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Hunters have favorite Ol Betsy' in gun collection

By the time you read this, the opening day of our first 2009 hunting season will have occurred. Dove season! For many of us this is in itself a big day. As I write this, here in northeast Louisiana, we are experiencing unusual cool weather. Only at noon on Sept. 5 will we know the duration of this phenomenon. At any rate, we will have experience “getting Ol' Betsy” out and “busting a few caps.”

I mention Ol' Betsy because most of us have favorite guns. I use the word “gun” to include pistols, shotguns and rifles. These are the firearms that we trust and have faith in. You know what I mean, when the trigger is pulled, something happens.

Pistols: I like the real old Colt Model 1911 Government Model in .45 ACP. This firearm has proved itself all around the world for almost a century. I have a Colt Commander that I sleep on might near every night.

I own the second Smith & Wesson M-66 I ever saw. It's nothing more than a stainless steel Model 19. This pistol was my companion for probably 17 or 18 years of my law enforcement career. Tried and true, it's just darn near bulletproof. When the chores of fighting crime and evil ended, it went to the firing line in the competition mode. Again it served me well in the service revolver class.

I would later on progress to a Smith & Wesson Model 686. This is a heavier L-frame 6-shot .357 magnum. Meeting the requirements for the service revolver class, this pistol helped me to the top of the pile in competition.

Along about mid-way of my stint with the state of Louisiana, a state pistol team was started. The top shooter from each wildlife and fisheries region in the state made up the team. We had some really good shooters, not to have any more backing from the department than we had. We had fun and I believe to this day could have made a national debut with a little more financing. It cost money to shoot.

This pistol rides almost daily with me now, not in an offensive mode but in the insurance or defensive position.

Squirrel season will be opening next in Louisiana, usually around the first weekend in October. This again will bring out our shotguns.

In the meantime, our deer food plots need attention now. I know everybody and his brother is in the fields now on a harvest crew or doing fall fieldwork, but just a simple Bush-Hogging now will make soil preparation much easier.

Go by your camp and throw out some rat poison, mothballs, and some kind of insecticide. Bring the dishes and utensils home to the dishwasher. First thing you know, we will be through farming this year and be able to “spend a little time at the camp.”

If you get a chance, take a kid fishing or hunting. For that matter, take anyone. One doesn't have to kill to enjoy our outdoors. Some of the best friends and meals are made “at the camp.”

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