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About 8 weeks ago I received a very nice email from a young man named Sam from Salem asking if I would take him "varmint hunting". He had a friend who took my class and then went hunting sage rats with me. I replied I am full for this year's class but he could contact Kids S.A.F.E. Foundation and sign up with them.

6 weeks ago he sent me an email saying his Mom took him to Firearms safety 1 and he did really well. I replied good for him and keep up the good work.

3 weeks ago he says his Mom took him to firearms safety 2 at Albany gun club and he did very well. Can I please take him hunting? I replied I will keep him in mind.

2 weeks ago he sends another email asking if I am still thinking of taking him hunting. Two hours later I receive an email from my friend in Corvallis asking if I can watch her house while she is in Mexico. Two minutes after that I receive a phone call from Orco gunworks, My threaded 77-22 is ready. I call a grass seed grower around Lebanon and ask if there are nutria around, His reply "always". Hmmmm... the planets are aligned..........

I call Sam: "If your Mom or Dad can come with you, I'll take you nutria hunting this weekend but you have to help sight-in a new scope first". Well his parents took a little time to come on board but his Dad agreed to meet me at the grass seed farm.

I mounted a scope(thanks RayandMandi) and drove to the valley. The Dad was a very nice guy but not interested in hunting at all. We sighted in the scope and set off hunting nutria. This young man is a natural. Several nutria later I said "Ok you do all the shooting and your Dad and I will do the hauling" He hit 20. Can it get any better? Yes, yes it can.

The next morning the Mom brings him and says "May I shoot?" We sit Mom down and go over safety, trigger, breathing, the whole nine yards. An hour later she is shooting dime size groups at 50 yards and then smacking nutria!! At the end of the day I tell Sam he can have the scope for when he receives his first rifle. He says "No that scope belongs on that rifle, they are a team" Luckily I have another to give him(thanks wreckless).

I never argue when the planets align..........

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I grew up in Corvallis. I loved going out to the grass seed fields to hunt the little monsters.

I would like to see these critters commercially raised (as they were when they were brought in the US during the 1900's-1930's). The purpose of breeding these was for their fur because Stetson used these from the 1930's through the 1950s'. I'd like to see them again raised on farms for such purposes. The "clear Nutria" fur of Stetson hats was excellent.
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