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Carroll outdoors: So much to do in the fall, so little time

Fall is here and so is the time for decisions by local sportsmen. Do I squirrel hunt, bow hunt for deer, do some early waterfowl hunting, dove hunt, get in some last shots at area groundhogs and assorted "varmints" or dust off the fishing rods and reels and get in on perhaps the very best fishing of the year?

Or, do you kick back in the recliner and watch football until your eyes blur? So many things to do.

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Well, my choices are severely limited this fall, again, due to the effects of a stroke, but I have renewed hopes for next fall. A couple of days ago my wife and I spent the afternoon at the Dug Hill pistol and rimfire .22 range. I did most of the shooting, while Merelie set up and changed targets for me. I had been itching to shoot some of my "big bore" handguns - a .44 special Colt Single Action Army, a .45 Colt "clone" from Urberti and my big .44 Magnum Ruiger Super Blackhawk.

Merelie doesn't want anything to do with guns that generate more recoil and muzzle blast than a .22 rifle or pistol, so she declined. When I go this week, we'll lug along a couple of my .22 rifles and at least one .22 pistol so that she can participate.

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I've renewed my interest in handgun shooting since the stroke knocked out the use of my left hand. And, that's one of the reasons I may be shopping my Ruger .44 around (it's too big and heavy for me to control with one hand), in favor of an easier to handle .45 acp 1911 Colt semi-auto. Actually, I really don't need another .45 acp - I have a nice pair, but .45s, especially nicely finished ones are like Cooper and Weatherby rifles - they tend to spawn off-spring regularily.

In reality, I have 1 1/2. the "half" is an original Colt 1911-1A that I picked up at a very good price a few years ago. It was used and had some work done on it for competition shooting. Since I already had a truly great target-quality .45 acp Kimber stainless Gold Match (about as good of a "from-the -factory" .45 as you can get), I ordered a .22 long rifle match-grade conversion kit from Ciener for the Colt. The Ceiner kit shoots so well that I eventually sold a very nice ruger autoloader and confine all my serious target work to the Colt conversion and a great shooting Smith & Wesson K-22 Target model.

I'd like another Kimber - a more compact model - but their prices make me dizzy! So, I'm looking hard at the offerings from Springfield Armory, right now. I've been fond of the .45 acp since my Army pistol team days. It fits my hand well, has modest recoil and muzzleblast, superb accuracy, economical factory ammo costs, and ample power for any thing i may want to use it for. The same also goes for my fondness of the great .45 Colt single action army revolver. You can't have too many of either!

•••

To switch gears a bit, right now is the time to get out on the Chesapeake to track down schools of surface breaking rockfish with medium-light tackle. This is my favorite kind of fishing.

My fishing buddy, Dick Broden and I are turning inside-out because we can't get out there because of the realities of our "golden years." But look out for next fall!

Normally, we would put the boat in the water either at Sandy Point or Kent Narrows. From Sandy Point, we'd begin around Love Point, work our way down to the Bay Bridges, then over to Eastern Bay, around Poplar Island and slowly move back, finishing just in time to catch the last bit of light. Then a fried oyster or soft crab dinner at Kent island, then home.

From the Narrows, we'd cast atom poppers and smallish gold and silver spoons or bucktails to the shallow waters around Pig Island, then to Eastern Bay and points south, making sure to run by Bloddy Point, then dinner and home. What a great way to spend a glorious early day!

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