September, 2003


Don't ya just wish that someone would walk up to you and say, 'Hey, you're a heck of a nice fella.  I'm gonna help you out by giving you this once in a life time bonus of $100,000.  Now you go out and get all the bird dog supplies and hunting accessories you need to be successful this year!'  Gosh, that would be awesome!


Of course that ain't gonna happen but it's nice to dream.  Every year that goes by, I am more and more convinced that hunting stuff is like anything else in life, you buy cheap, you get cheap.  Or 'If you want it bad, bad is what you get'.


I have spent a lifetime screwing up and getting the wrong thing or buying something just a little bit cheaper because 'it was the better deal'.  At some point in ones life, you begin to figure out that if you'd have just saved the money and bought what you wanted instead of what you could afford, you'd have been a heck'uva lot happier.


My first lesson with that was the first shotgun I ever purchased.  It was a Mossberg pump action with a 'poly choke selector'.  Sure I killed a lot of game with that gun.  But I'm here to tell you, the gun dang sure ain't purty. 


There's as much thrill in admiring a beautiful S x S or O/U as there is in good dog work and fellowship afield, but heck, I don't need to tell y'all that.  How many times have you or someone you know whip out that beautiful wing shooting gun and everyone just stand around ooo'ing and ahhh'ing...A real source of pride.  Then there was me, with that ugly polychoke contraption.  Crap, I thought I had something way back then!  Now I realize everyone was smiling not with me but at my dang ugly  gun!


The next gun I bought was in Italy.  I was stationed there when the dollar was very strong.  I bought a Beretta O/U S687 L for 1.2 million Lire (about 600 dollars!).  What a gun of beauty.  Engraved setters on one side and flushing woodcock on the other side.  I bought that gun back in 1985 and now it is a tad bit scarred up due to heavy use, but still a source of pride.  A quick and nimble shotgun.  I like it over American Beretta's as European Beretta's come standard with clips for a sling....slings are a real plus when handling dogs.


Anyway, that's the story of my life.  Buying what you can afford instead of what you want.  Sometimes I can save enough money to get what I want.  Sometimes I can't.  I guess I still struggle everyday with 'making do' and getting what is needed.  Everyone does.  Sure, that ugly gun of yours is old but can you really afford a brand new one?...nah, you'll probably just make do.


I tell my wife that I ain't just got a degree from Hardknock U., Heck, I got a dang PhD!  I just didn't know as a young corpsman in the Navy many years ago how prophetic being called 'doc' by the Marines would be!


Y'all take care and give your dog a fancy treat for me!


Chief's Brittanys All rights reserved

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