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Several years back a friend and I were walking around a large gun show, looking for grips for our pistols. We kept seeing the signs that stated “New Old Stock” so without putting too much thought effort into this, we ask what this meant. It was explained that the item or items for sale, were new. Only the stock had been in their possession for some time, and therefore Old, and or possibly, discontinued. Well isn’t that just Jim Dandy. Well we finally got what we were looking for and that now brings me to this story of a New OLD friend.
I had just got back into town, and unloaded the truck of things that did not need to be carried around town for the temptation of poor souls who think that they cannot earn an honest living, and must resort to stealing items from people’s cars. So I removed my camera, along with some other things that I like to have on hand. I proceeded to another town 17 or so miles away, to visit with some cronies and sort of catch up on the latest what’s happening. Informed of the whereabouts of some of the guys revealed that we had lost a very fine gentleman, who was quite the hunter, reloader and knifemaker. FYI : Two of our past Presidents own one of his knives. Seems quite a few friends were at the funeral. I would have been too, had I known, and or could have made it into town soon enough.
One of my two, best friends told me of these things, and stated that my other buddy would be back shortly. After catching up and saying all the usual, I left to go see my other friend. Quickly we went to help a friend in need get his Ditch Witch going again. I am good at supervising you know. Good conversations of shooting coyotes and shooting craps entailed. After finishing and heading back towards town, My buddy ask me if I wanted to go hunting on his place? Hmmm, was this a trick question? As any sane person in my position would reply, was of course. But let me go back home since I do not have a gun with me. What?? Are you kidding me? I can’t believe what I am hearing! He remarked that he had never known me to not have at least one, if not several with me. OK, OK, I really screwed up, I know. If there is any way that someone out there might forgive me, I am just hoping this is possible. Well he being the wonderful, kind and very Generous, ( with everyone I might add) person that he is, said, Too late, it’s just too late, for you to go all the way back and then come out and hunt. And I knew that he was right. It was getting late in the day. Being the sort of gentleman he is, and my buddy of course, and him owning a gun or two, suggested that I just borrow a gun and get on out in the field. Well of course this met with my overwhelming satisfaction. I ask can I use one of your pistols. Well, which one? It would not matter too much for me whatever you find handy, well I got 41 mag, 44mag, and a couple of 45s came the reply. That suits me just fine anyone of the above, or if I get a choice let me shoot your 41 maggie since I have never got to shoot it before.
Well come to think of it, I think the only ammo I have loaded for it, is my Elk hammers. That would be ok I guess,,, No you don’t understand, that ammo I have is loaded for an Elk. OK Let’s just stop right here. FYI: My buddy was an Elk guide in Colorado for many years. Hey I want to borrow a gun and go hunting OK? Well I tell him that it is fine with me if I use a 44 mag or 45, since I shoot those all the time. He didn’t say anything, and I wondered what he might come up with? We get to the house and walk in, and he just grabs a rifle leaning against the wall. NO Kids at this house… He hands me a rifle and tells me that if I can’t get it done with that, then I do not need to come back.
I looked and the safety was on. I guess this thing is loaded huh? Yes it is! Well you don’t mind if I un-chamber it, until we get to where we are going. That would be best,, My gosh this is a beauty, and this is a 7MM mag, nice choice. No wonder you said what you did. I can get it done with this, and how have you got it sighted? An inch high at 100 yards came the reply. Let’s go! Let me grab a jacket just in case I need it. And that is all I got! What the hell am I doing? Why did I not get anything else? Off we go! We get to the place where he says that he had been seeing deer. This is the beauty of having a farmer for a friend. HIS Land, His stand, His knowledge, all put to use by me. He says as he driving off, I got a little more plowing to do, and I will pick you up after dark. Now he had told me on the way into this bottom area, that I would see XXX and YYY and to shoot X for him if I did not mind. He even told me where he wanted me to shoot the deer. I said no problem.
So all this is running through my mind, and I climb some stairs to a really nice fiberglass stand. I open the windows and sit down, and look around. I rechamber the round, and I think this looks good. Since I do know a little about guns I am checking things out. I am holding in my hands a Remington BDL with the ebony cap on the fore-end, and a beautiful stock. It had the original pad on it, and the worn sling spoke of its years of service from days gone by, of carrying the weapon into mountains and woods and being used to assist in steadying the rifle for Elk and Deer alike. The bluing was worn some in certain spots that could have been from a scabbard, while riding on horseback in Colorado. The Weaver screamed that I am Vintage, and I knew that it was, because it was a V9 The scope was still clear enough for me to get the job done, and taking the power back down, from 9 to 5 was better for me I felt. The whole outfit probably came from the early 60s.
I get settled and find myself thinking about what I was doing here. Yes, I was hunting, and I was helping my friend. He is not too old, to hunt, it is just that he has not had the time to do it lately. So whoever was doing the favor, I felt it was crazy to be here with no knife, no binoculars, no water, and here I am in a blue shirt. What has that got to do with this? Well I had read the deer can see blue. And you should never wear blue into the field. Well, I can’t prove or disprove this, and I did not have time to find out, nor time to change shirts. Besides I was in a blind. A nice blind, where they could not see. So I just enjoyed myself as best as possible and took in the wasps as they searched for openings and the spiders making haste to catch one of the moths that were in the stand. I just sat and wondered, as to why I had left everything at home? I have got to start carrying things with me this time of year. Well I can beat myself up later, yeah, yeah, You have cleaned many a deer and Hog with your two custom knives and yes I wanted to shoot a pistol, what the hell is everyone going to think? Crap, I have been so busy, and to think I should have brought my pistol? I haven’t even got some of the loads of my own tested. Talk about unprepared, Yep, and I even took out the camera! Took it out of the truck! How am I going to do this? I can’t prove I shot anything and I am not sure at this point that I even want to tell this crazy tale. Oh I have seen, and heard, where the truth is stranger than fiction. The temperature is almost 70 degrees! Texas has had the craziest weather I have seen in several years. Look at this I am deer hunting with my sleeves rolled up, wishing I had something cool or cold to drink and wondering if the wasps I ran off are going to bring their friends back? Am I really deer hunting? It is so hot that I have the door open on the deer blind. But yet, I had not been in the field 10 minutes when the deer appeared from nowhere. Like ghosts they seem to be so vague in the gray colored trees. But I felt jubilant that I had spotted them before they came into the clearing. My eyes had not failed to recognize the creatures I was waiting for. The deer seem to be anxious, and something was behind them, and they kept looking back. I was thinking that maybe a large buck was going to appear but it did not, and then not quite as easy as the other deer were seen, I see another deer, a big 8 point come from across the fence in the opposite direction. He was a beauty and big bodied. Judged to be 2 ½ years old maybe 3 ½. Then from another direction two little bucks (yearlings) come walking up. All of them seem to be preoccupied with something that was in this one direction, and they kept looking and looking. Well I waited and waited and nothing was coming to greet me. The deer start to leave and I knew that I had to take care of business. I had a very short lived chance and I decided to take it. I take aim at the deer that I was instructed to shoot. I start to squeeze the trigger and nothing, ( Now,, I am used to a 2 LB trigger on all my rifles and three of my pistols.) I had taken the safety off, and I knew I had. It should have gone off by now, The deer is getting jittery and has moved twice! It stops! I squeeze some more, and just when I am thinking that this is getting painful waiting on this thing to go off,,, Boom that gun fired, and the deer went down DRT. It was over.
Or was it? Gee Wally, it is awfully early. I still have an hour and half till dark, so, not much to do except take a look at the blessing and bounty. After my prayer of thanksgiving, I steep in the pleasure of the short lived hunt.
After dark my buddy comes to pick me up and upon inspection he is very happy with the results. Later I hear him telling his son what a great job I did and that I had done everything just like he had asked me to do. Shooting the correct deer, and shooting it where he said to shoot it, it was important to me, as well as him. These kind of things, get you invited back. Well, we are cleaning the deer, and hear some commotion. Suddenly this younger man appears and asks about the land he is on, and if he can have permission to continue with his hunt. He is known by my buddy, and is given permission to hunt. The dogs are trailing a hog and he quickly tells us of a hog they just got that was about 280 LBS. Well I have to go, and keep after them. We will get with you later,,, fading off. Hopefully this will be another adventure. Right now, my biggest concern is to decide how I am going to cook the tenderloin I was just given. I have a couple of ways and they are both very good. I was given a roast and a back strap from the deer. Now you can’t beat this! To me I was helping a friend and he in turn decided to help me in giving me some of the venison. Well I got to thinking of all that had taken place so quickly that afternoon, as I had time to reflect back, while heading home.
The gun, the scope, the cartridge, all came from the 60s. To some this is old, but to me all of these were new. I had never shot a 7mm mag and had heard stories of how they kicked and that they were too powerful. It did not kick to me, barely more than my 30-06. The gun was new to me as well as the cartridge. The scope was vintage, and I had not tested it before. The scope as well, as the gun, performed like it was brand new. And even though it all may be old, I now knew, that I had found a “New Old Friend.”
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