Maybe it's time for some true confessions from your humble outdoors scribe.
I've written before that I will always be honest with you. This is hard to do sometimes, folks. Hard to do because you may not want hear the truth, but also because I am a devout hunter and fisherman, so at times I might want to take certain liberties with the facts. But I try.
And lately I have been thinking that maybe I just need to lay it all out and tell you some of my problems. Now I don't pretend to think my problems mean that much compared to others in the great big world, but I brought this up, so let's talk about it.
I'm probably trying to do too much.
When I started this whole outdoors/gun writing venture, I really didn't know what I was doing, but I plunged in head-first. I retired from West Virginia Division of Natural Resources Law Enforcement, and I have pursued this new vocation the only way I know how: like fighting snakes.
I have attended two SHOT (Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade) shows in Las Vegas, two NRA conventions, one Archery Trade Association show and several other events and activities that drag you out of the house. Beside all of this, I am constantly running up and down the road going to pick up a gun, shoot a gun or maybe interview someone for a story.
This has all been terrible on my fishing, by the way.
So you are probably going to tell me, "Larry, you just need to slow down a little and take it easy." I agree, and I am going to try. Part of it could be that the weather has been beautiful here lately, and like many of you out there, I am coming down with a raging case of spring fever. One day you are stuck in the house with the snow; the next day it's 70 degrees and there are 27 things you should be doing outside.
Well I hope you don't mind that we talked about that, and I swear I will take your advice and slow down a little.
Now I want to tell you about a couple things you need to look at.
Besides trout fishing, digging ramps (wild leeks for you non-West Virginians) and looking for morel mushrooms, springtime means turkey hunting. Florida's season has already started, Georgia's begins in late March, and Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia begin on different dates in April.
The point is if you are thinking about a new shotgun this year (and you should always be thinking about a new shotgun), this is a good time to acquire one.
The first shotgun I want you to consider this spring is the Remington V3 Field Sport. Remington announced the launch of this little beauty last year, and now it's on the shelf at your gun store. I like this shotgun. Here's why.
Some years ago, Remington came out with the Versa Max, a 3 1/2-inch chambered shotgun meant to shoot anything you dumped in it. From the lightest 2 3/4-inch shotgun shell to the heaviest 3 1/2 load you could find, the Versa Max became known as the gun that would shoot them all. I dubbed it "The Beast," and many waterfowl hunters and three-gun competition shooters love it.
The Versa Max owed its success to a revolutionary new gas porting system that operated this semi-automatic shotgun. No one else had this system, and Remington - knowing it was on to something - soon began to endeavor to place the Versa Port system in a smaller, lighter, general-use shotgun.
"The V3 Field Sport is the Model 1100 of today," said Edward Mazzeo, marketing director for Remington in Huntsville, Ala. "This is a multipurpose-use shotgun with the lowest felt recoil compared to any of our competitors."
Remington believes the V3 will enable the company to take back the semi-auto market with an American-made shotgun. In the 1960s, the shotgun market in America was about 70 percent American-made guns and 30 percent imports.
Today those two numbers are switched. Remington says the V3 Field Sport shotgun is going to turn that around again.
So what we have here is a lightweight, all-purpose, low-recoil, American-made shotgun.
What's not to like?
If like me you are dealing with some stress this early spring, go check out the new Remington V3. I always find getting a new shotgun makes me feel better.
"The Trail Less Traveled" is written by Larry Case, who lives in Fayette County, W.Va., has been a devoted outdoorsman all of his life and is a contributing columnist for The Times Free Press. You can write to him at larryo firstname.lastname@example.org.