The greatest time of year is finally here!

Let the season begin!

Puck and I were in central Maine yesterday chasing grouse and woodcock. It was our first day of real hunting in 2010. I carried a loaded gun, instead of just a starter pistol and a camera. We hunted a couple of hours and Puck pointed three woodcock. We didn’t see any grouse.

Here are some pics from the day:

Woodcock - that way!
Woodcock - that way!
Berries
Berries
Look at her go!
Look at her go!
End of day 1, 2010 season
End of day 1, 2010 season

The first weekend of the season is always hard. The leaves are thick and there’s still a ton of food in the woods. The birds are spread out all over the place. As soon as we have a few hard frosts, a lot of the lush, green stuff will die off and the grouse will filter over to their usual fall covers. My fingers are crossed, anyway.

In between covers, I stopped by James Julia Auctions. They’re having their fall gun auction on Tuesday and Wednesday. There are piles of good guns there, including President Roosevelt’s A.H. Fox F grade 12 gauge double barrel shotgun. I wanted to see Teddy’s side by side. I also wanted to check out this Lefever A Grade in 16 gauge. Some of the crankier Lefever guys out there have been kicking up a stink about the gold inlays on this gun.

A-grade Lefevers are usually pretty sparse on the gold. All the gold on this 16 gauge is puzzling. Is it original? Was it added later by the maker? Or was it added at a much later date by someone else? No one knows and there’s no way to prove it. This leaves a lot of room for speculation and insinuation. Depending on the kind of person you are, there are a lot of ways to go with this. One member of the Lefever club has even gone so far as to call James Julia’s honesty and integrity into question. Not too classy.

Anyway, here’s a closeup of one of the “questionable” gold inlays on the gun.

Gold inlays on Lefever A grade shotgun, 16 gauge
Gold inlays on Lefever A grade shotgun, 16 gauge

People are questioning the “halo” around the gold inlays. Julia’s offered an explanation, posted right next to the gun.

Julia's explanation on the 16 gauge Lefever A grade
Julia's explanation on the 16 gauge Lefever A grade

Check out these other highlights from Julia’s Fall 2010 sale:

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