September 12, 2013
Wisconsin Angler Lands 200-Year-Old Flintlock
By Ben Romans
Fond du Lac, Wisconsin angler Ray Groff was fishing Lake Winnebago on September 4th, 2013, when he pulled up anchor and discovered a 200-year-old flintlock rifle stuck to the end.
He told the Fond du Lac Reporter he saw the barrel first and immediately knew what he had snagged, even though most of the stock was missing and the 47-inch barrel was covered with zebra mussels. Ironically, there was still a piece of flint lodged in the hammer—frozen in the half-cocked position.
The origins of the rifle aren’t known, though the area is historically famous for hosting frontier trappers and Native American tribes in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Groff thinks someone traveling to or from a trading post may have lost it overboard.
Other than applying some type of sealant, Groff says he plans to display the gun exactly how he found it on a wall next to his other trophy, a mounted 44-inch northern pike.