Many of us have guns passed down from our fathers. My friend Peter hunts pheasants with his father’s SKB 500. It’s a 12 gauge quite similar to the one I used to have. The SKBs were an excellent value–strong, well made guns–from a Japanese factory which unfortunately now makes, I believe, golf clubs.

Anyway, Peter’s heirloom gun is very special. His father bought it used and rusty a few years ago. He carefully cleaned it up and got it ready for pheasant season. He liked it so much he declared it would be his official pheasant gun from then on–before he ever shot it at a pheasant. He never did shoot it at a pheasant. He died in a farming accident on opening day while Peter was in high school.

I took this picture just after we finished hunting Peter’s farm earlier this year. Peter supplied the ground, I brought the dog power, and Jed had one of his very good days. We shot two limits in an hour and a half, a pheasant hunt the likes of which I have seen only a couple in the last four or five years.

“When was the last time you shot a limit of roosters?” I asked as I was taking this picture.

Peter thought.

“Back in 2008 I shot two and shot at another one,” he said.

“You mean you never shot a limit of pheasants until today and now you have done it with your dad’s pheasant gun?”

“That’s right.”

I had to stop taking pictures from a second and regain my composure. I have been on some very good hunts this year but I am very grateful I was along on that one.