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The Real Deal: The Story of Finn Aagaard, Part II

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May 19, 2006

The Real Deal: The Story of Finn Aagaard, Part II

By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily

Editor's Note: click here to read The Real Deal: The Story of Finn Aagaard, Part I

Aagaard_1 Finn, like a number of Professional Hunters I’ve known, had an ironclad code of ethics, and point number one was that you didn’t shoot anything for fun (prairie dogs were the one exception). Once, when we were hunting together in Texas, we came across a tank (that’s catchbasin in Yankee) that was swarming with monster snapping turtles. I remarked that it might be fun to shoot a few, since I loathe them, and he didn’t speak to me for the rest of the day.

On that same trip his truck broke down, and we had to cut the hunt short and limp home without my getting what I was after. He refused to take any money for the hunt—not even gas money. To his way of thinking, he had not fulfilled his part of the bargain, and he was not entitled to anything.

Finn kept a scrapbook on his rifles, which I’ve never seen anyone else do. Everything that was ever done to those guns was in that book. Loads, scopes mounted, hunts, trigger work, anything. It was fascinating reading, and I wish someone would publish it.

He was deafer than I am, and whenever we ended up on a trip together, he always was glad to see me. “Now I’m not the only deaf old bastard here,” he’d say.

I hope that wherever he is, the game is plentiful, the country is good for walking, and he has a Mauser-actioned rifle with a low-power scope in an old and unfashionable caliber.

Comments (11)

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from Alan Katchur wrote 7 years 12 weeks ago

American Rifleman Magazine speaks of the re-loading Finn Aagaard did for the 375 H&H. I am interested in reloading for my pre-64 Win. Model 70 375 H&H. Has Finn published any articles that would get me started in the right direction? Also, any suggested books that would help. Have experience in reloading for .270 and 30-06, but not 375.

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from Dave Petzal wrote 7 years 46 weeks ago

Dear Mr. Worley: The .30/30 was the first smokeless powder cartridge to make it big time, and has killed enough deer to populate a good-sized country. It doesn't get much press because it's not glamorous, but under 200 yards, it's highly effective. I would go with 150- rather than 170-grain ammo; I think you'll get somewhat better results. Marlin 336s are often surprisingly accurate, so try a couple of brands of ammo to see what shoots best, and if you're looking to shoot at ranges beyond 200, give the new Hornady spitzer ammo a try.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from David Worley wrote 7 years 46 weeks ago

sir. It seems that there is very little information published on the 30-30 round,it's good and bad points. Or any thing having to do with hunting with it. I own a Marlin 336 lever action 30-30. I haven't hunted with it much but a ranger friend told me of some of it's good and bad points. Will you help me, as I know you can? They do call you the gun nut!Thank You DW Missouri. ps. I do look forward to getting in close for the kill.Tracking and out witting the wildlife!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Alyson Wilson wrote 7 years 47 weeks ago

Aagaard's ethical approach and demand that others around him adhdere to his rules is admirable, as is your admiration for him. In fact, it's also inspiring to peruse your reader's comments responding so strongly to your post. Their respect for animals and for hunting is noble.Thanks for the great blog,Alyson, thisnext.com/blog

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mark W. wrote 7 years 47 weeks ago

I was taught not to shoot anything I didn't eat. My grandfather made me eat a woodpecker I shot when I was a kid...I would have rather chewed on the sole of my boot than to gnaw on that tough bird.(I do shoot at a few turtles though to get them out of my pond...nothing better than turtle pot pie!).Finn sounds like a man with strongs ethics. That is something alot of people are lacking these days.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Greg Smith wrote 7 years 47 weeks ago

On the question in the article about .325 WSM- "So round, so firm, so fully packed..." the late great John Hartford's "Golden Globe Awards"....Those Golden Globes, there ain't none better, gotta have 'em both 'cause they both go together, gonna see you get that Golden Globe Award... Your inquiry sure brought a smile to my face! Thanks

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Richard Clary wrote 7 years 47 weeks ago

Reading what was written by Mr AAgaard was always a joy. I suspect that knowing him, much like myself or some of my friends, would have been a bit of liking the big part of him and putting up with the rest. As to your inquiry on p. 32 I think it was Peppe LePew and the fat drunk who hated Philly...hahaha. Say? Are you trying to take up where Jeff Cooper left off?.... Best.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Richard Clary wrote 7 years 47 weeks ago

Reading what was written by Mr AAgaard was always a joy. I suspect that knowing him, much like myself or some of my friends, would have been a bit of liking the big part of him and putting up with the rest. As to your inquiry on p. 32 I think it was Peppe LePew and the fat drunk who hated Philly...hahaha. Say? Are you trying to take up where Jeff Cooper left off?.... Best.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from El-Wazir wrote 7 years 47 weeks ago

Mr. Petzal,Thanks for your respectful comments on Finn. You have a big, big, Hemingway heart.I don't know if there's enough material in Finn's gun diaries for a $35 book, but I'd sure settle for a running series of feature articles in Field & Stream, each one a diary of Finn's experiences with a particular rifle.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from David Beleny wrote 7 years 47 weeks ago

Mr. Petzal:June issueShort & Sweet .325WSM"So Round, So Firm, So fully Packed""It Was Standing On The Rack""Someone Stole The Keeshka When I Turned My Back""Who Stole The Keeshka?""Won't You Bring It Back?"Polka Dave in Ohio, calling a Cop

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kevin wrote 7 years 47 weeks ago

Mr. Petzal,Thanks for sharing more about Mr. Aagaard. Why do you think that Mr. Aagaard viewed shooting prairie dogs as acceptable, but not turtles? Did he feel that prairie dogs were a problem to livestock and people due to their holes, crop damage, and ability to host plague-ridden fleas? I view prairie dogs as having much more cute appeal than turtles. Plus, I view turtles as competitors for the fish that I like to catch out of tanks. Truthfully, I restrict my killing to mostly edible stuff. Mr. Aagaard's views were pretty interesting and very admirable in many circumstances. I've found some of his articles on the internet since you first posted about him. Thanks!

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Alan Katchur wrote 7 years 12 weeks ago

American Rifleman Magazine speaks of the re-loading Finn Aagaard did for the 375 H&H. I am interested in reloading for my pre-64 Win. Model 70 375 H&H. Has Finn published any articles that would get me started in the right direction? Also, any suggested books that would help. Have experience in reloading for .270 and 30-06, but not 375.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave Petzal wrote 7 years 46 weeks ago

Dear Mr. Worley: The .30/30 was the first smokeless powder cartridge to make it big time, and has killed enough deer to populate a good-sized country. It doesn't get much press because it's not glamorous, but under 200 yards, it's highly effective. I would go with 150- rather than 170-grain ammo; I think you'll get somewhat better results. Marlin 336s are often surprisingly accurate, so try a couple of brands of ammo to see what shoots best, and if you're looking to shoot at ranges beyond 200, give the new Hornady spitzer ammo a try.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from David Worley wrote 7 years 46 weeks ago

sir. It seems that there is very little information published on the 30-30 round,it's good and bad points. Or any thing having to do with hunting with it. I own a Marlin 336 lever action 30-30. I haven't hunted with it much but a ranger friend told me of some of it's good and bad points. Will you help me, as I know you can? They do call you the gun nut!Thank You DW Missouri. ps. I do look forward to getting in close for the kill.Tracking and out witting the wildlife!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Alyson Wilson wrote 7 years 47 weeks ago

Aagaard's ethical approach and demand that others around him adhdere to his rules is admirable, as is your admiration for him. In fact, it's also inspiring to peruse your reader's comments responding so strongly to your post. Their respect for animals and for hunting is noble.Thanks for the great blog,Alyson, thisnext.com/blog

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mark W. wrote 7 years 47 weeks ago

I was taught not to shoot anything I didn't eat. My grandfather made me eat a woodpecker I shot when I was a kid...I would have rather chewed on the sole of my boot than to gnaw on that tough bird.(I do shoot at a few turtles though to get them out of my pond...nothing better than turtle pot pie!).Finn sounds like a man with strongs ethics. That is something alot of people are lacking these days.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Greg Smith wrote 7 years 47 weeks ago

On the question in the article about .325 WSM- "So round, so firm, so fully packed..." the late great John Hartford's "Golden Globe Awards"....Those Golden Globes, there ain't none better, gotta have 'em both 'cause they both go together, gonna see you get that Golden Globe Award... Your inquiry sure brought a smile to my face! Thanks

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Richard Clary wrote 7 years 47 weeks ago

Reading what was written by Mr AAgaard was always a joy. I suspect that knowing him, much like myself or some of my friends, would have been a bit of liking the big part of him and putting up with the rest. As to your inquiry on p. 32 I think it was Peppe LePew and the fat drunk who hated Philly...hahaha. Say? Are you trying to take up where Jeff Cooper left off?.... Best.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Richard Clary wrote 7 years 47 weeks ago

Reading what was written by Mr AAgaard was always a joy. I suspect that knowing him, much like myself or some of my friends, would have been a bit of liking the big part of him and putting up with the rest. As to your inquiry on p. 32 I think it was Peppe LePew and the fat drunk who hated Philly...hahaha. Say? Are you trying to take up where Jeff Cooper left off?.... Best.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from El-Wazir wrote 7 years 47 weeks ago

Mr. Petzal,Thanks for your respectful comments on Finn. You have a big, big, Hemingway heart.I don't know if there's enough material in Finn's gun diaries for a $35 book, but I'd sure settle for a running series of feature articles in Field & Stream, each one a diary of Finn's experiences with a particular rifle.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from David Beleny wrote 7 years 47 weeks ago

Mr. Petzal:June issueShort & Sweet .325WSM"So Round, So Firm, So fully Packed""It Was Standing On The Rack""Someone Stole The Keeshka When I Turned My Back""Who Stole The Keeshka?""Won't You Bring It Back?"Polka Dave in Ohio, calling a Cop

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kevin wrote 7 years 47 weeks ago

Mr. Petzal,Thanks for sharing more about Mr. Aagaard. Why do you think that Mr. Aagaard viewed shooting prairie dogs as acceptable, but not turtles? Did he feel that prairie dogs were a problem to livestock and people due to their holes, crop damage, and ability to host plague-ridden fleas? I view prairie dogs as having much more cute appeal than turtles. Plus, I view turtles as competitors for the fish that I like to catch out of tanks. Truthfully, I restrict my killing to mostly edible stuff. Mr. Aagaard's views were pretty interesting and very admirable in many circumstances. I've found some of his articles on the internet since you first posted about him. Thanks!

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment