Rifles photo

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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.