By now most states’ dove seasons are well under way, and there are many of you out there with quite a few seasons under your belts. But can your streak top legendary Oklahoma oil tycoon Boone Pickens?
From this story in the Dallas Morning News:
_As many as 100,000 Texas hunters took part in the Sept. 1 opening day ritual called dove hunting. A few may have been older than Dallas businessman Boone Pickens, 82. But it’s doubtful a single hunter could challenge Pickens’ opening day dove streak, which stands at 70 straight. He hasn’t missed an opening day since he started dove hunting. The streak started in Pickens’ native Oklahoma . He accompanied his father, Tom Pickens, on quail and dove hunts at an early age. When Boone turned 12, his father decided he was old enough to shoot.
__”My first dove hunt was at a tank [waterhole] near Konawa, Okla.,” recalled Pickens, who has the memory of a computer hard drive. “I had a single shot .410, and I got six doves that first hunt. The limit in those days was 10.” Pickens’ wing shooting career has been epic, but his starter shotgun suffered an ignoble demise. On a quail hunt with his father later that same year, Boone dropped his shotgun, barrel first, in the mud. Tom Pickens admonished his son to clean out the barrel and check to be certain that no mud remained. “Don’t shoot unless that barrel is clean,” instructed the elder Pickens. Young Boone whacked the barrel a couple of times with the heal of his hand and was satisfied when a clump of mud dislodged. When a quail covey flushed minutes later, he picked out a fast-flying bird, brought his shotgun to bear and pulled the trigger.
The little gun responded not with a bang but with a sickening “whump” sound, a noise his father heard and recognized as a .410 unable to force pellets through a mud-clogged bore. After the hunt, Tom Pickens took a hacksaw and cut off the .410 barrel behind the telltale bulge where the barrel had been plugged, then told Boone that was his shotgun for the remainder of the season. The bobbed-off barrel was slightly longer than the forearm and looked more like a shotgun favored by a bank robber than an upland bird hunter. “Don’t make me shoot this gun, dad,” pleaded the youngster. “It’ll make me look stupid.””You acted stupid when you didn’t clean the mud out of your barrel,” said an unyielding Tom Pickens. “You deserve to look stupid.”_