Will Brantley with Bo Whoop

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This past season’s warm weather and heavy flooding meant scattered ducks and tough hunting for many waterfowlers in the southern Mississippi Flyway. I personally had a good year, though—and the highlight came during the last week of January on Beaver Dam Lake near Tunica, Mississippi, where I had one of the most amazing experiences of my career. I shot a specklebelly and a greenhead with Bo Whoop—Nash Buckingham’s legendary Burt Becker magnum. Bo Whoop is an HE-grade Super Fox from A.H. Fox Gun company, built to Buckingham’s specifications. It was famously lost in 1948. After being recovered in 2005 and purchased at auction for $175,000, it was later donated to Ducks Unlimited. It’s been on display at DU National Headquarters in Memphis since 2010.

Though the gun was almost certainly used during all those unaccounted-for years (nearly 58 of them), this hunt is, to our knowledge, the first documented time that the gun has been back in a duck blind—and certainly the first time Bo Whoop has been used on Beaver Dam Lake since Buckingham’s day. Prior to the hunt, Bo Whoop was inspected by a gunsmith. It’s still in great mechanical shape. Since steel shot is questionable to use in vintage double guns (and Mr. Buck’s preferred 3-inch lead No. 4s aren’t an option these days), we loaded up with Kent Tungsten Matrix 2 3/4-inch No. 5s. They worked very well.

I shared the blind with DU staff and volunteers, as well as my buddies Mike and Lamar Boyd, the father / son owners of Beaver Dam Hunting Services. I’m working on a full feature from this hunt for a future issue of Field & Stream. For now, I’ll just tell you—the old gun still shoots. Enjoy the video.