Mrs. Animal has a fondness for critters (for which, as some point out, I should be grateful) and maintains a bird/squirrel feeder in front of our residence. For ground-feeding critters she regularly puts out whole and cracked corn on the ground beneath the bird feeder; this is what resulted from that practice yesterday afternoon:
Them would be ducks, True Believers. A whole passel of fat, tasty mallards, right there on the xeroscaped front yard. We live in the suburbs where discharge of firearms without good reason is frowned upon (obtaining a tasty supper is not deemed ‘good reason;’ an axe murderer kicking in your front door, on the other hand…) Still, one is tempted to obtain a really good pellet gun, as broiled wild mallard is one of the tastiest of meals.
Probably better to take shotgun in hand and head east to a couple of places I know along the South Platte out by Brush, where you can usually pick up a couple of wild ducks.
Waterfowling can frequently be a wet, muddy business. While I have a fondness for fine shotguns and generally pick up my Citori or one of my restored and refurbished Brownings or Winchesters for upland work, trap shooting or sporting clays, when time comes to kill some ducks or geese I’m as often as not inclined to pick up a very different fowling piece altogether.
Since my 19th birthday I’ve had a copy of the old, ugly but reliable Mossberg 500 in 12 gauge, a gift from my first wife when we were dating. The old gun has been through a lot in the decades since. I’ve killed a small mountain of birds, bunnies and such with it, and its original Mossberg “C-Lect Choke” (Mossberg’s proprietary collet choke) barrel was replaced with a 28″ vent rib barrel cut for tubes. The original hardwood stock was likewise replaced, this with a Hogue overmolded synthetic.
The old Mossberg is sort of the AK-47 of shotguns; not overly attractive, but rugged, reliable, effective, endlessly accessorizable and tough, tough, tough! I have plenty of nicer, prettier and better-fitted shotguns, but when you’re spending the day splashing through a marsh or sitting in a muddy goose pit, the old Mossberg stoked with heavy 3″ mags is the way to go.