Nelson Freeman grew up hunting, fishing, and shooting in Virginia with his father, grandfather, and uncles. He spent eight years as a lobbyist and spokesperson for Safari Club International in Washington, D.C. Nelson is a Professional Member of the Boone & Crockett Club, a past board member of TreadLightly, and was recently appointed to the North Carolina Sportsmen's Caucus Advisory Council. He now lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with his wife and son.
Maybe you’ve noticed that shotguns made by the Yildiz Shotgun Company of Turkey have been showing up in greater numbers at American shooting clubs and hunting fields for over the past decade. Yildiz’s growing popularity should come as no surprise. The shotguns generally retail for $400 to $700, bolstered by a reputation for reliability.
All shotguns have stories and the story has to start somewhere. We all have shotguns that have such a story… my grandfather’s L.C. Smith Ideal Grade 20 gauge conjures a crystal clear vision of Archie in my mind even though he died the year before my birth. The connection of hunting and carrying his old Elsie is truly metaphysical. And with the backdrop of that gun, this story begins not with a vintage double, rather with a vintage hunter and his new Parker Reproduction.
We drove slowly up the private gravel road of Durham County Wildlife Club in Morrisville, North Carolina looking at the 3D archery target course and hearing the rhythmic pop-pop of a registered skeet competition in the background. Wes parked his Chevy Silverado and continued with his description of the club’s amenities. I was listening, but remained far more focused on the unblemished Browning box in the bed of his truck.
Stone butts and red grouse on a wine colored Scottish moor. Mule drawn wagons following bobwhite seeking pointers beneath loblolly pines. Rolling hills filled with olive trees and red legged partridge. Undulating plains rhythmically swaying to the wing beats of sharptails.