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  • August 31, 2009

    Bourjaily: How to Shoot From Station 8

    By Phil Bourjaily

    Now is the time of year when a lot of hunters shoot their annual round of skeet to tune up. When they get to station 8, the last shots on the field, they encounter birds thrown seemingly right at them at a million miles an hour. They miss, then grumble that station 8 replicates no shot you would ever take in the field.  I used to say the same thing until I learned how to make the shot. Now I love station 8. The video below is of me shooting from it.

  • August 28, 2009

    Bourjaily: Gas Guns for More Doves

    By Phil Bourjaily

    I once mentioned to a southerner that in Iowa where I live, mourning doves are protected songbirds.* “Ain’t worth livin’ there,” he said. Every year, on September 1, I think he might be right. Unless I manage a trip out of state, I am stuck on the sidelines for the biggest opening day of the season, rooting for all of you who are lucky enough to live where doves can be hunted.

  • August 27, 2009

    Petzal: A Parting Thought on Senator Kennedy

    By David E. Petzal

    Now that the news is all Ted, all the time (which at least is a relief from all Michael, all the time) and the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy is on his way to being Saint Teddy, we should remember that he was an implacable enemy of the Second Amendment, and that there never was an anti-gun law he did not like. Kennedy blamed guns for his brothers’ deaths. The reality is a little different.

  • August 26, 2009

    Bourjaily: Simple Test to Find Your Dominant Eye

    By Phil Bourjaily

    Today we have a test with no wrong answer.

    Most introductions to shotgunning begin with the “master eye” test. You hold your arms straight out at eye level, fingers up, palms out, hands overlapping, leaving a small hole between the hands  through which you sight a faraway object. Then you pull your hands back, keeping the object in sight, until they wind up over one eye or the other. That’s your master eye. If you pull your hands back over the other eye, the object you were looking at disappears. You can also keep you arms extended, sight the target with both eyes, then close one eye then the other.  The object will seem to jump sideways out of sight when you close your dominant eye. Try it.

  • August 24, 2009

    Bourjaily: Pizza Chain Helps Young Hunters

    By Phil Bourjaily

    My wife is a half-Italian native of the Jersey Shore, and while there are many things she’s learned to like about the Midwest in 25 years living here, our pizza is not one of them. It is, she tells me, too cheesy, too greasy, inadequately spiced and utterly without nuance. 

    Grudgingly, I have to admit she’s right.  The pizza Pam grew up with in the east is way better than what we have out here. So, mostly we go without.

  • August 21, 2009

    Gun Nut Wrong! Plaxico Goes to Prison

    By David E. Petzal

    On December 19 of last year, I boldly predicted that former New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress would avoid doing prison time for illegally carrying a Glock and shooting himself in the leg with same. I also quoted a judge friend of mine (a merciless man whose personal heroes are Jack Ketch and Isaac Parker) as saying that although there are ways around felony charges, this happened in the Kingdom of Bloomberg, and there was no way Plaxico was going to skate.

  • August 21, 2009

    Bourjaily: Browning Shotguns Economic Stimulus Package

    By Phil Bourjaily

    If your local gun stores are like mine, they now actually have AR 15s sitting in the racks, waiting for someone to buy them. Handguns, too. There are even a few rifle primers to be found. The buying frenzy that started in October is tapering off. Guns that never even made it to the shelf before someone bought them are sitting now.

  • August 20, 2009

    Rifles of Interest: Remington Model 700 Custom Shop AWR II

    By David E. Petzal


    The Remington Custom Shop in Ilion, NY has, over the past 30 years or so, turned out pretty guns, very accurate target rifles, and tactical rifles, but serious, high-grade working rifles were not on the menu. This all changed a year ago when the company brought in a product development manager named Carlos M. Martinez, who is a rabid hunter. Quicker than you could say “major investment in new machinery for the shop in Ilion,” there sprang forth a line of very earnest high-grade working rifles.

  • August 19, 2009

    Bourjaily: Poetry Contest Winner

    By Phil Bourjaily

    Because I am poetically challenged, I fobbed the judging of the poetry contest onto my son Gordon, (author of “Flight of the Pellets”) who is home for two weeks in between interning with the Wilderness Society in Washington, D.C. this summer and beginning his junior year of college. Here’s how he judged the contest:

    There were a bunch of good poems, to be honest, and three in particular really stood out. ENO's was neat--repetition is always effective, and always hard, and it's handled here well. The poem is formally quite like its subject matter--slow, measured, and dignified. I'm imagining this poem read aloud, and liking it.

    Weathered steel in weathered hands…
    and a fine walnut stock with a weathered brand.
    Side by side two weathered barrels stand…

  • August 17, 2009

    Petzal: Stabbed in the Back By Your Gun?

    By David E. Petzal

    Yesterday, the club that tolerates my presence held its annual African Shoot which is limited to rifles of .375 H&H and bigger. The shoot stresses rapid fire and rapid reloading with a reasonable degree of accuracy. Most of the rifles there were bolt-actions, with one Ruger Number One and half a dozen doubles including a black-powder 8-bore. The most popular caliber was .375 H&H, and there were some .416s and .470s.

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