The BaitShop Homepage
Forum Home Forum Home > Hunting > Big Game
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - ELMER AND JACK STORIES - PART 1
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

This site is completely supported by donations; there are no corporate sponsors. We would be honoured if you would consider a small donation, to be used exclusively for forum expenses.



Thank you, from the BaitShop Boyz!

Topic ClosedELMER AND JACK STORIES - PART 1

 Post Reply Post Reply
Author
Message
Guests View Drop Down
Guest
Guest
Direct Link To This Post Topic: ELMER AND JACK STORIES - PART 1
    Posted: 18 July 2003 at 16:03

ELMER AND JACK STORIES - PART 1

Elmer and I were friends from 1971 until his death in 1984. I visited him in his home on a regular basis. He was a great guy. I got all his books and he wrote personal messages in them to me.  Many have now been sold to supplement my little retirement check.  My favorite was in "Hell, I Was There" where he called me a "Brother African & Alaskan hunter". High praise coming from a guy like Elmer.

Also, Stephan Hunter wrote a fictionalized character based on Elmer, and another on my old friend Jack O'Connor (Jack and I were fairly close neighbors, in terms of the west, just 35 miles apart, and I probably averaged at least one visit  per month in his home between 1971 and his death in 1978) in his book "Pale Horse Coming". If you like stories about old time gun writers, trick shot artists, border patrol legends and war heroes you will like "Pale Horse Coming".

Here is a quick story for now about the 44 magnum S&W Model 29. Elmer generally gets credit for the cartridge but the frame was influenced by Elmer's old hunting and border patrol training buddy Bill Jordan.

Elmer wasn't very tall and he had relatively small, especially compared to Bill, hands which had also had their full range of movement impaired by both fire and a hard life working outdoors.

Bill Jordan was a big man for his time and had huge hands.

Elmer always blamed Bill for those over size square butt grips that came on the S&W Model 29's until recent years when they changed to a rounded butt and Hogue grips.

Elmer once told me: "Bill Jordan was the only SOB I know with hands big enough to hold that gun properly with the grips that came on it".

Elmer always had smaller custom grips put on his handguns and, usually, a higher front sight that was more useful for long range handgun shooting.

To this day I use his method of dividing the front sight into quadrants to hit long range targets "perched on the front sight like birds sitting on a telephone wire" as he used to remind me as I was trying to emulate him.

Anyone who doubted Elmer's ability to shoot needed only spend some time with him to know that he was one of those rare and special people with a gift for shooting both long and short guns.

I've watched him draw that special 44 Magnum 4 inch Model 29 that S&W made for him and I can tell you that well into his 70's he was fast. His gnarly old hand was just a blur. I could "hear" him clear leather better than I could see it. And, if you were in the open and within 200 yards of him, and he could get off a cylinder of 44 magnums from his Model 29 at you, he would probably hit you at least once. More likely, he would hit you more than once.

Quite a guy that Elmer Keith. I felt lucky to be welcomed into his home so often as I was back in those days.  Same with Jack O'Connor.  Two legends.  And, I enjoy sharing what they both told me and taught me.  Up to a point.  Some of the stories will stay private but I hope you will enjoy reading this series of "Elmer and Jack" stories as much as I enjoyed writing them. 

CJ

PS - I've written, as of today, 11 Elmer and Jack Stories, including this first one.  If folks are interested, I'll post one every other week.  Along with some type of hunting story for the weeks in between.  Comments are welcome.  I get some of my best writing ideas from reader comments.  However, I may not respond to posted comments in this format.  But you may get a private message from me if I've got something I think needs saying directly to you.  Heck, this is your forum not mine.  I'm just an old retired guest writer Ron invited to come visit and I don't need to be cluttering up your forum with unnecessary jabber. 

 

Back to Top
TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
Administrator
Administrator
Avatar
aka The Gipper

Joined: 10 June 2003
Location: Chinook Montana
Status: Offline
Points: 14705
Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 July 2003 at 09:53

i recently read jack o'connors's book, the art of western big game hunting, and realized that most of what he sedcribes in his book is the way my dad has hunted ever since i was a kid. pretty interesting to think about. i guess it also means he was teaching me right!

keep the stories coming!!

TasunkaWitko - Chinook, Montana

Helfen, Wehren, Heilen
Die Wahrheit wird euch frei machen
Back to Top
NH_Hunter View Drop Down
.416 Rigby
.416 Rigby
Avatar
aka The Kid

Joined: 13 June 2003
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 3508
Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 July 2003 at 10:27

Huh, never met anyone on the internet who has met either Elmer or Jack. Guess there is at least one out there! Nice article, by the way.

How many times have you hunted Africa? Hehe I always seem to be attracted when people say they have hunted in Africa.

NH_Hunter

Leverguns make me smile
Proud Left Handed Shooter
Back to Top
Rob1 View Drop Down
.416 Rigby
.416 Rigby
Avatar
** The Walnut Whisperer **

Joined: 10 June 2003
Location: Vatican City State
Status: Offline
Points: 3413
Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 July 2003 at 10:32

"Heck, this is your forum not mine.  I'm just an old retired guest writer Ron invited to come visit and I don't need to be cluttering up your forum with unnecessary jabber."

 These boards would cease to exist were it not for unnecessary jabber 

Back to Top
waksupi View Drop Down
.416 Rigby
.416 Rigby
Avatar
aka Keeper of the Old Traditions

Joined: 11 June 2003
Status: Offline
Points: 2371
Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 July 2003 at 13:07

Elmer used to attend the gun shows here in Kalispell regularly before his death. Couldn't misss that hat. It used to be quite a social event at the old Outlaw Inn days. I did see him many times, but never got to know him.

O'Conner hunted this area for griz and sheep in years past. I knew the man who guided him, and said guide wasn't too impressed. But the guide was a pretty gruff old mountain man, so I take it with a grain of salt.

Ken Howell still attends the shows up here, health permitting, as does Les Bauska. I believe this area used to draw alot more "Big Name" hunters in days past.

John Buhmiller, the old elephant culler, having his shop here drew in a lot of hunters, as did Monte Kennedy, the stock maker and checkering expert, down in Lakeside. I've still got cancelled checks from Monte around. 

Let the stories roll. I'll read 'em, and enjoy them!

 

 

Ther has been a lot of knowledge and stories lost with these old boys.

Back to Top
Bronco View Drop Down
.243 Winchester
.243 Winchester
Avatar

Joined: 26 June 2003
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 217
Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 July 2003 at 16:35

Waksupi: I haven't heard about Les Bauska for years. He must be getting pretty old.

           I've got a Bauska barrel on my 45-70 Sharps. He made it about 15 yrs ago. Have used his barrels on Muzzleloaders. Dale Story (gunsmith in Casper) has used a lot of Les's barrels over the last 30 yrs. They are real shooters. Sometimes is doesn't hurt to lap em a little.

         I heard that the guy that worked for him is making barrels in Mont somewhere. Name is Dale Jones. Do you know anything about his quality? 

             RSapp

My Father didn't bring me into this world to become #2 on the food chain.
Back to Top
waksupi View Drop Down
.416 Rigby
.416 Rigby
Avatar
aka Keeper of the Old Traditions

Joined: 11 June 2003
Status: Offline
Points: 2371
Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 July 2003 at 03:18

Yep, Les is old and frail, but still attends the gun shows regularly.

Dale is making good barrels. He's into the 50BMG  barrels last I heard, but is also doing a lot of benchrest quality sizes. I believe he does BPCR barrels, too. I don't know if he is cutting any ML barrels. I believe he is located out by Kila.

Back to Top
Guests View Drop Down
Guest
Guest
Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 July 2003 at 07:42

I'd like to respond to the posts here in the hope that what I have to say might be of some general interest:

1) As to Africa, I've been on safari twice.  Both were camera only, no shooting of anything but film.  One was in Kenya.  The other was in South Africa.  Each lasted somewhere between a month and six weeks and each covered more than 3,000 land miles.  I did manage to photograph all the big five:  lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and cape buffalo.  Most of the popular, hunted, buck such as eland, oryx, kudu and the elusive bongo, on the slopes of Mount Kenya, at night, with artificial light, plus most of the more common animals.  Of special note was a pretty good photograph (As a wildlife photographer, I also took and sold prints of North American game taken, mostly, in the far north and our western states.) of a grant gazelle that may, at that time, have been a world record head.  But, who knows, hard to measure horns on a live animal and no one with me had either a gun or a permit to shoot one.

2) I spent a lot of time, over the years, at the Outlaw Inn attending Kalispell Gun Shows.  Elmer used to sit near the front lobby in a rocking chair, in his later years, holding court to any and all who were interested.  As to John Buhmiller (or is it spelled Buhlmiller?), I never met him but an old friend of mine, here in Spokane, Al Biesen, the gun maker, has a bunch of letters from John recounting his adventures in Africa and, also, discussing barrels.  With Jack O'Connor, what one has to keep in mind, and I'll write more about this in the ELMER AND JACK series of commentaries, is that he was a most unusual man for his era.  First, he grew up without a father at a time when divorce was almost unheard of and divorced women, like his mother, were hard pressed to find work that would support a single parent family.  This was at a time when Arizona, where the O'Connor family lived, on ground which is now a part of the Arizona State University campus, was still a territory and not yet a state.  He was fortunate in that he was a smart kid and managed to earn two university degree's, one, a master's degree, at a prestigious university (MA in journalism from the University of Missouri) at a time when many, if not most folks, especially in the west, we are talking about the early to mid 1920's, had ever been to high school, let alone college.  For a quick comparison, in my family, on my mother's side, I was the first to graduate from high school and that was in 1961.  Plus, before going to college, Jack had enlisted in and served, briefly, he was only 15 at the time, in the US Army and also served a tour of duty with the US Navy.  In more ways than one, Jack was not a typical man of his times.  Remember, Elmer, because of where and how he grew up, never even finished elementary school.  So, Jack was indeed different.  Think of it this way, if you see Elmer as a sort of cowboy type guy from a working ranch and outfitting background, then you should probably be thinking of Jack as a sort of academic type who not only taught at several colleges and universities but was a journalist long before he started writing hunting stories for a living.  I see them as two great, but quite different, men who contributed much to hunting and the shooting sports.  Moreover, some of us, who knew and visited both men in their homes over the years, respect them way too much to write all that we know.  Both could be crusty.  Neither suffered fools gladly.  But, both, could also be most generous and gracious.  I'm proud to have known them.

Hope these comments prove to be interesting.  I've got to be careful not to put the cart before the horse here and write ahead of the series that I'm now in the process of posting here.

Again, comments are encouraged but I'll try to limit my responses to what I think might be of general interest and use the private message system for just that, private messages.

CJ

 

Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 11.10
Copyright ©2001-2017 Web Wiz Ltd.

This page was generated in 0.063 seconds.