It is hunting season and with it comes an opportunity to put our BP guns to the use for which they were intended – well at least one of the uses. In my case I am still refining my PRB combination for the new 54 cal. flint longrifle I built last winter for deer hunting. However, tomorrow I am off to Saskatchewan to put my old Osbourne 12 ga double to work on cranes, geese, ducks and hopefully a sharptail or two. The real killer for using our old shotguns for waterfowl is the cost of alternatives to lead (banned) and steel shot which could ruin the barrels. That pretty well relegates us to using bismuth pellets, although gold might be cheaper. At the recent price of $250 for a 7 lb. bottle, that means $2.80 for each 1 ¼ oz. load, plus powder and primer or percussion cap. Yikes! Regardless, this is an opportunity not to be missed so here we go and I hope to hit a higher percentage than I seem to do with clay targets.
While browsing through an old store in Whitehorse a few weeks ago I noted two nice old flintlock NW Trade Guns balanced across a pair of moose antlers. The store manager generously granted my request to get some photos of them and I found one was stamped Barnett 1873 and the other was marked Parker Field and Co. 1870. Both had the Tombstone Fox stamp of the HBC. What a treat to find such examples of Canadian history!
I was travelling in the Yukon during the Heffley Creek Rendezvous but those who were there reported that it was as much fun as ever despite the smoke for the first few days and the showers that cleared the smoke. Apparently the two programs sponsored by our ABPA were well attended. I haven’t had a report on Sherwood Park but I guess the Red Deer gathering, with the snow storm Friday night, was a character building experience! I understand that Ken and Mary Lynn Brown, and Larry Boyd stayed all weekend and had a great time knocking snow off the trees with their muzzle blast concussions and digging in the snow to find the targets.
If you have a few minutes to spare some time, check out the website of the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association (NMLRA): there is lots of interesting information there
Don’t forget to mark Saturday, January 19th on your new calendars (2019) for our AGM: I guarantee it will not be boring.