March 31, 2010
Bourjaily: A Happy Ending to the Bo Whoop Story
By Phil Bourjaily
Previously I posted about the sale of author Nash Buckingham’s missing A.H. Fox shotgun “Bo Whoop,” the most famous American shotgun of all time. It disappeared in 1948, resurfaced in 2006, and was sold at auction earlier this month. In a followup post I said it sold for $175,000 at James D. Julia’s auction on March 15. Wes Dillon of Julia’s corrects me: there was a 15% buyer’s premium (a fee the buyer pays to the auction house) added, so the full price paid was $201,250.
Dillon also told me the buyer’s name: Hal B. Howard, Jr. Howard is Buckingham’s godson, the son of Nash’s best friend, and a frequent hunting companion. Not a gun collector, Howard bought the gun purely for sentimental reasons. He will present it to Ducks Unlimited at DU’s national meeting in Dallas this May. Bo Whoop will go on display at DU headquarters in Memphis, alongside Nash’s second Super Fox, Bo Whoop II, which is already there. Short of Howard or his children – he is 84 -- knocking down limits of greenheads in flooded timber with his godfather’s gun, that is the absolute best ending to the Bo Whoop saga imaginable given that Buckingham was from Memphis and devoted so much of his energy to waterfowl conservation.