Old Canvas Gunning Coat

Today is a rainy day and I can’t quite decide on what to do. Like you, I’ve hunted ducks and geese, fished for stripers and blues, and dug quahogs and clams all in the rain. And just once, all three in the same day!

A New Office

I'm going to build myself a new office. One that is far away from the house, away from the kids, away from the wife - away from everything. But not too far. Just across the lawn at the edge of the woods. A place where I can think and write and dream all alone or with a special friend.

I'm going to keep it pretty simple and put a little wood stove in the corner right over there. I'll add an old, leather couch against the far wall, and a couple of old, wooden chairs with lots of character, and an antique table for my desk. A rod rack hung from the rafters and a nice gun cabinet with a few doubles and a rifle, so I can dream of the guns of autumn and the rods of summer whenever I want.

I'll put an old refrigerator beside my desk like the one I had in college - in case I get hungry or thirsty while working. And a fly tying table. Got to be able to tie some nice saltwater flies while dreaming of stripers, bonito and albie - all while working on my next column, of course...

Let's not forget the big book case piled high with sporting books and magazines of every kind. All my friends will be there: Hilly, Hennessey, Tapply, Foster, Bryant, Sheldon, Woolner, Spiller, Ford... The list goes on. One of the joys of stretching out on the old leather coach by the wood stove with a good book, while looking around at the fine rods and guns, is dreaming of the way things once were. And discovering when you get out there, that its all still there. You just got to get up and go. You got to go a little further and look a little harder, and find the magic that is still there for those of us who long for a life outdoors. The grouse and the woodcock, the ducks and the geese... The deer and the bear and the snowshoe hare... The quail and the pheasant and even the snipe. Striped bass and brook trout, giant tuna and footballs. "Bucket-mouths," "tommy" cod and coolers full of flounder. It's all there if we really want it, if we are really willing to get up and go and see and learn.

So, amongst my rods and guns, decoys and ice traps, pack baskets and tackle boxes, I will sit in my new office and think and write. And hopefully I will inspire others to consider a simpler life, a rewarding life, a joy-filled life of living and working in God's great outdoors.


Capt. David Bitters is a writer/photographer and a striped bass/sea duck hunting guide from Massachusetts. His photos and essays have appeared in over one-hundred magazines. Capt. Bitters is currently finishing his first book, A Sportsman's Fireside Reader - Tales of Hunting, Fishing, and Other Outdoor Pleasures. Contact him at captdaveb@baymenoutfitters.com or (781) 934-2838. You can also write him at P.O. Box 366 Duxbury, MA 02331

A New Gun

Ladies, how about a new gun for the old hunter? He may have a birthday coming up or maybe Father's Day, or maybe "just because..." As you know, your hunter has been trying very, very hard not to look at another new gun. But how can he look the other way for the millionth time when his favorite sporting magazines are jammed with all the latest beauties in steel and walnut!  I'll bet he's been eyeing that Caesar Guerini for a while? Me, too. Gold inlaid pheasants, quail, woodcock...Drop dead gorgeous! And the fit? They were made for gunners who adore their wives...

How about the new F3 Blaser Baronesse? Crisp, clean, and smothered in scroll or engraved with art scenes - if you want. There's plenty of choices to dress it up or dress it down. Personally, I prefer the one with mallards locked and committed on the side plates. Of course, there is the one with a pair of English setters on point with the gunner walking in for the flush. They are all laced in gold for that little something extra!

Like something a little more traditional? Something with a more "old New England" look? How about a custom-made little beauty to dress up the gun cabinet and make him sigh every time he holds her (and you) in his arms? Connecticut Shotgun's got just the ticket! The new RBL-28 Round Action Game Gun. It will make him feel rich, humble, and lucky all at the same time. Like you, it is a perfect "ten" and he will love it!

Ok, maybe you are ready to move up to the top of the ladder. Good fortune has smiled on you both - again, and you are ready to give him a real treat. An investment that will only increase in value over time. One that nobody in your presence or his, will glance twice at, as your loader, with gloved hand, offers the first of a matched pair for the driven shoot. May I suggest the Holland & Holland - M'am? And not the "cheap ones" either. You want the real deal: A matched pr. of Royal Deluxe Sidelocks, in 12 bore, for just $175,000...

As you can see, there is something for everybody when it comes time to treat the man of your life to a new gun. Whatever your tastes (or his), whatever your budget, the heydays of gun manufacturing are now. However, if you run into me this season in the field, don't feel too embarrassed if I'm carrying my old, pitted double I got for Christmas when I was ten years old. My Kreighoff or Boss or Purdey is probably back in London having a little work done on the triggers.

Happy shopping, my dear. And if you need a little help, just ask.

With all my love,

Capt. Dave

Capt. David Bitters is a writer/photographer and a striped bass/sea duck hunting guide from Massachusetts. His photos and essays have appeared in over one-hundred magazines. Capt. Bitters is currently finishing his first book, A Sportsman's Fireside Reader - Tales of Hunting, Fishing, and Other Outdoor Pleasures. Contact him at captdaveb@baymenoutfitters.com or (781) 934-2838. You can also write him at P.O. Box 366 Duxbury, MA 02331

DJ and Me

“Do me a favor, Mrs. Lanier, and shut your left eye,” the instructor said. “My left eye?” “Yes” he replied, “When you see the target clearly, shut your left eye and shoot.” After several misses in a row all I could think was yeah right. Obligingly I did what he asked and wham, the target exploded. “Now, just do the same thing for me again.” Wham, the second target broke. Wow, what do you know, two in a row!

Passing the Baton

As I studied our two teenage boys standing in the kitchen not too long ago, I thought they bore a strong family resemblance but they could not possibly be related to me.

As Good As It Gets

Story and photos by Mike Childress

We anticipated an extraordinary weekend of shooting and dining, since we also had dinner reservations at another great American institution, the Culinary Institute of America in nearby Hyde Park.

©2017 SGL Media LLC
Developed and Hosted by Annatech LLC

Irwin Greenstein
Publisher
Shotgun Life

PO Box 6423
Thomasville, GA 31758
Phone: 229-236-1632

igreenstein@shotgunlife.com