What a shotgun!

I often appreciate but don’t often envy when I’m in the hunting fields.

My personal hunting spots are pretty good and I’ve been blessed with some very fine dogs for 90-percent of my life. I’m not the best shot in the world but I can usually hold up my end of the deal.

But Monday I’m sure my skin had a distinctive shade of green to it. It was a serious case of shotgun envy.

Rehan Nana was carrying an heirloom L.C. Smith 16-gauge shotgun Monday for prairie chickens.

Rehan Nana, a  Kansas City native now in Minnesota with Pheasants Forever, was a last minute addition to our trip to the rolling prairie in Edwards County.

I noticed he was carrying his shotgun broken-down, in a weathered hard case.

At the field I stared as he opened the case and assembled as nice a side-by-side as I’ve seen in years.

The shotgun was a L.C. Smith probably made 60 or so years ago in New York. The guns were never overly decorative but they have always been known for good workmanship and outstanding function.

Rehan’s shotgun was just worn enough to show it had spent many days afield but well-kept enough to still be downright handsome.

The gun was even a 16-gauge, the shotgun I’ve always thought to be ideal for most kinds of upland gunning in Kansas. I only saw him fire it once and it dropped a lesser prairie chicken – probably America’s most-coveted upland gamebird.


The shotgun even had a history as it had been carried by various members of Rehan’s family over much of the U.S. and Pakistan.

Like most of its kind, the L.C. Smith was a fine combination of plain and elegant.

Seeing and photographing the gun was only part of a fine day. We saw a lot of birds, shot well and it was a pleasure to spend time with Rehan. In fact, I invited him to come share the fields with me again.

Even when he can’t come, he’s more than welcome to send his shotgun.