Something Special with Dad’s Gun
September 6, 2011 1 Comment
I’ve been wing-shooting for 20 years now. Even with all that experience I don’t consider myself to be all that good. At best I am an average shooter and on some days I still shoot like a rookie. So it was always a sore spot with me that despite many years in the dove field and hundreds of rounds put through my Mossberg, I had still never gotten a limit of birds. My best performance was a baker’s dozen of 13 last year. This year I wanted desperately to finally make that milestone. But I also had another goal for the year. I wanted to bag a few birds with my dad’s gun.
The gun my dad carried in the field (pictured above) was a J.C Higgins pump 12-gauge made by Sears and Roebuck. As the trained eye will notice it came with a factory-installed poly-choke and a ported barrel. I had always thought the gun a bit clunky though I have to admit it has the smoothest action I’ve ever come across. My dad chased rabbits with it for years, having bought it used in the late 1960s. When he passed away it ended up in the gun safe and sat there unused for the past decade.
This year I decided I would give it a chance in the dove field and if it could bring down a few birds it could stay. If not it was going up for sale. I dialed the choke to Improved Cylinder and decided I would try to get five before I put it down. My first shot of the day was a hit. My third shot and my fourth shots were too. What was even better is that all the birds were hitting the ground dead (last year I was plagued with cripples).
I quickly passed the five-bird mark and decided that I was shooting so well I would keep at it. Fast forward about two hours and I had my first ever limit on doves. This felt just as good as getting my first turkey and first deer. To do it with my dad’s gun (and a gun I had written off as sub par) was extra special. The old poly-choke has earned a place in the gun safe and a place in my heart.