Thursday, October 8, 2015

Taking off the training wheels

Kubota is all fired up about deer hunting this year.

He is the proud owner of a Mossberg 500.  He wants to harvest a deer with his own gun.  I understand that. 

Kubota learned the fundamentals of deer hunting with a muzzle loader.  He invariably handled it safely and with great respect.  Too often, young hunters start out with a repeating shotgun.  There are a couple of reasons why that is not a great idea.  One is that shotguns firing slugs kick like a Missouri mule.  Many young shooters develop a flinch that afflicts them their entire life. 

The other downside is that young shooters with repeaters do not place appropriate value on the first shot.  I venture that 85% of all deer I have seen harvested were killed with the first shot.  Any subsequent shots are usually at the back end of a deer that is accelerating to Mach I.  Our pet name for shots two-through-five are "F-U"  shots.  Out of deference to the gentle souls in my readership....that could mean "Follow Up" shots.  For my earthier readers, it could mean a coarser verbal expression of frustration. 

And pray tell, if shots two-through-five are not hitting the deer, where are they going?  A hunter who knows that his first shot hit the boiler-room is far less likely to spray the landscape with F-U shots than a hunter who launched his first shot with less care.

Kubota has been talking to his Uncle Kubota.  Uncle Kubota is a hardcore deer hunter and has firm convictions of what it will take to turn Kubota's bunny-blaster into a deer harvesting machine.  Kubota was all ears.

Image from

Yesterday I learned of Kubota's yearning for a rifled slug barrel with a cantilever scope mount.  Last week, Kubota did not know that such things existed.  I may have to find some money in my budget. 

I can trust Uncle Kubota to lead young Kubota in the paths of righteousness.  I can trust him to give Kubota ample eye relief and to torque all screws to spec.  With a rifled slug barrel, young Kubota will have a tool that will last his entire life if he takes care of it.

Now if there was just something we could do with the trigger.

1 comment:

  1. I have learned through life that triggers will always be different and sometimes be awful. You just have to learn to adapt to each one. Kubota has to practice. I have killed almost all of my MI deer with a shotgun, usually with 00 buckshot. only 1 time with a slug, forstner. Devastating. Hit in neck, down like hit in legs with 2x4.

    Any trigger can be mastered, no mattered how awful. Many will get better with use, some with a little tlc. Judicially applied, youtube can be your friend or your worst nightmare. Often your best bet is just to learn to use what you have. Think 4 or 5 boxes of cheap number 6 or 7 shot and some cheap clay pigeons. It will smooth the action out some, followed by a good cleaning and a judicious lube, and you are ready for real target practice for hunting.

    The biggest thing is to have fun with the gun. He will never wear it out. I will bet money on it. If he does, I would almost , not really, buy him a new one. They are built they good. They flat out last forever. A few new parts, and they go again.

    Good luck. I have had to borrow my daughters .243 this year. It has a scope on it and my eyesight has gotten to the point where I just don't trust myself to not wound a deer. I would never forgive myself if I knowingly went out there without the confidence that I had in years past. I have not hunted in a long time. I have the itch for 4 or 5 years and so I am doing it again.


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