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Elton Bingham's Rifle

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 Elton Bingham was born on February 19, 1904 in Milton Wisconsin. The son of hard working dairy and hog farmers, he grew up with a love of the land and the soil and the bounties that it could provide.

 Today it would be hard to imagine but until the late 1960's very few deer could be found in that part of the state and as a boy and into his adult life he always cherished the annual trips to deer camp in northern Wisconsin. When old enough my father accompanied him and I grew up listening to the stories of deer camp.

 kangaroo court was held each evening and punishment was dealt out accordingly. If you missed a doe the tail of your hunting shirt was cut off, a buck and you lost a sleeve. Bad shots, forgetting your knife and a myriad of other events were also punishable offenses and it was not uncommon for some participants to be wearing only a collar by the end of the hunt.

 Elton Bingham carried a model 14, .30 Remington pump gun that he traded farm work for in 1920. Basically a rimless 30-30 that was Remington's answer to the lever guns so common of that time period. In Elton's hands it was the nemesis of many, many deer in the Wisconsin woods.

 I remember as a grade schooler getting to shoot it once at a fence post with a corn field back drop, admiring the spiral magazine and thinking it was the coolest thing in the world. Eventually it made it's way to Arizona when my father brought it back after a visit.

 At 9500 feet the air was thin and I stopped on the incline to catch my breath and look for awhile. I thought of my Grandpa rushing into the barn and driving out the cows and horse teams as they succumbed to silo gas. He suffered severe lung damage but men were men and to lose the farm was unacceptable, to claim bankruptcy would be worse.

 Looking down at his rifle and the worn bluing at it's balance point and knowing that because of him my hands were now where his had been was almost surreal. In the thick aspens I knew that this was as close as I would ever come to hunting whitetails in a Wisconsin cranberry swamp. As close to my Grandpa as I had ever felt.

 Elton and Constance Bingham 1930

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24 minutes ago, grey curse said:

One of the best stories/ write ups on this site in a long time.   Thanks

You just took them word's right outta my mouth. Been on this coues site for ever. This one just about takes the cake. Thank you so much for sharing.

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That's the good stuff, thank you for sharing a part of your life...

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Awesome write-up.  Made me think of my grandpa taking me out when I was young.  I have his 300 Savage that I shot my first deer with.

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Really cool story. I don’t have any of those types of memories to share, but my kids will. 👍

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