American Handgunner Jan/Feb 2013 Digital Edition - Page 106

the insider TM roy huntington Guns ait! It’s not what you think. Before everyone runs to their computers to send me e-mails telling me I’m a horrid, vicious murderer for shooting innocent chickens — rest easy, ‘cause I’m not. Well, at least usually I’m not. About 2 years ago we thought it would be a good idea to raise some chickens. Soon there were nine chickens in residence. Our neighbor raised about 40, so they were kind enough to bring over a mini-flock, including one rooster. Now comes the part about not usually shooting chickens. Within 30 minutes that rooster had attacked most of the “girls” as we call them, pecked them, foisted himself “upon” them, tried to attack me and generally made himself unwelcome. I called my neighbor and encouraged him to take a “return” on the rooster. “Nope, he’s yours now,” came the reply. I heard a laugh too, I’m sure of it. I tried to catch that damn rooster but that was a no-go, so for about 30 minutes he terrorized the girls and Jenna The Wonder Dog, all the while deftly avoiding my flailing at him with a hoe, steel rake and even a concrete block on one memorable runby. I’d soon had enough and reached for my at-hand semi-rusty .22 rifle — problem solved. The girls settled down nicely, letting out chickensighs and coos of relief as if saying, “Thanks, glad he’s gone.” He was tasty for a rooster, by the way. Early 2012 we added another 20 girls and now have eggs overflowing. But life is hard when you’re a chicken and you live in the country, especially when you ChiCken W doWn niCely, leTTinG ouT ChiCken-siGhs and Coos of relief as if sayinG, ‘Thanks, Glad he’s Gone.’ he Was TasTy for a roosTer, by The Way.” to free-range around the property. Which they certainly enjoy, with much pecking, scratching, fussing and eating of bugs and other tasty treats. An added benefit — no bugs around the house. Since we raised them from chicks, if you call to them (“Bwock, bwock … bwwocckkk!”) they hoist their skirts and come bounding over like a bunch of old ladies wearing bustles. Great fun. They also like watermelon, by the way. But, all has not been chicken nirvana at the Huntington spread. Coyotes, hawks, raccoons, feral dogs, snakes and any number of other critters also like the fact we have chickens. Of the original eight “girls” there’s only one “ The Girls seTTled theinsider left. We call her “O.C.” for Original Chicken. All the other first-stringers have gotten eaten. We still have the 20 new ones though, mostly through vigilance on our part. A chickentip: If you decide to keep chickens and let ’em free-range — don’t name them. It’s bad enough when you lose one, but if you lose “Rosie” or “Zelda” or “Hawk” (a long story there), it’s suddenly personal. When a coyote snatched Rosie (our favorite) right outside our kitchen window (Suzi was banging on the window and yelling, but it happened fast and she couldn’t do anything about it) — we officially declared war. Which brings us around to chicken guns. Before we moved onto our land and were city-locked in Southern California, I spent more time than I probably should have trying to figure out the “perfect” land-gun. Something I’d always have with me and could protect us and our animals from those things we needed protection from. Once moved, I quickly found out what you “imagine” and what actually works can be two different things. What I learned is there isn’t a single gun that does it all — but one does come close. In my real world, the shotgun always managed to be someplace else when I needed it, my handgun wasn’t always the right one for the moment (I have a .44 Magnum athand when what I really need is a .22), and my lever-action .30-30 is, um … challenging, when you’re trying to connect on a coyote blasting 48 mph across the pasture. After stealing a chicken, by the way. I missed — all five shots. Now, almost five years after moving Continued on page 104 106 WWW.AMERICANHANDGUNNER.COM • JANUARY/FEBRUARY2013

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