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Into The Outdoors: Airguns

Dan Markel and Glenn Maley enjoy fishing at the new accessible facility.


Before getting into the meat of this week’s column, we need to look at a couple of other things. First of all, the Game Commission has issued their annual alert regarding young wildlife. The gist of it is LEAVE THEM ALONE! While they are cute to look at, and appear cuddly, picking them up can lead to a lot of problems for both them and you. You can get bitten, contract disease, become infested with parasites and, in the case of bear cubs, get mauled by their mother. Handling by humans can also sometimes lead to rejection of the young by the mothers.

There is good news for anglers with handicaps.Spearheaded by Dan Markel, a grant was obtained from the Armstrong County Community Found to build a handicap accessible fishing facility in Brady’s Bend. Dan, who is himself handicapped, has worked tirelessly to make more things accessible to the handicapped. It’s amazing what one determined man can do.

All shooters are aware of the skyrocketing prices, and lack of availability of ammunition. If you love to shoot, you might find yourself hesitating to do so because of the cost.

There is a solution to the problem, and that lies with airguns. For our purposes here, we are going to include CO2 powered guns under the classification of airgun. Ammo is cheap, and can provide many happy hours of shooting.

When I was a kid, most of us had a Daisy lever action BB gun of one type or another. For a dime, you could get a big tube of BBs. You could load up your gun and shoot all day. We often hunted frogs with them, and would ultimately eat the legs. Admittedly, the occasional bird would fall victim to the old Daisy. Most of our victims, however, were cans and bottles. The sights were poor, so most of us learned instinct shooting. We became extremely accurate with the guns. I know this is hard to believe, but we would shoot bumblebees off my mother’s Rose of Sharons.

Several years ago, my son bought me a Daisy Red Ryder BB gun. It’s a bit different from the guns of old, as it incorporates a number of modern features, and some parts are made of plastic. Nevertheless, the spirit of the old guns is still there. I discovered, to my delight and amazement, that my instinctive shooting skill was still pretty much there. Later on, I bought an adult sized Red Ryder , and one for my son. With these, we can plink away all afternoon without breaking the bank. Copper coated BBs work fine in these guns. That is not true with some of the more advanced guns, in which you have to use pure steel ammo.

It turns out that this is going to have to be a two part subject. Maybe even two and a half. We still have to look at the really sophisticated airguns, along with CO2s and handguns. We will continue this topic next week.


Chris Henderson email:

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