Owning firearms has been a normal thing in our family since long before I was born. Our grandmother was gifted a 12 gauge shotgun for a wedding present. Mom was included in a knee jerk plan that Granny came up with to shoot a bear that had become a nuisance around the barn, garden, and yard. But, that’ll be a story for another day.
As Granny’s shotgun made its way down through the generations, it was given a nickname - Long Tom. My first experience with Long Tom was a one-time event; and again, a story for another day.
Our family were, and are, avid hunters. We enjoyed the challenge of filling the freezer, and we were not always successful. The rule in our house was if you shot it, you cleaned it. In my teen years, Dad gave me a bolt action 22 calibre rifle. Believe me, I was happy to hunt for grouse with my 22, since there was not much in cleaning a bird compared to a deer or moose.
I no longer hunt for grouse, but I sure do enjoy a day shooting clay pigeons. It was a sport that Steve and I did together and there was always a wager involved of some sort as to who was going to be the better shot. Now it has become one of the things I do that gets me outside, and it lets me be competitive, mostly with myself trying to better my top number of clay targets hit. I can go on my own or with a group, and either way, for me, it’s always good fun.