One shot is enough |

One shot is enough

Hunters who protest a ban on high capacity magazines by threatening to boycott Colorado big game hunting or, in the instance of Craig, place a resolution before the city council requiring heads of households to own a hunting rifle with a high capacity magazine make me smile.

That’s because I think I know what my Dad would have said, were he around today..

Back in the day when the Constitution was drafted, the riflemen were one-shot guys. If you missed with that one shot, you might starve, or worse.

Back in 1945, we moved from Rifle to a small ranch at the head of Porcupine Creek southwest of Rifle. (If you know where that is, you qualify as a Western Slope native.) My Dad, who was deaf and rejected for military service, labored through the war years to save enough for a down payment on the place.

The only weapon we had was a .22 rifle, not big enough to shoot a deer in “farmers’ season”, i.e. anytime of the year except legal hunting season. (I guess the statute of limitations has run out on that particular offense.)

However, in the fall of ’45, my uncle returned from the European theater with a bunch of souvenirs, including an 8mm. Mauser bolt action rifle, the basic Wehrmacht infantry weapon, plus a box of shells. Which was a good thing, since ammunition was virtually unobtainable that close to the end of the war.

So, my Dad was able to go out and bag a spike buck mule deer, which provided a very welcome culinary change from the beans we’d been living on all summer.

He took two rounds, and intended to use only one, because he didn’t have very many.

I can hear his probable comment on the magazine debate, with his characteristic , deliberate ignorance of the nuances of the situation, which often was the hallmark of his humour:

“Gee, pard, them ‘ol boys must be lousy shots if they need 30 rounds to kill a little ‘ol bull elk”.

Pat Dalrymple


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