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Poppa's Shotgun


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Going Dove hunting on opening day this Thursday with my hunting buddy. Down the hill,   in a place called Aguila where they have some cantaloupe fields. Went to the gun safe and picked out a gun. i have several shotguns for upland game, some really nice ones. However I saw poppa's gun, he bought it at Dooley's Hardware in  Long Beach , Calif  when I was twelve", I went with him when he got it, and he held my hand as we crossed the street. (I swear I can smell his aftershave when I hold it).   It is an old Winchester Model 12 pump. It was a duck gun and I had 2 inches cut off the barrel and had it fitted for a modified choke. He passed  more than a few years ago at 99 and I am 67 but  Poppa and I are going dove hunting on Thursday. I may even, Lord willing, grill up some dove breast wrapped in bacon. 



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Great hunt, although the spot we used to go to in the picked cantaloupe fields was now posted. We hunted a new spot by a cattle tank in the middle of the desert. bunches of flies, thank God for Deet. Amazing thing, the older I get the faster Doves fly. Really beautiful out there,  threatening rain all day, amazing clouds and light quality. Managed to knock down a few.  Not a whole lot flying and those that did came in really low about 10' off the ground and  just over the brush tops. Lots and lots of fun, loved shooting Poppa's gun and felt his spirit with me. All in all completely  fulfilled the reason we all go hunting, the beauty of nature, fellowship with friends, and remembering traditions. I loved everything about the hunt, leaving early, loading the truck, driving through beautiful country, talking to my buddies, the smell of the rain on the desert, just absolutely fantastic regardless of the number of doves I knocked down  We combined our doves and my hunting buddy gave them to the wife of a guy he used to hunt with for years, but who recently passed away. Very sweet act, met with tears and a hugged thank you. Already thinking about opening day for quail. 

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