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January 24, 2008

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The Best Day of All?

This fall will be my 40th season of big-game hunting. I've been lucky enough to do a lot of it. I have lots of memories,  but there is one day in particular that stands out in my mind. It was a caribou hunt in Alaska, perhaps 100 miles east of Dillingham (population 2,468, plus 80 security cameras, bought on a Homeland Security grant in 2006 in case Osama should try to infiltrate through a fishing village) and took place in the mid-1990s. I was there with two other hunters and I had gotten a caribou the day before, so I got to stay in camp while they went looking.
      
I was all by my lonesome in the middle of true wilderness. No roads, no power lines, no planes, no contrails, no nothing, just me in a tent camp by a river whose name I have forgotten.
      
It was a beautiful day; blue sky, no wind, no rain, no bugs. I split some wood in the morning, and for lunch made a sandwich out of  Argentine corned beef whose principle ingredients were salt, water, and horsemeat. For the rest of the time I simply sat by the river and watched the salmon roll.
      
Around 4 PM the clouds came in and after them a downpour with high winds. This was Alaska, after all. I went to our tents and started fires in the sheepherder stoves, and before long the others returned drenched, near-hypothermic, and caribou-less. (If there's anything that can bring joy to a hunter's heart it's being inside while your friends are catching hell outdoors.)
      
And that was about it. I don't know why I think of this unremarkable day so often, but there is a lesson here. We don't know how many days afield we are going to get, or which ones we will ultimately value the most, so it's best to appreciate all of them--good, bad, and ordinary.

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Comments

Clay Cooper

sarg, that M-14 will eat a magnums lunch at 1000 yards with open sights if set up right. Those extraterrestrial scopes really screws the mind up looking thru it and open sights are easier and quicker to make wind and elevation changes.

sarg

Rocky Mtn Hunter:

[email protected]

E-mail me for info on Ky. Elk. I'll E-mail you the page from "the book"

Last date is April.

sarg

Rocky MtnHunter, got your E-mail, did reply with the info you need.. The book will be hard to e-mail the info is broken up through the book, go to fw.ky.gov and they may send a vcopy, if you need mor info, I can send you a copy by mail. just let me know if you need it.

Any of you guys need a manual on your Rem. products go to:www.remington.com, they will send by mail a copy of their guide, I got one on my 1985 Rem.700.

sarg

Any one needing printable targets, sighting in, comp., varmints etc. go to :www.varminthunters.com/targets. Download the ones you want, save or print them. They look good and are easy to run off if you want more later on. I have a store bought target program but these look better and are free. www.varminthunters.com/targets

Tom De Barber

I purchased a shotgun years ago from an old farmer in Illinois. He called it a "Gentlemens Shotgun" it is a 1968 SABATTI, 12 gauge, 3" magnum, Over and under. It is a very light shotgun. It has gold inlay and trigger. It was made by Fabbrica Italiana and is marked Gardome V.T. Is it possible to find out what its worth?? Thnaks Tom

Robert Cox

I got this rifle when my dad passed it is a 30 40 craig and sporterized very nice looking rifle still looks like it was blued yesterday was wandering what the value is if you could. thank you

Jack Gunsallus

Dave i have a st wackes recklinghousen 20 ga. doublebarrel steel,silver ingraving of birddog flushing a bird ser # ff9733 my dad was a gun nut colecter i remember in 1965 him paying $ 2500.00 for it at a PA gunshow at Mt.View Inn Greensburg Pa. could you call me for further discusion 412-554-5535




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