the only real threat to the wild turkey is the man we sometimes refer to as a turkey and that is because of some of the real stupid things we can do. For some strange reason though, man loves the turkey and will go to some pretty strange lengths to hunt down one of them.
Yes, this is a strange love we have for such an ugly bird. We have performed religious ceremonies; we have chased it far and wide and used it for survival. But, no matter what stupid animalistic things we do to our fine feathered friends, we seem to come back to ensuring its survivability.
April 6, 2007
By Paul Thein
I’m now 40-years old and I’ve been hunting a family farm since I’ve been a teenager fresh out of hunter’s safety classes. Hunting is a family tradition for us. Our hunting party consists of cousins and close family friends. Over the years I have watched many of them bag the big whitetail wall hanger you dream of. Of course I can’t complain and have done well on the family farm myself. My hunt last year was featured in a few magazines and online journals; showcasing five mature bucks I was able to harvest for our hunting party of nine. Even so, my deer hunts have never produced the whitetail of my dreams…the big one for the wall.
This year, half of our hunting land sold off and was developed into a golf course and housing development. I guess you can’t stop urban sprawl and it has finally caught up to our land. This year there was talk amongst our hunting party that this could possibly be the last hunt due to the continued developments.
After 25 years of memories you can now see the end of an era of great hunting and family memories coming to an end. I couldn’t help but feel sad that similar hunting experiences won’t be there for future generations to enjoy. Hunting is much more than killing deer, it’s a family reunion filled with playful competition over who can shoot the big one and childhood memories.
Living in California now makes it difficult for me to return to my boyhood home of Minnesota, but this is one hunt I knew I had to make. After all, this could be the year… what if I’m the one who bags the wall hanger of my dreams! What if this is the last hunt?
I returned and the weather was ideal, I didn’t have to fight the bitter cold that sometimes makes your teeth chatter and I saw more deer each day than I ever remember seeing. I enjoyed the familiar noises and sights of pasts, squirrels sounding like approaching deer as they dig through the brown leaves on the ground and the wild turkeys walking past my stand each morning.
Many memories of the past hunts raced through my head each day I walked through the woods to my stand. Day after day I waited patiently for the buck of my dreams enjoying the beauty of it all.
Nearing the end of this hunting season and possibly the end of an era, I actually began to come to terms with the reality that I might not knock down a big buck. With only two-days left in the season and just when I came to accept the fact I may never get one for the wall, the buck of my childhood dreams popped his head out of the thick river woods. He came quietly at dusk to scent the does feeding in the open field on the clover.
“Wow”, I thought to myself. “This buck is nice!” He had plenty of rack over the ears and an old white face showing his age. As he took a step cautiously into the open clover field only 60 yards away, I raised my gun. I didn’t take time to count the points or give him a chance to scent me.
After 25 years of hunting, I was sure this was the one – Mr. Wall Hanger! I put my sites on him and squeezed the trigger. The ‘Ol Boy fell immediately in his tracks. I could see him lay there from my stand and waited a moment to make sure he was down for good.
I couldn’t hold my composure and used my cell phone to report back to the house what I was sure it was a trophy. I knew it was the one I had hoped for 20-years and dreamed of since a kid. I thought to myself, “Now I can leave this wonderful experience with a memory I take with me and hang on my wall. I’ll have something to keep the memories alive and tell the next generation about.” This is the way it should end with your biggest buck at the end!
Still not knowing how many points this buck was, I finally composed myself to approach what I hoped would be at least a 10-pointer for my mantle. With each step I was more and more assured this was my dream buck.
As I walked within arms reach I saw a “drop tine”. I thought, “All right. A drop tine buck! No one has shot a drop tine on the farm ever.”
Then as I grabbed hold of his massive rack and pulled the one side out of the mud. I saw how nice this boy really was. “Yippee, a 13-point double drop tine buck!” This is the one I had dreamt of year-after-year since I was a boy hunting with that single shot 12-gauge. Wow what a way to end it all. A trophy of a lifetime and a wall-hanger to remember it all…keeping the memories alive forever! Thanks dad for the experience…