American Hunter - October 2019 - 50

shooting a deer anyway? Or preparing
it for the pan?
With your help. Any hunter owes it
to herself, her hunting heritage and the
wildlife we love to encourage others and
help them become fellow hunters. It's
an uphill battle against powerful antihunting forces arrayed against us, but
we either fight the good fight or resign
ourselves to reminiscing about the good
old days and losing much of our wildlife.
Believe me, EINOs (environmentalists in
name only) aren't going to be prowling the
forests, swamps and grasslands to notice
declining populations of deer, elk, turkeys
or anything else. They aren't going to fork
over hundreds of dollars for licenses and
tags each year to support these creatures
and protect critical habitats the way hunters do. Once hunting is banned, they'll
wash their hands of the whole nasty business of wildlife management and habitat
restoration, assuming nature will take
care of her own. Out of sight, out of mind.
No, we either train the next generation of hunters to continue the incredible
wildlife restoration we started and fueled
through the 20th century or we lose most
of it. Each of us remaining 11 million hunters must mentor at least one replacement,
preferably several.
You don't have to be a motivational
speaker or trained shooting instructor to
do this. You just have to put in the time,
answer questions honestly and share
your enthusiasm for the outdoor lifestyle.
Some new hunters will have a little knowledge, some none at all. Pace yourself as
necessary and don't be afraid to be too
basic. Answer all questions as if there are
only dumb answers. And don't let lessons
get tedious. When your students begin to

Photo: Author

Photo: Author

Spomer noted the gear, guns and tactics
differed, but Martha and Elli's experience
hunting big game meant they already had
the drive and determination often required
to take a turkey in the Lower 48.

drift off, stop. And mix a little classroom
work with a fun dose of shooting. "This
is how it works. Now let's go try it!" Stay
positive, enthusiastic and fun.

How Does a Shotgun Work?
My new friends Martha and Elli came to
Dancing Springs Ranch at the start of last
turkey season. Neither had ever seen a
turkey in the wild, and they knew precious
little about shotguns.
"I have a Mossberg youth model pump
20-gauge that should fit you guys pretty
well," I announced, thinking this would
impress them.
"What's a pump 20-gauge?" Elli asked.
"You don't know what a pump 20-gauge
is?" I didn't really say that, but that's what
popped into my head. Isn't this typical for experienced hunters? We assume
october 2019 [

everyone should know this basic stuff and,
being human, we leap at the opportunity to
show off our "superior" knowledge. Wrong
approach. We win no converts by intimidating or insulting them.
What I really said was something like,
"Well, pump refers to the mechanical action
used to cycle the gun, to eject fired shells
and bring fresh rounds into the chamber
for repeat shots. And 20-gauge is a way of
measuring the size-the diameter of the
bore. You've probably heard of a 12-gauge?"
I pulled up a 12-gauge shell to demonstrate.
"Well, here's a 12-gauge shell. See, it's bigger
than this 20-gauge. The numbers are backward just like with wire. Here, pump this
empty Mossberg a few times and you'll
see how it works." And so my explanations
went, augmented with plenty of props and
hands-on demonstrations.

50 [ americanhunter.org


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American Hunter - October 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Hunter - October 2019

Contents
American Hunter - October 2019 - Cover1
American Hunter - October 2019 - Cover2
American Hunter - October 2019 - 1
American Hunter - October 2019 - Contents
American Hunter - October 2019 - 3
American Hunter - October 2019 - 4
American Hunter - October 2019 - 5
American Hunter - October 2019 - 6
American Hunter - October 2019 - 7
American Hunter - October 2019 - 8
American Hunter - October 2019 - 9
American Hunter - October 2019 - 10
American Hunter - October 2019 - 11
American Hunter - October 2019 - 12
American Hunter - October 2019 - 13
American Hunter - October 2019 - 14
American Hunter - October 2019 - 15
American Hunter - October 2019 - 16
American Hunter - October 2019 - 17
American Hunter - October 2019 - 18
American Hunter - October 2019 - 19
American Hunter - October 2019 - 20
American Hunter - October 2019 - 21
American Hunter - October 2019 - 22
American Hunter - October 2019 - 23
American Hunter - October 2019 - 24
American Hunter - October 2019 - 25
American Hunter - October 2019 - 26
American Hunter - October 2019 - 27
American Hunter - October 2019 - 28
American Hunter - October 2019 - 29
American Hunter - October 2019 - 30
American Hunter - October 2019 - 31
American Hunter - October 2019 - 32
American Hunter - October 2019 - 33
American Hunter - October 2019 - 34
American Hunter - October 2019 - 35
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American Hunter - October 2019 - 37
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American Hunter - October 2019 - 41
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American Hunter - October 2019 - 50
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American Hunter - October 2019 - Cover3
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