Sometimes the deal is just too good to pass up. I didn’t need or really want a new shotgun, but the price for the Caesar Guerini Woodlander shotgun was stupid low. So, I wrote the check and put the gun in the vault with plans to flip it and make some money. The trouble is I have a phobia against selling any guns and so it sat there as an “investment” for several years.

It had been a tough year for rabbit hunting and I needed a change of luck. I am a superstitious gun guy and I think that sometimes a change of guns can bring a change of luck. I decided that if I were going to keep this shotgun, rather than a remaining a safe queen, it needed to go hunting.

My rabbit hunting buddy is Steve Shaw and his beagle is named Soul. With the lack of snow in Vermont this year we are hunting cottontails this winter rather than snowshoe hares, which is fine with me. I like hunting the little brown rabbits and they are far better eating than the white bunnies of the high country.

It’s just that my season was not going well. I am dealing with some back and rib issues from a Christmas day motorcycle accident and it has messed up my shooting. (At least that’s my excuse and I am sticking with it.) The one day prior that I felt good enough to hunt, I missed two rabbits. I might be bragging, but that’s unusual for me. So, I made a deal with Soul. If he would find a blind, arthritic old rabbit that would run by me slow enough so I could shoot him, I would give the dog some of the canned venison I had brought for lunch.


He did his part and I shot a rabbit. Although, in my own defense, the rabbit seemed a lot faster than I had requested. But a deal is a deal. We ate lunch on my truck tailgate and I made sure that Soul had more than his share of the venison. Much more, in fact, than I had promised. I hoped that my show of good will would result in more slow rabbits that afternoon. We finished up lunch about the time the landowner came by to chat.

I had the butt of my new shotgun resting on the ground as we talked and Soul walked to the gun, lifted his leg and pissed all over the Turkish walnut stock.

Clearly there is not a lot of gratitude in that dog’s soul.