Affordable SxSs were a thing of the past by the time I got out of college in the 90’s, found a job, and had money to spend on a gun.
SKB stopped making their side-by-sides in 1980. Stevens ended their low priced 311s and Fox Model Bs in 1989. AYAs and Arrietas were building SxS in the ’90s, but their lowest-grade guns cost more than my F150 was worth.
If I wanted a new double at a reasonable price, an OU was the only way to go: Berettas 686s, Browning Citoris, Ruger Red Labels.
But according to this new article in Outdoor life by A.J. DeRosa, that’s not the case anymore.
The dampness of the cellar mixed with the smell of gun oil hit my nose. My eyes caught the fluorescent lights reflecting off blued metal. Well-kept barrels of various brands and models of vintage shotguns stood out in contrast against a worn table. My bank account was about to be sucked dry; I tried not to think about the overdraft fees. The affordable gun I had originally came for fell by the wayside as I shouldered an Italian-built shotgun with a slender English grip. Welcome to the world of side-by-side shotguns….
Bobwhite quail are not one of a America’s conservation success stories. Over the last 30-40 years, their populations have collapsed throughout the south and across the southwest. Fortunately, some people, and some state agencies and working hard to try and these birds back. I hope they’re successful.
“For many, the bobwhite quail is a symbol of their youth in the South. Small game is often where many cut their teeth in the hunting world. Adam Keith, wildlife consultant, ventures back into his past to take a journey into the public lands of Missouri with state biologist Frank L. Loncarich and Kyle Hedges.” WatchFighting Back – A Bobwhite Quail Film by Project Upland now.
Texas used to be the last stronghold of wild bobwhite quail – especially the western part of the start. Unfortunately, it looks like the bird’s numbers are falling there just like they’re falling throughout the US. Sporting Classic Daily posted this video about one group trying to turn things around for Gentleman Bob.
Operation Idiopathic Decline is the largest disease and parasite study every done on quail. It’s trying to figure out why west Texas’s quail population is collapsing, and they’re trying to find a way to stop this decline.
Here’s a little video about how drought and habit loss is impacting bobwhite quail populations in Texas. Not too cheery. I hope it starts to rain. almost as much as I hope people stop ruining quail habitat.
The sad, sad story of the demise of the bobwhite quail continues. Here’s a link to a recent piece in the New York TImes about the quail’s disappearance and about attempts to make them appear again.
Restoring Tradition of Quail Hunting
By JAMES CARD
Published: May 18, 2011
Bobwhite quail are one of the most studied wildlife species in the United States, yet conservationists have yet to halt the declining populations…