I went for a while yesterday and got one. The hickory nuts are really ripe now and finding them in my favorite spots are getting more common.

Took the 12 gauge Model 31 out again.

I took the shot from an odd stance because it was a fast snap shot. I remember how when I first started hunting squirrel in the mid 80s with a 12 gauge model 870, the recoil was so much more painful. Dad bought me that shogun to move me up from a 20 gauge. He and my older brother both used wingmasters and so he got me one. That gun was so long for a little kid, when I set the butt on the ground, the muzzle would be chin high to me. I remember that recoil being painful. We went on to use the Remington Nitro Magnums sold later on in the early to mid 90s and the recoil seemed so brutal to me.

Now, a regular load in a 2-3/4 heavy load seems to fill like a 20 felt to me back then and my 16s feel like a .410. I don’t know what changed. I’m not much bigger than I was in the early 90s. Experience I guess. Experience, better technique and thousands and thousands of rounds fired.

I don’t recall what even happened to that model 870 wingmaster. I vaguely recall trading it in on a Remington 11-87 when we all decided we had to have a semi atuo shotgun. I wish I had known about Model 31s back then. I don’t think Dad knew anything about 31s back then. I never heard of the 31 until I met Brady in 97. I know I talk about the Model 31 a lot. It is the finest production pump ever made in my opinination.

I got that sqwack and ended up spending more time eating papaw fruit than hunting once I got to the top of the mountain where most of them are.

Glad I was able to get them before the deer ate all of them.

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