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September 20, 2007

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14 Rules For Choosing A Custom Rifle

More and more people, it seems, are deciding to spend some major bucks to get a serious rifle that is built for them and them alone. I got my first made-to-order rifle back in 1971, and I've learned a bit about the process‚ most of it the hard way. Here are 14 rules to live by.

Don't buy cheap work
The going rate for a top-quality synthetic-stocked hunting rifle is $3,000 to $6,000. If you find some guy who will build you one that's just as good for $640.85, run for your life.

Eschew the odd
Years ago, Abercrombie & Fitch had a highly engraved used bull-barreled varmint rifle for sale. I think it was in their New York City store for 10 years, and I don't know if it ever did sell. Simply, no one wanted an engraved varmint rifle. Should the sad day come when you must part with your custom gun, and it's too strange, you will be unable to recoup any of your investment‚ at least not within a decade.

Wood or Chemical?
If I were looking for a working rifle, there's no question I would want a synthetic stock, and that's what many custom gunsmiths are using these days. Some offer laminated wood, which is a good compromise, especially for a larger-caliber rifle where you want some weight.

Pick a sane cartridge
It is a given among custom-rifle builders that the clients with the most smarts pick the dullest, oldest cartridges‚ 7x57 Mauser, .30/06, .270, .375 H&H, and so on. That's because these rounds have been around longer than dirt and have proven themselves through many generations. They won't fail you, either. There are good reasons why few people build rifles for the .30/416 Eargesplitten Loudenboomer.

Get less power
If you think you need a .300 magnum of one kind or another, get a .30/06. Convinced you need a 7mm magnum? Get a .280 or .270. For a deer rifle, think 7mm/08, .260 Remington, or 6.5x55 Swede. The less the recoil, the better you shoot, and the better you shoot, the more game you get.

Don't get nuts about accuracy 
Any big-game rifle that will shoot a minute of angle will kill anything you aim it at. A half-minute rifle won't make the beasts any deader. The gun you end up with will in all probability shoot better than you can hold. What you're looking for is consistency above everything else. You want all your shots going to the same place all the time.

Watch your weight
Extremely light rifles are every bit as accurate as standard-weight guns, but they're tougher to hold steady when you're winded or excited. For standard calibers, you don't want less than 7 pounds with scope. In heavier calibers, lack of weight can make a rifle unmanageable. I would not own a .338 that weighed less than 9 pounds or a .300 magnum that weighed less than 81/2.

It's the barrel, stupid 
The most important component of your rifle is the barrel, because it determines how well your rifle will shoot. Most gun builders use premium barrels as a matter of course, but if yours doesn't, spend the extra couple of hundred dollars and insist on one.

Listen to the man
Some gun builders will smile, take your money, and turn out exactly what you ordered, whether it's a crackpot gun or not. Others will tell you that you don't know what you're talking about. You want the latter. Any gunmaker with an ounce of pride does not want some screwball firearm out there with his name on it.

Beware of revolutionary ideas
A few years ago, it was trendy to make barrels by wrapping fiberglass thread around a thin steel liner. All sorts of advantages were claimed‚ until someone pointed out that if you put a nick in the fiberglass, the barrel would probably disintegrate. Most other radical improvements vanish just as quickly.

Get references
Ask for the names of half a dozen of a gunsmith's customers, then find out if they like their guns. You will have to listen carefully. Some people are chronic malcontents; others have unrealistic expectations. A guy who couldn't hit water if he fell out of a boat is not a good reference for a gunmaker who guarantees half-minute groups. The fact is that all top makers shoot their rifles before they go down the road, and they know they are accurate, and they are likely to be short with the customer who says his gun won't deliver.

Tell the gunmaker how you're going to use the rifle
I recently had a 6.5x55 Swede built but neglected to tell the builder that I wanted to use long, heavy bullets. He assumed I'd follow the current trend for light, fast bullets and gave me a barrel with a 1-in-10 1/2-inch twist‚ fine for light slugs but all wrong for heavy ones. I had to return the gun and get a new barrel. The whole thing was my fault.

When it comes to scope and mounts, shut up and listen
Just about every custom-rifle maker has strong ideas about which scopes and mounts work best. There's a reason for this. Most of them also insist on mounting the scope themselves, having endured bitter experiences when they let the customers do it.

Get to know your gun
The best rifle in the world will not transform a poor shot into a decent one or a mediocre shot into a good one. When you get your new rifle, burn some ammo.

Some Recommended Custom Gunmakers
Here are six craftsmen who have either made rifles for me, or whose work I've shot at length. There are plenty more out there.

Mark Bansner's Ultimate Rifles, Adamstown, PA. 717-484-2370;
Bansnersrifle.com
Mark makes his own bolt action, or will use someone else's if he likes it, and will build you a rifle with either one of his own synthetic stocks or with a wood stock. Standard models with lots of extra features.

Ed Brown Precision, Perry, MO. 573-565-3261; edbrown.com
Ed Brown makes his own bolt action, and builds synthetic-stock rifles only. There are eight models to choose from.

Jarrett Rifles, Jackson, SC. 803-471-3616;  jarrettrifles.com
Kenny has his own bolt action, and will use others. He makes 'em with synthetic or wood stocks.

Lazzeroni Arms Co. Tucson, AZ. 888-492-7247; lazzeroni.com
Lazz builds rifles for his two lines of proprietary cartridges in short and long magnum lengths. Synthetic stocks only.

New Ultra Light Arms, Granville, WV. 304-292-0600; newultralight.com
Melvin Forbes makes the lock and the stock (synthetic only) and uses mostly Douglas barrels. He makes a .22 rimfire and just about any centerfire caliber you could want.

Sisk Rifles, Dayton, TX. 936-258-4984; siskguns.com
Charlie Sisk uses a variety of actions and has a series of standard models. They are synthetic-stock only.

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Comments

Dr. Ralph

Yeah Dave, keep up the good work... now how about them deer? Yesterday was open season for us arrow slingers and it was 91 degrees. Plus it is a near full moon night before so I pretty much sweat like a dog's tongue, got ate up with the ticks and chiggers and what may turn out to be poison ivy, and never heard or saw anything except two does I jumped on the way in. Think they were does anyway. I wish one of those antis were with me to see what hunting is really all about. No acorns in the woods, not much of anything at all for the deer and turkey to eat. It's going to be a very bad year for Bambi. Starving to death is one of my least favorite ways to see an animal die. Maybe this would be a good year to feed and not hunt. It's not just a hobby, it's a way of life!

Rocky Mtn Hunter

I to own dry weather firearms. I also own any-kind of weather firearms. I use two calibers mostly. A 25-06 Classic in 700 Rem and a 30-06 CDL in 700 . Both will shoot l MOA at 200 yds. Providing I can hold the guns steady. I also got foul weather firarms in 30-06.I cannot stand the thought of the foul weather on my beautiful walnut firears. I got Syn, Matt bbls and S/s to use on raw days. Spray each night with Rem oil and wipe down. Don;t like the looks of the syn, but they do serve a purpose to us gun nuts. also got a Custom made 30-06, made on a Mauser action .Gun is my show and tell gun, but will now and then take out on fair-weather days. This custom gun is beautiful, in fact to beautiful to screw up in the woods. The customm gun will not shoot as tight of groups as either the 25-06's or 30-06" 700's But, always wanted a Custom job, so now I got it to mostly look at. I yet prefer to use my 700's out in the Rockies. The 06's will kill anything I plan to hunt. We can spend a bundle on Custom guns, but the few I've shot, did not shoot any better than my Factory made 700's. Question Dave: What is you opinion of the Savage lll,syn ,det. box mag in 270 for rough weather use. Most of the Savages i;ve shot, do shoot well, even beyond 200 yds. Also, why has the Savage action never been a basis for a custon gun? Dave one last question: What is your opinion of a handgun mfgered in Italy sold under the brand name of A. Uberti? I saw one at BAss Pro this summer, and now got the hots for a 5 l/2" Cattleman STallion,case harden/blue/walnut @5 l/2"bbl. 45 Caliber. I want a 45 LC for side arm for out west hunting. From what I;ve read on the firearm , it's by far better than most other copies of the Colts.Parts made in Italy, imported to USA and asemble here. Have several 357 mags, but want a 45 LC. I'm disabled/handicapped and a 44 mag to much handgun.Back to the rifles, be it a store bought or custom, I want the firearm to weigh about 10 lbs.( I usually stand hunt, as can not walk great distance) I had to add lead to that beautiful walnut butt stock to achieve my desired wt. By adding this wt, I can now shoot the 06 as if was a 243. Finally we now talking guns and not crap.Continue to discss guns and hunting,PLEASE>PS; One other question: whats your tae on Remington;s new model 715 and 770? Good/bad/ etc. want a 4 wheeler/pickup cheaper model with syn stock to haul around, just in case I need a firearmThanks for your replies, Old Gunslinger. Hey, Birthday is tomorrow, think I will buy a new gun for it?

Buddy

Watched an old buddy one time, fervently wiping the stock of his 3 inch mag Mod 12 Win 12 ga. with WD-40 after a drizzly morning of duck hunting! HUH!? Yep!
Get that pretty wood damp!? If you just gotta do something....
1. When you get a new firearm, break it down and rub some BC Tru-oil on any wood you feel might be bare. Allow to dry and reassemble!
2. Old fashioned paste furniture polish goes a long way in protecting a "real" stock! (It will even help protect the metal! Rub it on, wipe it off!)
3. If it gets wet, for goodness sakes, DON'T use petroleum products on it! Allow the stock to air dry. Warm a little linseed oil and apply sparingly to wood, wiping off excess. Stand firearm up, muzzle down (on a pad of course)so oil doesn't soak wrist of stock.
4. Any new dents or dings!? Just a touch of Tru-oil will reseal!
5. Custom or factory, taking care of stock is just as important as any of the metal! Without one, the other is just so much fire wood or tent stakes!! YOUR CHOICE!!!

Buddy

Oops! Forgot this little jewel.
Thin the Tru-oil 50-50 with mineral spirits. Dries quicker and wood soaks it up better. Apply twice if you feel it needs more!!

Buddy

Not trying to be a "blog" hog but to Chev Jim...
My wife and I sit down twice and month and go over bills!
She rides horses, I hunt.
She goes with me on occasion even though she doesn't care to shoot, I am her "pit" crew on a ride!
When I bring in a cooler full of bloody meat, she normally goes into it head first, dragging out a back strap. She puts up the meat while I prepare the loin for supper. I make sure she always has hay and feed for horses.
Neither of us ever buy a "hobby" item without the others consent.
Just the other day, she postponed a bit and headstall (about $125) so I could get a pop-up and a set of broadheads ($103.93). I am now postponing a new rifle so she can get a saddle she wants.
Guys, it's give and take! BUT, you've got to be involved, not only in the decisions, but in their lives and interests too!!!

SilverArrow

Buddy
Well said, sir! Both of your last two posts make a lot of sense!
SA

SilverArrow

RMH
Happy Birthday, friend! Enjoy and do tell us what rifle you buy. By the way; did you know that Ruger chambers .45 LC in at least a couple of their single action revolvers, might be worth a look-see!
SA

Rocky Mtn Hunter

Buddy: Thanks for the suggestions. I use Tru-oil as well. Had heard of paste wax working well, but never tried, will now. Learned long agom to store the firearm with muzzle pointed downard. I bought a Walnut colored Pencil to touch up dents and scrtches. Works great, but needs to set up for 24 hrs, then apply the tru-oil. In sub-freezing weather, I clean my hunting fiearm with Gun Scrubber, then apply a small amont of Graphite to moving parts. Will prevent a freeze up in freezing weather. Don;t know about you guys with Custom guys, but my 700's shoot as well if not better than my custom jobs,, at a cost much cheaper.( read that Remington has a new trigger on their 70o's now which blocks the sear and trigger, plus is adjustable) I plan to contact Rem and check this ou, if so, I want new trigges for my hunting rifles(hopefully at no cost to me) My custom 06, has a trugger pull of 12 oz and a tad light for carrying hunting I;m fussy about my firearms, want them to perform, but also want them to look great. But like many gun nuts, never enough fiearms, just continue to see one I want. Now looking for a Uberti in 45 LC as a side arm for the Rockies. Again, thanks for the reply. The old Gunslinger from down south, who loves the Rockies.

John

Thanks to Buddy, err, whats your name? - for setting that pig headed moron Chevjimmyboy straight.

What a flippin' tool.

Chevyjimmrod - climb back in that rock hut you rolled out of and keep that drivel from our eyes.

Buddy

SA
Thanks for the come back! Hope it helps someone!
RMH
HAPPY B'DAY!!!! Hope you find .45LC or what ever else may fill your dreams
To SA, RMH and to whomever else:
Nothing like sitting with your feet roasting in front of a wood stove or fire place with the odor of warming linseed oil, Hoppe's No. 9 and a fresh pot of coffee mixed with the smell of a soaked, exhausted, snoring retriever while the sleet rattles off a tin roof!!!!
I'd keep going, but Gene Hill would probably roll over laughing!

Steve C

From Chris: “Steve C - what else do you do with a rifle besides shoot it? ”

Same thing you do with a $30,000 bass boat besides fish from it. You stroke your ego, you stare at it lovingly, you impress your friends, you rationalize to your wife, you rationalize to yourself, you swear you’ll never do it again.

My point, and I have one, is that a $6,000 custom gun isn’t about utility. Nor are $30,000 bass boats. These are examples of totally irrational extravagances that make people feel good (for awhle anyway). And I’d feel about $24,000 better with the rifle than the bass boat.

Dr. Ralph

I use the Hoppe's No. 9 Lubricating Oil on metal and wood finishes... works for me and even my guitars like it!

Rocky Mtn Hunter

To Silver Arrow and you other guys.THANKS; At 72 today, had a great day, now want to make it to 73. After living for this # of years, I look back and recall some of the stupid purchases I;ve made. However, to my knowledge, never bought a firearm that I did not make a few bucks on. With Bank rates of today, do believe can make a better return on guns than at banks. Undecided on the Savage or Remington. Like both for the purpose I will use either.A 4 wheeler/pickup gun in 270 for W-tails here. My Walnut and Syn 700's go to the Rockies, all in either 25-06 or 30-06.Use according to the weather, Syn/SS/Walnut) After I became disabled/handicappedin l990, I do believe would have long sinse been gone had it not een for my firearms and my love of hunting. I eat, sleep, breath firearms and hunting. Just wish had gone West as a young man, there is so much game out there to hunt. All we have in big game is a zillion w-tails. Have meet many guys and their families in Colorado, Montana, and WY who have gone out of their way to make my trips a pleasure and try to get me to game. So far, been fortunate. Killed, Elk, Mulies, Antelopes, and huge w-tails. Now its for BEAR in Montana. Plan on that for next year. Guy has all the equiptment in MT and we plan to get up(camp out) very high for a few days and try for the Bear and Elk. Telling my wife that if I go bear hunting I need a new gun?????? see how that works by next trip. Think a Rem 700 in 300 Win mag, with recoil pad I can handle. But also think my 30-06 700 CDL using 220 grs would do as well? Just wish these Co's would stop making all these new firearms that I like, but thats how they stay in busines. Will let you know on the side arm I buy and the Rifle. The Ruger is ok, but the Uberti is like a Model T compared to a Lincoln Town Car. Had decided on a Vanquero till I found out was made of Alloy metal. I want cold hard steel. From the old school I suppose.Got the only Custom firearm I will every purchase, can buy a dozen Fctory 700's for price of my only Custom . If the 700's work for me, see no point in another firearm sitting in the safe. I;ve owned Remingtons for 55 years as my primary hunting guns. Read that Rem had been sold, if their quality drops to make a larger profit, will switch to another mfger. i yet think the Savage is a poor man;s rifle that deserves more credit that it gets. If I switched brands in Am, would be Savage . They got a Walnut job now, looks like the Rem BDL. Ok enough of my bull. Take care all. Good hunting and pratice a lot. Just wish for me to make it another yr for my 73rd.Plus another trip to the Rockies.o can smell those woods now.

ishawooa

Next Monday my son and I will be in the mountains with a new custom rifle. I won't bore you with the details but yesterday we determined that it is capable of remarkable accuracy at an unbelievable distance. We have a few more days to let the kid get used to the rifle which is no problem for a almost seventeen year old who has fired over 5,000 rifle and handgun rounds plus thousands of trap loads. This custom will receive the same treatment as everything else including the two decade old custom Sako actioned .338 in my hands in event of my shot at an elk or the chance bad encounter with a grizzley.
Rocky Mtn Hunter may you not only smell the woods but also the horse sweat, saddle leather, tent canvas, wallow of the elk, the odor H-4831, the disgusting odor of a rutting bull, and the rotten pelt of the bear. Absolutely marvelous aromas every one.
By the way I am only a few switchbacks behind you on the trail of old age.

Chris

Steve C: I'm not so sure I agree with all that. I'm very utilitarian when it comes to spending big money. I also believe "because it makes me happy" is as viable reason as any (I guess as long as you can afford it). The only thing I like my boat for is getting me where the fish are (and more importantly, back) with reliability and not a ton of maintenance. Plus it has enough room for all of my crap. Same reason I like and bought my truck. Again, same thing with good rods and reels, I can beat the crap out of them and they not only still work but still compensate for some of my shortcomings. And I believe good things cost good money. So I guess my whole point is that I would be happier with the $6000 custom rifle and a $24000 boat so long as I didn't have to re-mortgage my home to get it.

Rocky Mtn Hunter

iSAWOOA: Thanks for the reply. Hopefully you and especially your Son have a successful hunt. O I do lopve the aroma of the many smells of teh hunting world. Nothing like sitting by a campfire at night, (drinks of what-ever, me Coffee) and teh reliving of yesterday and the days hunt,successful or not. Kinda funny of the many excuses guys give for the lack of a kill that day. Me, I prefer to hunt a few days prior to being successful. I at one time, shot teh first legal animal I encountered in teh woods, now more selective . Suppose could say I am a trpy hunter now. Den walls full so space is limited and way to old to add another game room. I do hope your Son's custom gn works fine for him. Last year in Montana I killed a 4 x 4 Deer at 345 yds with my semi-custom Rem 700 CDL using l80 gr Scricco ammo. Those next over the ridge mountains will surely fool you in distance. A Rangefinder is a must out there. I 0 all my western guns at 200 yds and with the new Ammo will fly flat and long. Can hardly wait till time to go comes . As stated above, firearms/hunting has keep me going for past l7 years after I became handicapped and disabled. But, would crawl up the mountains to hunt Elk, Mulies, Bears,etc. And,love the rolling plains in Wy for Lopesplanned to buy a neew Remington Model 715 or 770 till today for a 4 wheeler gun in syn stock, but after I saw one, its out of the running. Now will buy a Savage in ss/syn in 270, scoped with Nikon Monarch with 24" bbl. Now a high $$$ gun, but pratical for my purpose. Have teh Uberti 44/40 on order, should arrive by time I go west. Need a side arm in those mountains. A fair shot with a handgun out to 25-40 yds.Ok enoung of my ramblings tonight,have a wonderful trip out west and let us know how thins went on this Blog. Take care, good hunting. Save me a nice Elk, I will be hunting in Montana in the Bitterrot mountains. Do plan to hunt with Don Burgess Editor of Bugle Magazine for a few days, plus my new friends in Montana, who so graceiously invited me out in 2002. Just wish 40 yrs ago, I had bought some property out there. Be worth a zillion now for me to hunt on.

mike g

I guess this is what makes life interesting, everyone has different preferences. For me it's a Sante Fe Mauser 12012 30-06. Cost Dad $15 bucks in the Alaska in 1947, has killed 50+ moose and more caribou since and kicks like a goddamed mule.

I thought about spending 5k or so on a new, pretty gun but I'd just get pissed off the first time I scratched it and would prefer spending the money on a boob job for the wife :)

Rocky Mtn Hunter

To Silver Arrow:I just blew my hunting account even before hunting season opens. I bough a A Uberti Chisholm in 45 Caliber, Walnut Checkerd Grips. In the rifle, found a new in box Remington ADL Syn Stock in 270.Looks terrible as all matt blue, but wanted a all/weather firearm, not one to look at. If this ADL works as well as my CDL 700 in 06 will be happy. Now got to buy different ammo, Scope (Nikon) and Leupold Steel Dual Dove tails bases/rings.Remington does not list their ADL in their new catalog, but some Dealers bought up a supply when found out Rem was doing away with the ADL and coming out with the 715 and 770. I saw both of those firearms and glad i did not order sight un-seen. The 715 is nothing but a Model 710 but with Black stock. The bbl is fused to the action. BBL cannot be changed. The 770 is same as 715, other than a tad more fancy stock in syn Black, it;s also fused bbl to Action.If Remington planned to do away with the ADL, why they did not replace it with a better quality firearm. Guy at Remington I talked with, said all was about MONEY,. that the 710 had sold well??? if so why stop making? Just will use these I already own and the new ones till I find somethig better I like. But the BDL's and CDL's and the Auto 742's worked well for me.PS; Wal-mart has many of the AdL's in both Laminated and blk syn in most calibers at a fair price of $384.00 No nights or scopes, just a plain Jane firearm, ugly but functional I hope. Will know in a few days when get Gun Smith to attach the Dove tail and scope. Now its almost hunting time. Can feel it in my bones. With- out huntig/firearms in my poor health, I would go crazy. As I live, eat, breath the above.Got my scouting finished to a point her on my farm. A few nice ucks, and a WHOPPER 10 with at least a 22-24" spread. I sure hope I can kill him with my B/P gun which opens a week prior to the rifle. Not a lot of B/P hunters in my area. The Idios think a 30-06 or 30-30 is a black powder firearm. I've got in-lines B.P and 2 T/C side lock b/p. One is Hwken with 28" bbl, other is Renegade in 24" bbl or may be 26"??? plan to use 777 pellets and Powerbuilt 245 gr Sabots in all three. Will take 2 of the B/P firearms to stand with me, as if need a 2nd shot, deer will be gone in our small cleared fields. Each field surrounded by big timber, so thick can hardley walk thru. Could contine, but past my bedtime. Good hunting. Pratice a lot and hunt often. Wish I had hunted more when was much younger and able to walk the Rocky Mtns. ButI do with the cards dealt out.Gunslinger down south. O I can smell the woods, and gun powder now.Better get my hunting junk together, in mood to go.

R.T.

Ed Brown is not making left handed rifles, even though David somehow is getting a private stash made. Can you at least not show the Ed Brown's for us lefty's who would love to have one of his guns.

SilverArrow

RMH
Glad you got your .45 LC! Let us know how you do this year!
SA

Rocky Mtn Hunter

Thanks Silver Arrow: If could not hunt, suppose I'd go crazy sitting around reading about you guys hunting. Want to make a statement about custom guns. I got a Custom job, made on a Mauser action, gun is beautiful and shoots well to 100 yds, beyond not up to my standards. Will hit a plate at 2-300 yds, but my 700 will do much better. If I were having a custom gun built in Am, would be on a Rem 700 Action.I'm not sold on the Mauser converted to custom rifles yet. Maybe the one I have needs some attention, but bbl looks and feels great. My Gunsmith has checked it out, and does not uinderstsand why it will not pattren better at 200 yds than it does.When I bought it, it was chambered for a 308. I especially wanted a 30-06 so had the chamber rebored to the 30-06. Did not change bbls or mess with one on it now. Think If I can find a home for it I will and then spend that $$$ for a new 700 CDL and the remaining $$$ for another trip west. Don;t really need s show and tell firearm, need guns I will use in my last few hunting years. The new Remingtons have a different trigger now, the safety blocks the sear and firing pin. Guy at Rem told me I could purchase a new trigger from Rem for about 90 bucks. Do like the sear blocked as well as firing pin.But above all, safety is the best solution. Make sure where the muzzle is pointed. O well, repeating myself, but love to talk guns/hunting. Take care. Chat again soon.

Bryce Clevenger

It really annoys me when you write calmly and with common sense as I REALLY enjoy disagreeing with you. Were I buying a custom gun, and I understand all too well the drive to own one, hopefully I would consider much of what you have said. Never will I claim to have your experience but I have said some very similar things to my son when I have passed him a gun from the rack at the gunshop to heft and get a feel for. An old gunsmith did that for me a few decades ago and I owe him.

Rocky Mtn Hunter

Bryce: Thats what makes this Blog so intereting, we all don't see alike. All I can write is from TRUE experiences. If you got a better MOUSE TRAP let me know. Even at age 72,I'm still open for suggestions that will enhance my ability to fill my tags and have an enjoyable outing. Last year in Douglass, Wy, was the best hunt I ever been on.It was a Handicapp/disabled hunt that has been taking guys/gals like me on a Lope hunt for 20+ yrs. A man/wife team along with JIM ZUMBO began this hunt along with the backing of the town of Douglas and the local Ranchers and many volunteers. I really hope I can return to Douglas in immediate future for another Antelope hunt. Please disagree with me anytime, providing it benefits me and the others on this Blog. Teach your Son well. I missed out on that, as my Dad never did a lot of hunting, other than Rabbits. Best I recall, he only owned one firearm, a single shot 16 gag. I bought my first gun at age 10 for 5 bucks at a trinket shop. So never too young to teach your offsprings experiences. Good hunting.

Dr. Ralph

RMH as much as we argue, I still respect everything about you... hope you make it another 73 years.

Rocky Mtyn Hunter

Thanks Dr. Ralph. Yep, we all do get bent out of shape now and then, but suppose it's good we all can dis-agree and continue on our journey. I look forward to each day I wake up and wonder if this may be the last? Hunting/Guns and BS keep me going. I yet make long range plans for hunting trips. In fact already made arrangements for 2008, now all I gotta do is stay alive and somewhat healthy to fullfill another wonderful outing in the Rockies. Take care and we will meet again on this Blog I;m sure. Thanks for wishing me a continued long life. Its great to know people still care about ones we never meet.The old Gunslinger




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