Monday, July 17, 2006

Peter Capstick Moment

Years back when I was living in Florida I saw in a G&A that the great African hunter and one of my idols, Peter Hathaway Capstick, was in Sarasota for some medical treatment. I immediately called directory assistance and discovered that Capstick had a listed number.

I called the legendary hunter, and he answered his phone on the first ring, in a whisper.

"Mr. Capstick," I said, " name is..."

"SHHHHHH!" he whispered. "I'm in my blind hunting"

"You're in Sarasota..." I whispered back.

"Palm rats," he said. "They come down out of the palm trees, and I take 'em with an air rifle. One of 'em will go Boone and Crockett easy..."

So I'm sitting in my blind, a.k.a. office, deeply engaged in the 2006 Rodent Apocalypse in my Sweetie's backyard flower garden. So far this morning, I've bagged a pretty nice chipmonk and a Boone and Crockett-worthy ground squirrel. Because we're working on a handgun hunting show, I thought I should stick to air pistols. Unfortunately, my aging Webley Tempest, which I got at the prodding of Mr. Capstick maybe 20 years ago and which has taken some fairly impressive palm rats, needs to be sighted in — which, with the quintessentially British Tempest is no mean feat.

So I'm cheating and using a Gamo target gun (super accurate; less velocity) to head shoot the little bastards, then if necessary finishing them off with the Tempest...

...okay I'm back from Number 3, a good clean shot just behind the left ear, which pole-axed him. Ms. Fox and the two kits get an excellent free dinner tonight!


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The .470 Capstick rifle cartridge, developed by A-Square's Colonel Arthur B. Alphin in 1990, bears his name. His legacy is also saluted by The Dallas Safari Club's annual Peter Hathaway Capstick Hunting Heritage Award for the promotion of responsible hunting and wildlife conservation.

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