FRED OWEN (Instructor)
Some of my earliest memories are of anxiously waiting on my father and older brother to return from a hunting trip (so I could help skin whatever was in the game bag that day). Also that was my chance to prove my competence by safely cleaning all the guns they used that day.
I was 8 years old at this time. I was not allowed to go hunting until I was 12 years old (this seemed to be the arbitrary age where all Owen boys were deemed mature enough to properly handle a gun in the field). I remember my Dad telling me the story about his cousin who was shot in a hunting accident in 1926 in the Eel river bottoms in Clay county. He always told me his last words were: “Orville XXXXXX look what you done, you done kilt me”.
Needless to say it was required to know how to handle a gun when you climb a fence, climb a tree, cross a creek; always carry without pointing the muzzle at someone in the field, always load the gun after you are in the woods and unload it before you leave the woods. Never leave a round in the chamber when not in the direct vicinity of game (usually squirrel or rabbit).
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