Yeti

Men I Knew, Who Hunted Thier Entire Lives, With Just One Rifle.

Mustangs Rule

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Men I knew who hunted their entire life with just one rifle.



Somewhere I have a box filled with old “American Hunter” magazines. They are so old, they are about hunting not politics.



In one, there is an article written by Ed Park. He was a “quiet” great hunting writer from a time gone by. He and I had some fine phone conversations before he died. Since he preceded the internet, and never wrote for one big magazine, sadly most of his excellent hunting stories are lost forever.



Ed and a friend drove a VW camper bus, with a huge canoe on top, up through Canada to the Yukon River. There they loaded the canoe, paid some Canadian Native to drive his VW someplace way down river, and he and his friend went on a moose hunt.

They both took moose and towed the meat back behind their canoe in a rubber raft they brought along for just that purpose.

He used his Remington Model 722 in 30-06 which he bought upon returning from the Korean War.

The entire summer after he bought it, he camped on Kodiak Island to, clear his head, after the war.

It was the only big game rifle he ever owned.



My Uncle Walter was too young for WW2. His two older brothers were not. They were both already Catholic Priests. They each served as Combat Chaplains in the European Theater. They talked it over and brought him back an 8 x 57 German Mauser and paid to have it turned into a fine sporting hunting rifle.

It was "almost only rifle, he owned and hunted with his entire life. When young he bought a big chunk of wild land next to a large state forest. The number of eastern white tail deer he took with that rifle there cannot be counted.


Towards the end of his hunting life, his grand kids bought him a Winchester model 70 in .308. He use it on one hunt with them to make them happy. Then when they went off to college he went right back to his Mauser given to him by his brothers.



My dear friend Malcolm died so very long ago. He was too young for WW1. The returning WW1 vets saw a continent almost without wild life. Those vets were the ones that came up with the idea for the Pittman Robertson Federal Aid to Wildlife Act. Malcolm worked with them for decades to promote the landmark legislation.



For his effort, that chapter of WW1 vets gave him a custom Springfield rifle with a rock maple stock and a 4X Lyman All American scope. He took all North American big game animals with it. Never had another big game rifle, never wanted one.


Some years back, I was hunting Inyo Mule deer in the White Mountains right on the Nevada border.

The Inyo Mule deer are very stocky and inhabit rocky country fit for Big Horn Sheep. Driving in I saw the most wretched rotted banged up horse trailer with a funky mini corral containing two of the most ornery looking mustangs I ever saw. Nearby was an equally ornery 4x4 with a camper on top. The hunter who came out looked like a Bristle Cone Pine, the oldest living individual organism on the planet.


His only ever rife was a beastly looking Remington 788 in .308.


For quite a few years I hunted elk on a three generation private ranch in central Utah. Hunting was only allowed in the morning so the elk could graze all afternoon undisturbed.


It was a real great place, so many elk, so peaceful. $500 for my cow or spike elk tag, the entire ranch undistributed for a week, plus my friend and I had the bunkhouse to ourselves. No food was provided, but there was lots of firewood. These were midwinter hunts and it got way below zero.



Most of the family stayed in town but came out every few days to say hello. “Pops" came out one day to say hello. He liked to chat with the hunters. He was the family elder who carved this ranch out of the desert wilderness.



He liked to look at the elk taken and see what rifles fellows were using “Nowadays”



He smiled big when he saw mine. The family gun safe was right there in the bunk house which attached to their old ranch house.



He brought out his rifle, his only ever rifle and laid it on the table next to mine. Mine and his were almost identical. Both standard weight early production run pre 64 Model 70’s in .270 Winchester.



Both with simple 4x fixed scopes. He damn near giggled in delight looking at them together.



His wife had brought a few totally home made deep dish apple pies from town. He asked her to bring one over for us to eat. We did as “Pops” began pointing out all the deer and elk that were mounted on the bunkhouse walls,,,all of which he had taken with his one and only gun. He did not even own a shotgun or a handgun.



The next year when I returned for another cow/spike elk hunt “Pops” had died. Not long after I saw him and listened to his great stories while looking at his rifle and mine together on that long bunkhouse table.



Since then family members had done a lot of hunting as was the norm. What was different, was that the whole family, all of them were now taking turns, hunting with only one rifle, the .270 Model 70 that was the only rifle “Pops” ever wanted to have.



MR
 

hank4elk

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Me.
My -06 700 is mine. 35+ with me.
My last CA buck was a Inyo Mule deer that is the only one I mounted,euro.
The 94' Win that rides in the truck was old in 1975 when I got it....the one until the -06.
 

Boarmaster

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I hunted for two decades with a Ruger M77 tanger 30-06 with a Bushnell Trophy scope. I had $200 bucks in the whole package. Bought the like new rifle from my brother for $100 bucks. It shot (still does)165 Rem green box coreloks in a nice tight group.
He got it in a car trade deal and wanted some cash to take his future wife on a date. It had a practically unusable tasco scope on it. I upgraded the scope to the $100 Bushnell. I killed many deer and several hundred hogs with it.

Then came the internet where as I discovered quite to my surprise that the 3006/was no good and I needed at least five other chamberings to kill game. I also found out I needed a $600 stock on each one and at least a $450 scope And a $125 trigger. I thought I was set with all these shooting irons but now Im discovering I need at least a $1000 scope to hunt effectively. I should do ok now with my $2300 binos and $500 range finder. I have learned a lot from my brothers on the websites. Mostly that Im an old fool.…..
 

Mustangs Rule

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Don't start a thread about pistols and shotguns for my sake...

I have a vintage Smith and Wesson Model 15 Combat Masterpiece, 4 inch pinned barrel, adjustable sights, factory wooden grips fitted with a simple Tyler "T" grip filler. Handgun Heaven. I shoot it double action only. Glass smooth they were. I have already sold, quite cheefully, what seems like a small wheelbarrow full of handguns I thought I could live without. I am still breathing and my heart is still beating.

I have had for 34 years an Ithaca SKB side by side 3" 20 gauge with full and modified chokes. It came from the factory with real cool sling swivels, the front one mounted neatly between the barrels. From carrying that for somany years the engraving is all "by my hand" polished. It is not supposed to be great turkey gun, but they flop over and die anyway, as do the grouse, chuckar an quail.
 

Dakotakid

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My father hunted everything with a sporterized Mauser in 30.06.
He was of small build and so was the rifle.
I remember being a kid and him shooting deer I could barely see, he also shot muskrat, coyotes, elk, and a few unmentionables.

Family lore repeats a time when a herd of elk were across a mountain valley and dad was shooting a 303 British, he got so disgusted he had a young cousin run back to the wagoner and get his new 30-06. They swear it was in a box from a store but it looks to me to be a sporterized Mauser.
Dad has been gone nearly 25 years.

I shot the rifle a few years ago, it had fire burns from gas releasing part way down the stock. I checked the lands and a 220 Sierra was barely in the case using a gauge.
 

Southern Elk

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I had a misfire with a newer rifle this year and missed a pronghorn. I decided not to use that rifle and to use my Browning A Bolt 7mm mag that my dad gave me in 1993. I ended up getting a mule deer with it. I’m using it from now on.
 

Mustangs Rule

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I hunted for two decades with a Ruger M77 tanger 30-06 with a Bushnell Trophy scope. I had $200 bucks in the whole package. Bought the like new rifle from my brother for $100 bucks. It shot (still does)165 Rem green box coreloks in a nice tight group.
He got it in a car trade deal and wanted some cash to take his future wife on a date. It had a practically unusable tasco scope on it. I upgraded the scope to the $100 Bushnell. I killed many deer and several hundred hogs with it.

Then came the internet where as I discovered quite to my surprise that the 3006/was no good and I needed at least five other chamberings to kill game. I also found out I needed a $600 stock on each one and at least a $450 scope And a $125 trigger. I thought I was set with all these shooting irons but now Im discovering I need at least a $1000 scope to hunt effectively. I should do ok now with my $2300 binos and $500 range finder. I have learned a lot from my brothers on the websites. Mostly that Im an old fool.…..
Jack O'Connor was actually pretty close to being a "one rifle" man. True he had so many, being who he was, he had to have so many and when hunting dangeous game in Africa or Alaska he would have been a fool not to upgrade.

All that said, he had a pair of near identical .270 model 70's made for him, mounted on them were simple 4X scopes. Mostly he just used one of the pair. He shot inland grizzlies with his .270, also sheep and horned game all over the world. He shot huge crocodiles neatly in thier tiny brain in Africa with his .270. And to use his term, he "polished off" big bull elk at 500 yards with it and simple fixed power scopes.

He did not use range finders becuase they were not made yet, but he did know how to judge range by "subtending" using his simple scopes. He, had followed Col. Towsend Whelen's advice, and learned how to realiy use a shooting siing.

He freely admitted that a 30-06, or sub magnum 7mm's of the day, or even a 308 would have worked just as well and in some cases better with heavier bullets. What mattered, he so often stated, was the skill of the man pulling the trigger, not the "whosi-whats-its" companies are trying t sell hunters. he actually used that term "whosi-whats-its"

I had plans for a trip to Africa, Namibia actually. I wanted to shoot just one Gemsbok, and nothing else. Then have the cook at the place I had decided to stay at, prepare every imaginal dish with that Gemsbok. The meat of which is supposed to be the best of all African game.

During the day, rather than huning more and more animals, I wanted to go teckking with Himba trackers and track lions mostly. It is so important to know when and where to draw lines in life lest we get suckered into a black hole of more and more $tuff.

A positive cancer biopsy killed my trip to Africa. All is well now but other priorities have taken over since

When talking to my then chosen Professional Hunter however about what caliber of rifle to bring for a plains game hunt in wide open Namibia, he shared this personal exprience.

He had seen only one hunter who killed all his game cleanly with one shot each. To pay for his African hunt and travel there this hunter sold most all his guns and took to Africa a very accuarate .308 Winchester using premium bullets and a basic Leopold scope.

The PH said that hunter could shoot so very well, knew how to use a sling, was in top condition, could stalk and crawl all day and enjoyed every minute of hunting. The PH admitted this fellow was his favorite client ever. Regarding the .308; Finn Aggard of African fame stated once that when it came to "game field utility" ( I just his term) nothing beats the .308!

I wonder how many hunters in America buy a special rifle with thoughts and dreams about an African Plains Game hunt and never actually go there,,,or,,,maybe just head down to a game farm in Texas with thier "African Rifle"?

Watch out for all the "Whosi-whats-its" that the Big Hunting Industry is trying to sucker us into buying,

MR
 

Mthuntr

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My grandpa only shot a 54 caliber T/C Hawken...I never saw him shoot an animal with it but I know he shot 1 or 2. We hunted muzzleloader deer season in Nebraska together for 10 years or so. He used to cuss me for trying different bullets in my Hawken...round balls are all he ever used. I've circled back to similar though I still experiment when I have time. I don't know if he owns a centerfire rifle. I know he has a handful of 22LR. Grandpa is well into his 90s and isn't 100% there anymore so I don't know if he still has the rifle or not. He was also a 1 shotgun owner too...a Navy Arms double barrel 12gauge. He killed lots of pheasants and turkeys with it. He even shot bismuth with it to shoot geese. At Christmas he recognized me for the first time in probably 5 years. So we chatted about my hunting expeditions and what rifles I'm using. He was shocked to hear that I still muzzleloader hunt a lot though was disappointed to hear how little bird hunting I do since "big game hunting is a rich man's sport"
 

Don Fischer

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Ed Park, that's a name that escaped me over the years. Seem's I did like his stuff. I have a cousin in his early 70's that has only ever had one big game rifle, Rem 760 in 30-06. I've had a lot of rifles but I'm more of a gun nut than a hunter. Anymore I could easily get by with just one rifle, at this point would probably be my 6.5x55. Friend of mine here in town only has one, Win mod 94 30-30. He's 62 now and definately not a gun nut. Great storys!
 

OntarioHunter

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My father hunted everything with a sporterized Mauser in 30.06.
He was of small build and so was the rifle.
I remember being a kid and him shooting deer I could barely see, he also shot muskrat, coyotes, elk, and a few unmentionables.

Family lore repeats a time when a herd of elk were across a mountain valley and dad was shooting a 303 British, he got so disgusted he had a young cousin run back to the wagoner and get his new 30-06. They swear it was in a box from a store but it looks to me to be a sporterized Mauser.
Dad has been gone nearly 25 years.

I shot the rifle a few years ago, it had fire burns from gas releasing part way down the stock. I checked the lands and a 220 Sierra was barely in the case using a gauge.
It very well may have come out of a box. There were several commercial outfits post WWII sporterizing military rifles. Birmingham Small Arms comes to mind. When I worked at a gun store during HS we got some of those in. They were beautiful guns with glossy black blueing, finely checkered walnut, and rosewood fore end. The price tag was very reasonable but for some reason they didn't sell well. Go figure. My daughter's man's (should be husband) father has a 1917 Enfield with a .270 BSA barrel on it that his father bought new off the shelf at St Catherine's, Ontario in the 1950s. He is still convinced the gun was made by BSA. Obviously not. Just one of their barrels someone cobbled onto a military surplus action. The stock is horrible with wrong drop at the comb and awful checkering that doesn't match side to side. Kicks the shit out of him.

You should check that gun with go/no go gauges. Sounds like it needs head spacing adjusted. Not uncommon issue with sloppy sporterizing jobs. Is there a maker stamped on the barrel? Obviously not a Mauser barrel if 30-06.
 

Corn king 60

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Feb 4, 2021
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I bought a Remington 760 game master pump 30-06 in 1976 from sears and roebuck . It still has the same bushnell scope on it. even with many others in the safe to choose from I just can’t. Probably less than 500 rounds through this rifle And to many dead deer to count it has operated flawlessly. I did kill my best mule deer in Colorado one year with a Remington 700 in 300 win mag. that whole trip I felt like I was cheating.
 

OntarioHunter

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I am a lifetime one gun guy: sporterized WWII 30-06 Springfield. It's the first one of two Dad worked up in 1962. I started hunting with it in 1964. I also have the 760 Remington 30-06 my grandfather bought for Dad two weeks after I was born (1952). I hunted moose with it here a couple of years but never shot anything. My Springfield has killed a ton of animals in Montana, Idaho, and Ontario. Recently it made two trips across the pond to the Dark Continent. Heading back over there with it again this summer. It fits me perfectly. Not a beautiful gun by any means but not hard on the eyes either. I had to rebarrel it last year and opted to stay with 30-06. Don't mess with what works.
 

Southern Elk

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My great grandfather had a gun rack on the wall beside his bed. It only had two guns in it, a Marlin 30-30 and an old pump shotgun. I don’t remember what kind of shotgun. Those were simpler times for sure. He never ventured off of his 200 acres but loved to hunt as much as anyone I ever knew. I remember my dad stopping by his house to show him the deer that we had killed at deer camp. He loved seeing them!
 

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