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by Tony a.k.a. wheeler45 Last updated: 2012-06-30 17:42:39
Fledgling handgun hunter.
David Delph and I had been hunting buddies for years. He was the better hunter. One late summer morning we found ourselves squirrel hunting near Warrington, Indiana. Dave was carrying his .45 caliber percussion muzzleloading rifle and I had my 5-inch S&W Model 14 K-38 loaded with 148 grain wadcutters. Dave thought that I was nuts. We had been in the woods for a while and finally heard a squirrel cutting. We snuck through the woods until we got sixty yards from the tree. There he was clinging to the side barking at us. We had run out of cover. Dave decided he would take the shot. He braced his rifle in the fork of a sapling and aimed. He aimed, and aimed, and aimed. He would aim and then lift his head and look at the squirrel. Of course, being the encouraging friend that I was, I was giving him the dickens. He finally said that he did not think he could hit. I told him that it was so close I could kill it with my pistol. He laughed and told that there was no way, so put my money where my mouth was. At the time I was an N.R.A. bullseye pistol shooter. I cocked the revolver and aimed with one hand. The squirrel was about a third of the front sight wide. I fired and, SMACK! I do not know who was more surprised, me, Dave or the squirrel. We ran to the tree and found a nice .38 hole in the squirrel’s chest. We laughed and decided to call it a day. That was more than thirty years ago and I am still amazed.
My first handgunned deer.
It was a nice and brisk Indiana morning when Tommy Thompson, Bill Palmer and I headed to Switzerland County for some deer hunting. We had been successful the previous couple of years. I decided to try killing a deer with a handgun. My Mossberg shotgun had accounted for several, but since Indiana had just legalized handgun deer hunting I wanted to do it. On my hip this day was my four inch S&W 57 .41 Magnum. It was accurate enough for qualifying expert and I wanted to make it my new duty gun. I thought that it would be neat carrying my deer gun as my duty gun. This was 1987 and we were still required to carry revolvers. Our sheriff’s Dept. Issued S&W M 686 .357 Magnums, but we could carry a different sixgun if we qualified with it. I grew up reading Guns and Ammo and knew that Elmer Keith, Bill Jordan and Jeff Cooper had to right about big bores. Today I was hoping to enter their ranks. Tommy and Bill were using shotguns.
I spent the morning sitting without seeing anything. Deer populations were much lower back then. At lunch we met at the truck and compared notes. We were all deerless.
After lunch I decided to still hunt. Sixgun in hand I started walking a ridge line. After a while I saw two does trot into a tangle of brush and tree limbs. Easing a step and then watching, I approached the blowdown. I knew they were in it as I occasionally saw an ear flick. At about twenty yards from the brush pile they either heard or winded me and bolted. The pair trotted straight up the opposite hillside. I tracked one with my cocked revolver. One went over the top and one stopped. At fifty yards she swapped ends and looked at me. I placed the red front sight inlay on her brisket and fired. I heard the Remington 210 grain jacketed soft point bullet smack her and watched as she stutter hopped over the hill crest. Walking to the impact point I saw no blood. About thirty yards over the crest she was stone dead. I was amazed. My first handgunned deer was at my feet. Since then I have hunted with a handgun whenever it was legal.
Tommy and Bill went home empty handed that day, but we were all happy. We had been allowed another day in God’s great outdoors doing what we loved.
Praise Jesus forever!
Tony Huffman #8113
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