Starting a Trend

by  J.Michael

I am now 37 years old and have been shooting my whole life. I am an avid sportsmen and hunter. I belong to a sportsmen's club that has been around for 63 years. This club is somewhat exclusive and a lot of lifers belong. It's membership hovers around the 800 mark and a lot of these members are quite active.

Needless to say there are a lot of great people in this club and the membership acts as family in times of trouble as well as times of rejoice. That is the background that leads us to a story that started 20 years ago. I was 17 and money was very tight, I hunted every chance I could just to get out with a gun in the woods. i had a deer stand that was pestered with squirrels. The earliest season to open is squirrel and grouse .Needless to say I knew I had a limit of squirrels under this tree so I grab my 20 ga. pump shotgun, nothing great but a handy small game gun. I was up the tree and had 2 squirrels already when 2 squirrels went buy at Mach 1 .I took a quick sight picture and zapped the first one and jacked the slide so hard for the follow up shot that I pulled the charge handle out of the bolt. I claimed my squirrels and headed to the club to reassemble my gun. Nothing was wrong with the gun I just out grew it and was holding on too tightly to old memories. There were other guns I could have used. 

Now for the real story! I had reassembled the gun and some members came in and asked if it was for sale . This member I have known since my childhood and he had an 8 year old who needed a gun to shoot that would fit him. Now mind you a 100.00 to me then was like a new Colt is now. But I had an Idea. I agreed to let him HAVE the gun with the stipulation that it was to be passed to another young shooter from the club after his son has learned and moved on to a 12Ga. I thought it would be neat to do something for new shooters.

Well last month the gun was passed to the 5TH youngster  of a club member. He stepped to the trap line and shot a 15. Man was he excited. He used the gun to take his hunters safety test and his father is a big rabbit hunter and I am sure he shot his first rabbit with it this year. The joy in his face after shooting a smaller gun that fit him and that he could hit with said it all.  I didn't realize how many lives I would change when I did this some 20 years ago but 5 boys and one girl used this gun to cut their teeth and learn life's lessons with. 

I don't miss the 100.00 at all. I want to make clear I don't own the shotgun it is transferred to the next child's father with the promise he will pass it on to the next needy all legal.  So the next time you look into your gun safe and see that old sporting arm that you haven't shot in 10 years think about how you might help some youngsters that might not have the money to get a gun. If you trust the parents maybe you too can start a trend.