Charles Hellis: A Hunger for Success
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” is the famous first line of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. His second historical novel packed a lot of resonance for his mid-19th Century audience. Although ostensibly about an earlier era, it clearly described the disparities of Victorian London.
Wingshooting with 'Papa'
“But when you cannot shoot you can remember shooting and I would rather stay home now, this afternoon, and write about it than go out and sail clay saucers in the wind, trying to break them and wishing they were what they’re not.”
- By: Roger Sanger & Silvio Calabi
A Passion for Grouse
The first rise of the day was explosive. Breaking the morning’s stillness, a pair of ruffed grouse shattered leaves in a tangle of dry, wild grapevines as they sought escape from a heavily ticked setter and a graying man with a worn 16-gauge L.C. Smith.
Les Fusils de Verney-Carron
Born in 1800, on the cusp of the gunmakers’ century, Claude Verney was just 20 years old when he entered one of his guns in the prestigious Concours d’Armurerie, a gunmaking competition in Saint Etienne, France. At that time Saint Etienne was already the arms-making capital of the country.
A January moon a night from full is settling toward Virginia’s shore when I traipse down the Potomac River’s Maryland bank to the dock at the bottom of Capt. Bob Wetherald’s backyard. Under lights Bob winches down two camouflaged hunting boats to reach an abnormally low tide.
The Captain & the Reelfoot Stove
I suppose it all had to come to a head. At some point it was inevitable that things would reach some sort of climax. Ill feelings had been building up at the Old River Rod and Gun, Bloody Mary Society and Gentleman’s Club all season. For the first time in anyone’s memory, mumbled curses had been heard around the lodge after the morning duck hunt.
Sharptails are birds of the prairie. Of vast, open country begging to be trod across. Set a course for the horizon and go.
Pulled by possibilities….
The birds are out there—amid grass and stubble or holed up in sparse brush. All eyes and ears and skittish from close calls.
From the Editor
Fall is for hunting. At least it always has been for me. It is a time for heading afield to chase things with feathers—to reap the rewards of hours spent training dogs, scouting for coverts and shooting clays.
In Defense of Drillings
Steven Dodd Hughes writes rather disparagingly of Drillings (Fine Gunmaking, May/June), but I wonder if he has ever owned a proper modern Drilling that was set up for game and bird hunting? I own and hunt with such a Drilling, and it is a slam-dunk winner!
Game & Gun Gazette
Vintage Cup Preview
In July/August I mentioned that my buddy Aaron Cross is a Paralympic Games medalist archer and that he also is, much to my delight, my stepson. Because it wasn’t germane to that story, I didn’t mention that he also is a shooter. He’s discovered those delights over the past four years or so—gun, rifle, handgun, whatever goes bang.
Looking back on my long association with Shooting Sportsman writing the Fine Gunmaking column, I’ve been thinking about how differently we each regard the second aspect of the magazine’s subtitle: The Magazine of Wingshooting & Fine Guns.
In July/August I began an examination of the 3" 20-gauge shotshell, focusing primarily on what the 3" 20-gauge is not.
There are two possible outcomes in bird dog training that I avoid with a caution bordering on paranoia: If a dog develops a fear of either guns or birds, we don’t have a gundog.
Following the discussion of seeing lead (“How Much Lead?” July/August), the next question becomes: Once you see the lead correctly, what is the best way to apply it accurately and consistently? There are several components to the answer, including a smooth swing, timing and the correct choice of technique.
This gun review must be a little different. Usually I have a test gun for a couple of months. During that time it is shot a ton. The gun is also subjected to tinkering and rumination. T&R time includes general parts dislocation and fussing.
Good barrels may not make a bad gun good, but bad barrels will assuredly ruin the best gun ever made.
It’s that time of year: Bird seasons are finally at hand. When you hit the fields and woods this fall, go in comfort and style with these new products.
Browning Gore-Tex Upland Jacket and Pant
As autumn transforms the landscape, we make ready to enter the bird coverts once again. To prime you for the coming days afield, here are reports on four hunting titles and a reprint of some excellent outdoor essays.
Every now and then you get lucky and find someplace special. For shooters, hunters and those who love the outdoors, that place is between Meadows of Dan, Virginia, and Claudville, about 2,750 feet above sea level. It is the state’s only Orvis-endorsed shooting facility: Primland.
As we drove up the entry road to the Pine Creek Sporting Club, the club’s helicopter swooshed overhead and fluttered in to the helipad near the clubhouse. It was certainly a fitting sight for what is planned to be a deluxe residential development.