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Macon Brother’s Auctions in Walla Walla, WA, has a handful of nice looking doubles coming up tomorrow. You can check all of them out here. These are the ones that caught my eye:

DARNE MODEL P17 SIDE X SIDE SHOTGUN

DARNE MODEL P17 SIDE X SIDE SHOTGUN

DARNE MODEL P17 20 GAUGE SIDE X SIDE SHOTGUN: SN 4S545; 20GA; 2-3/4″ CHAMBERS; 25-3/4″ BARRELS; IMPROVED CYLINDER & LIGHT MODIFIED CHOKES; 15″ LOP; DROP TO COMB 1-5/8″; DROP TO HEEL 2-1/2″ TO STOCK & 2-5/8″ TO PAD; CAST OFF; ENGRAVED FRAME; CHECKERED STOCK & FORE END; SLIDING BREECH; RECOIL PAD; 5.85LBS TOTAL WEIGHT; SOFT CASE.

WILLIAM EVANS 16 GAUGE SIDE X SIDE SHOTGUN: SN 5649; “WILLIAM EVANS FROM PURDEY’S, 65 PALL MALL, ST. JAME’S, LONDON”; 16GA; 2-3/4″ CHAMBERS; 28″ BARRELS; MODIFIED & FULL CHOKES; 14-5/8″ LOP; DROP TO COMB 1-1/2″; DROP TO HEEL 2-5/8″ TO STOCK & 2-3/4″ TO PAD; CAST OFF; ENGRAVED FRAME; CHECKERED STOCK & FORE END; RECOIL PAD; 6.05LBS TOTAL WEIGHT; WILLIAM EVANS HARD CARRY CASE.

WILLIAM EVANS 16 GAUGE SIDE X SIDE SHOTGUN

WILLIAM EVANS 16 GAUGE SIDE X SIDE SHOTGUN

WEBLEY & SCOTT 20 GAUGE SIDE X SIDE SHOTGUN:

WEBLEY & SCOTT 20 GAUGE SIDE X SIDE SHOTGUN

WEBLEY & SCOTT 20 GAUGE SIDE X SIDE SHOTGUN: SN 129817; 20GA; 2-3/4″ CHAMBERS; SINGLE TRIGGER; 28″ BARRELS; MODIFIED & FULL CHOKE; 14-5/8″ LOP; DROP TO COMB 1-3/8″; DROP TO HEEL 2-5/8″; CAST OFF; ENGRAVED FRAME; CHECKERED STOCK & FORE END; CASE COLORED; SHELL EXTRACTORS; 5.65LBS TOTAL WEIGHT; SMALL RECOIL PAD.

AYA AGUIRRE-ARENZABAL 12 GAUGE MODEL 2 SIDE X SIDE SHOTGUN: SN 437736; 12GA; 2-3/4″ CHAMBERS; 26″ BARRELS; IMPROVED & MODIFIED CHOKES; 14-9/16″ LOP; DROP TO COMB 1-9/16″; DROP TO HEEL 2-7/16″ TO STOCK & 2-1/2″ TO PAD; CAST OFF; ENGRAVED FRAME; CASE COLORED; CHECKERED STOCK & FORE END; 6.65LBS TOTAL WEIGHT; RECOIL PAD.

AYA AGUIRRE-ARENZABAL MODEL 2 12 GAUGE SIDE X SIDE SHOTGUN

AYA AGUIRRE-ARENZABAL MODEL 2 12 GAUGE SIDE X SIDE SHOTGUN

WEBLEY & SCOTT 12 GAUGE SIDE X SIDE SHOTGUN

WEBLEY & SCOTT 12 GAUGE SIDE X SIDE SHOTGUN

WEBLEY & SCOTT 12 GAUGE SIDE X SIDE SHOTGUN: SN 123521; 12GA; 2-1/2″ CHAMBERS; 28″ BARRELS; IMPROVED CYLINDER (SKEET) & IMPROVED CYLINDER MODIFIED CHOKES; 14-3/4″ LOP; DROP TO COMB 1-3/4″; DROP TO HEEL 2-3/4″ TO STOCK & 2-7/8″ TO PAD; CAST OFF; ENGRAVED FRAME; CASE COLORED; CHECKERED STOCK & FORE END; RECOIL PAD; 6.60LBS TOTAL WEIGHT; WEBLEY & SCOTT HARD CASE.

 

Ithaca Flues Grade 3E 20 gauge Double Barrel Shotgun

Ithaca Flues Grade 3E 20 gauge Double Barrel Shotgun

A lot of side-by-side fans don’t know this, but up until World War 2, the Ithaca Gun Co. was one of the most successful shotguns makers in the US , and probably in the world.  The company made several different models of side-by-sides up until then, and the Flues was one of their most popular.

Introduced in 1908 and made until 1926 (when it was replaced by the NID)m  Ithaca made 223,000+ Flues shotguns. Of those, the one you see here has to be one of the rarest. Not only is it a graded 20 gauge, but it also has ejectors, 30″ barrel, and a ton of original condition.

It’s up for auction now on Gunbroker.com and the listing ends on 11/12/2013 @ 12:34:10 PM ET. You probably won’t see another one like it again, so if you like it, bid on it now. Here’s more about it from the seller:

Ithaca Flues Grade 3E 20 gauge Double Barrel Shotgun

Ithaca Flues Grade 3E 20 gauge Double Barrel Shotgun

Ithaca Flues Grade 3E 20 gauge. A great example of early Ithaca engraving. Serial number has this gun being manufactured in 1920. 30″ barrels, 2 1/2″ chambers, ejectors and it’s choked tight mod/tight mod with FULLY TAPERED CHOKES FROM THE FACTORY!!! The right barrel measures .605 with a .17 (.588) constriction at choke. The left barrel measures .605 with a .16 (.589)constriction at choke. The wood has beautiful figure, the case color is approximately 70%-75% intact and the bluing is 97%. The LOP is 14 1/8″. Drop @ Comb is 1 1/2″ and drop @ heel is 2 3/4″.

 

Ithaca Flues Grade 3E 20 gauge Double Barrel Shotgun

Ithaca Flues Grade 3E 20 gauge Double Barrel Shotgun

Baikal MU 7 12ga Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun

Baikal MU 7 12ga Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun

The Soviet Union isn’t the first country that comes up when you mention fine shotguns to people. It isn’t the last, either. In fact, it doesn’t come up at all. That’s because very few people know that the Soviet Union made fine shotguns.

Starting in the 1950s, the USSR began building a Soviet-made shotgun for their Soviet Olympic shooters. The over-under shotgun you see evolved from that program. It’s MT-7 (not an MU-7), and instead of being build for competitive shooting, it was made for hunting.

Baikal MU 7 12ga Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun

Baikal MU 7 12ga Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun

For few of these guns made it out of the USSR, and even fewer made it here to the States. It on Gunbroker.com now, and the listing ends on 11/17/2013 @ 7:00:00 PM ET. Here’s more info on it from the seller:

Baikal MU 7 12ga Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun: An exquisite and rare Russian Made Baikal Best Quality Nickel Engraved 12 ga MU 7 model Over/Under shotgun. 2 ¾” shells. 29.5” solid rib barrels choked Imp/Full. Ejectors. LOP of 14.5” to end of recoil pad. 1.75” Drop at comb and 2.75” at heel. Weight 7.5lbs. Non import marked. Three piece take down forend. Production estimated around 1970.

Baikal MU 7 12ga Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun

Baikal MU 7 12ga Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun

Hand nickel engraved receiver to the highest quality including animal scenes of deer, moose along with scroll engraving on receiver, tang, and barrels. Original blue on barrels is excellent with one tiny scratch on left side toward muzzle on close inspection. Outstanding European walnut made with English straight stock with hand checkered wood which is excellent with original finish. Bores are bright and shiny. Originally manufactured with an automatic safety, the original owner had this changed to a manual safety (transfer bar included if you want to change it back).

Baikal MU 7 12ga Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun

Baikal MU 7 12ga Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun

This gun was thought to have been brought into the US by Control Data Systems of Minneapolis in the 70’s or possibly early 1980’s during the period of detente as a barter with Russia for computer goods. The USSR, unable to use hard currency, would often pay in gold or other means…in this case shotguns! Originally made for the European market, this gun still has the Cyrillic-Russian characters for fire/safety!

Baikal MU 7 12ga Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun

Baikal MU 7 12ga Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun

Baikal MU 7 12ga Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun

Baikal MU 7 12ga Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun

Baikal MU 7 12ga Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun

Baikal MU 7 12ga Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun

It's pretty simple: Loose the cover, loose the birds.

It’s pretty simple: Loose the cover, loose the birds.

If you read this post from yesterday, you know that you’re paying for a federal program that’s having a devastating impact on pheasants and other animals  across the midwest. The federal Crop Insurance Program encourages farmers to plant land they used to set aside for conservation, and as more acreage goes under the plow, there are less area where wildlife can thrive.

Part four of the Capital Journal’s excellent series on habit loss in South Dakota’s talks about this program, and lays out some pretty stunning info on what lies ahead for the state.

The Crop Insurance Connection by Allison Jarrell

“When Lyle Perman was younger, in a different era in farm policy, he and his father converted some of their grassland into crops.

Perman, now a Walworth County rancher and crop insurance agent, recalls government agencies assisting them with designing drainage ditches and blowing holes in wetlands.

“You have to understand that this is the environment that a lot of us were raised in,” Perman said. “We were raised draining wetlands. Farming and erosion were just part of the business. You didn’t like it, but it was just part of what you did.”

That grassland conversion is part of what made South Dakota what it is today. But researchers, ranchers and conservation organizations have found that high commodity prices are driving today’s farmers to plow land that yesterday’s farmers deemed unsuitable for planting….”

Read the entire piece now: The Crop Insurance Connection. Then ask yourself  a simple question: Is this something you and I should be paying for?

28g L.L. Bean / Sigarms Over-Under Shotgun

28g L.L. Bean / Sigarms Over-Under Shotgun

28g L.L. Bean / Sigarms Over-Under Shotgun

28g L.L. Bean / Sigarms Over-Under Shotgun

Here’s a great deal in a small bore O/U. These doubles were made by Battista Rizzini for L.L. Bean, and they’re a lot of gun for the money. This one looks unfired.

28g L.L. Bean / Sigarms Over-Under Shotgun: Price: $1,999.99

Gauge 28 gauge
Metal Condition Near new in box
Stock Dimensions 14 5/8″ LOP. 1 1/2″ DAC. 2 1/4″ AH.
Gun Library East Hartford, CT
Stock Round-knob pistol-grip stock
Trigger Single selective
Status available
Fore End Field-style
Weight 6 1/4 lbs.
Choke Screw-in chokes – three included
Bore Condition Appears unfired
Chamber 2 3/4″
Barrel 26 1/2″
Wood Condition Near new in box
Butt Trim black recoil pad
Wild male ringnecked pheasant

Wild male ringnecked pheasant

If you read my post South Dakota is Dying, you know habit loss is leading to decline in pheasants and other wildlife species throughout the state. But here’s something you may not know:  Crop Insurance Programs are behind some of this habitat loss. And who pays for these Crop Insurance Programs? You, me, and anyone else who pays taxes to the United States Federal Government.

A couple day ago, Bloomberg.com posted this eye-opening piece about the impact that Crop Insurance Programs are having across South Dakota and the western US. Check it out and learn more about how you’re paying to decimate wildlife numbers across America:

Crop Insurance Hazards Shown in Lost Pheasants in Grasslands, By Alan Bjerga

10/20/2013: “The hunters tramp through neck-high prairie grass with a pair of golden retrievers named Moe and Buck, flushing out birds in a freezing autumn drizzle.

When one flutters from the South Dakota grassland, Dick Schmith, 58, calls “rooster!” Guns rise and a long-tailed pheasant drops. Moe bounds through the meadow to pick it up.

Such successes, key to the state’s pheasant season, are getting harder to come by. Bird numbers are down almost two-thirds from last year.

A number of reasons are cited for the decline…”

Learn the reasons and find out what’s behind them. Read the entire piece now: Crop Insurance Hazards Shown in Lost Pheasants in Grasslands

To learn more about the farming situation across America, check out Bloomberg’s excellent series Doomed Crops. Record Profits.

RU CH. Grouse Ridge Bruiser

RU CH. Grouse Ridge Bruiser

Bill Ballin used to be the resident trainer at Grouse Ridge Kennels in Oxford, NY. So when it comes to good grouse & woodcock dogs, he knows what he’s talking about.

Today, Bill trains and handles dogs at his own operation - High Grass Hill Kennels – and he has these pups available from RU CH. Grouse Ridge Bruiser X Lexi. They were born 7-28-2013 and they’re ready to go now.

To find out more about the litter, call Bill 607-316-1917 or 607-373-3376. You can also reach him nfd177@gmail.com.

High Grass Hill Kennel Male

High Grass Hill Kennel Male

High Grass Hill Kennel Male

High Grass Hill Kennel Male

High Grass Hill Kennel Male

High Grass Hill Kennel Male

High Grass Hill Kennel Female

High Grass Hill Kennel Female

High Grass Hill Kennel Female

High Grass Hill Kennel Female

 

Now disappearing in SD-- pheasant cover....

Now disappearing in SD– pheasant cover….

I don’t remember anything unusual about South Dakota’s 2007 pheasant opener- blue skies, great dogs, memories made with family & friends, and hundred and hundreds of wild pheasants. But even though I didn’t know it, 2007 was a turning point for the state. In that year, the amount of land set aside by South Dakota farmers in the federal government’s Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) peaked at 1,600,000 acres.

Today, South Dakota has around 1,000,000 acres in the CRP, and the state is on track to have just 600,000 acres in it by 2020. This loss is on top of the thousands of acres of shelter belts, wet areas, and other important wildlife regions that have gone under the plow in the last few years.

In an excellent five-part series, the Capital Journal in Pierre, SD, reports on what changes like these will mean for the state. Here’s part 3 of 5:

Habitat in crisis: Hunters: Disappearing CRP acres threaten South Dakota way of life. By Justin Joiner

The clutch was touchy in the bus and the suspension almost nonexistent as a group of dove hunters scraped across the prairie into the middle of Darrel Reinke’s land northeast of Pierre.

The destination was a tract of land where grassland and grainfields stood side by side – good habitat for hunting doves, or, come the third weekend in October, pheasants. But as the sun sank low over the Great Plains that September day, the conversation turned somber. Some of the hunters on the bus worried that the sport they love, and South Dakota’s reputation as the pre-eminent state for upland game hunting, may be in jeopardy because habitat such as this is becoming harder to find…

If you care about South Dakota, read the entire piece now.

B.C. Miroku Model FE My Luck Double Barrel SxS Shotgun

B.C. Miroku Model FE My Luck Double Barrel SxS Shotgun

B.C. Miroku Model FE My Luck Double Barrel SxS Shotgun

B.C. Miroku Model FE My Luck Double Barrel SxS Shotgun

You probably don’t know it, but Miroku is one of the largest gun makers in the world. For many years, this Japanese company made Charles Daly over unders. Since 1973 they’ve made Browning’s Citori O/U shotguns, and today they also make firearms under the Winchester brand and under their own name.

The company has also made side-by-sides, including Browning’s BSS shotguns and their own line of boxlocks and sidelock doubles. The shotgun you see here is one of the sidelocks. There’s not a lot of info out there about these guns, but I think this model was made in the 1980s. I’ve seen a couple, and they’ve both been extremely well made shotguns, and great buys, too.

Made in Japan: Take a Tour of the Miroku Shotgun Factor with Field & Stream’s Phil Bourjaily

Here are the details on the shotgun you see here:

12 gauge B.C. Miroku Model FE My Luck Sidelock Double Barrel Shotgun with ejectors

Price: $2,999.99

Caliber: 12 Ga
Metal Condition: Excellent
Wood Condition: Excellent
Bore Condition: Both Barrels Are Very Bright
Barrels: 28
Triggers: Double
Stock: Checkered Straight
Stock Dimensions: 13 1/2″ LOP And 12 3/4″ LOP
Fore End: Splinter
Butt Pad: Decelerator Soft Black Butt Pad
Weight: 6 lbs 14 oz
Fort Pierre National Grassland, South Dakota

Fort Pierre National Grassland, South Dakota

If you read my post South Dakota is Dying and would like find out more about what’s happening in South Dakota, I suggest you read this excellent five-part series in the Capital Journal in Pierre, SD. It outlines what’s at stake, what’s changing across the state, and what may lie ahead for pheasant and other birds species in South Dakota. Here’s part 2 of 5:

Habitat in crisis: Conservationists worry about factors driving grassland conversion. By Allison Jarrell, Thu Oct 24, 2013.

The story of South Dakota since the 1862 Homestead Act has been in large part the story of converting grassland into cropland. It’s nothing new to sow wheat or corn where there once was grass. Drive along any East River highway and you’ll spot rocks plucked from beds of prairie grass or water draining from rich, dark soil.

But scientists studying satellite images of the western edge of the Corn Belt say something different is happening now…

Read all of this piece now.

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