Sunday, November 28, 2010

Uncle Larry's Model 99

When I was eight my Dad mounted a mule deer rack in the garage to serve as a coat-hanger.  He's told me the story of how that deer met his demise many times.  In prepartion of a Nevada deer hunt my Dad borrowed his Uncle Larry's Model 99 Savage.  This wasn't just any Model 99; it was a .270 Titus, sometimes called a .270 Savage.  The Titus, so I've read, was developed by gunsmith Bliss Titus of Heber City, Utah.  Essentially the .270 Titus is a 300 Savage necked down to accomodate the .270 projectile.  They are purported to be very accurate.

Anyway, Uncle Larry handed over his rifle with a box of hand-loaded rounds, and my Dad made some comment that he "only needed one," but Larry scoffed and sent my Dad on his way with a full ammo box.  The next day, as the sun rose over the Nevada desert my Dad spooked a nice mule deer in the bottom of a ravine.  The deer charged up the other side and my Dad squeezed off a round just as the buck reached the top and the sun's light  flooded the scope.  In the early morning silence my Dad heard him fall to the ground and die.  The shot was 450 yards and the bullet entered the deer's back between the shoulder blades.  At his van a pair of road hunters asked if he had seen any deer, to which my Dad, with blood all over his clothing replied "nope, not a one."  Back in Reno my Dad returned the rifle, ammo box, and empty casing to Larry, probably with some smart ass comment about how he only needed one.

I'm hoping I'm as lucky this year as I try to take my first deer using the same rifle my old man used to take his.  She's a real beauty and I feel honored just to be able to take it out of the house.

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