Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 17

L

OOKING OVER the well-worn rifle,
resting on a thick mat of newspapers
next to a bottle of Hoppe's No. 9 and a
cleaning rod, I have to conclude the old
gal looks tired.
This year, after all, marks the 50th
anniversary of the first time I slung her
on my shoulder, and I must confess, those
years show in the mirror, as well as on
the gun.
My lever action and I share many scars
as a result of my flair for dramatic tumbles
down slippery Elk County hills, and as
they say, "Father Time is surely one poor
beautician."
I paid $45 for the Marlin 336A .32
Winchester Special, buying it third- or
fourth-hand from my Uncle Dave when
I was 14.
He was used to bolt actions from
his experience in the military, and after
owning the rifle for a short time, decided
he could do without the combination of
cycling a lever and dealing with a cocked
hammer.
He sold it to me for considerably less
than he'd paid for it, but, back then, it still
was a lot of coin to a kid.
I pondered the purchase long and hard.
The ambidextrous nature of the Marlin's
functions proved almost irresistible to
a teenage "lefty." And every cinematic
cowboy and trapper of those days yanked
a lever gun from his saddle scabbard or
dog sled to dispatch hostiles or put meat
over the campfire.
Perhaps the romance of this singularly
American rifle design was the clincher
that won me over, but my sharpest
memory of those days was of my Uncle
Dave breaking into a knowing smile as
he saw me grinning and drooling over
the Marlin he'd just placed in my hands.
The serial number on this premicrogroove model with a 24-inch barrel
DECEMBER 2015	

indicates that it rolled out of the New
Haven, Conn. factory in 1951, which was
just two years after I was born.

It was late August when I first laid
hands on that old rifle, and from that time,
on through the autumn, I spent every spare
moment getting more acquainted with it.
On weekends I could be counted on to
be out in my grandfather's back pasture,
piercing holes in oil cans with my Marlin,
and fiddling with the iron sights, always
tweaking toward my goal of precision.
During the week, when I was doing
my homework after football practice, the
gun would be on the rug beside my desk,
and every half-hour I would take a short
break to pick it up, immediately open the
action per my father's instruction to prove,
once again, it was unloaded, gently lower
the hammer, and scoot to the basement.
There I would shoulder my rifle,
holding on a magazine picture of a buck
taped to the concrete block wall.
The night before the opening day of
that buck season, I didn't sleep a wink.
Could this be the year I would tag my
first buck?
After all, my Marlin .32 Special
was a genuine deer rifle - surely a big
improvement over a pumpkin ball put
through my single-shot Hawthorne.
When my dad finally knocked on the door
of my room in the predawn hours, I should
have felt tired, but when I sprang out of
bed, my feet hit the floor with a bang.

A dreary pelting rain greeted us as we
parked Dad's ancient Jeep at a pull-off
near his chosen site. We walked quietly
in the dark to a spot on a hillside covered
17



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015

Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - Intro
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 1
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 3
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 16
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 46
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 47
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 48
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 49
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 50
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 51
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 52
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 59
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 60
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 61
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - 64
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2015 - Cover4
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