Gear

Grandpa's Gun Tags Giant Buck, Ends Multi-Year Quest

Missouri hunter Tim Phillips is all smiles after using his late grandfather's worn Marlin 30.30 lever action rifle to tag a huge 31-point buck nicknamed Walter.(Photo courtesy of Tim Phillips)
Missouri hunter Tim Phillips is all smiles after using his late grandfather's worn Marlin 30.30 lever action rifle to tag a huge 31-point buck nicknamed Walter.(Photo courtesy of Tim Phillips)

For most deer hunters, the modern chase of whitetails is all about the latest and the greatest in terms of gear.

From carbon-fiber stocked rifles to blistering fast compound bows to space-age devices that purge modern clothes of unwanted scent, the catalogs, advertisements and box stores are full of high-tech options designed to bring a big whitetail to the ground.

But sometimes, even in a world full of new school ideas, it pays to flip the page backwards and go old-school, even if that means pulling a weathered rifle from the gun safe that is more than a half-century old.

That's exactly what St. Paul, Mo. resident Tim Phillips did on the opening day of the 2017 Missouri gun deer season, opting for his late grandpa's worn Marlin 30.30 lever action rifle over the newer, bigger calibers staring back at him.

"It's probably about a 50- or 60-year old gun," said Phillips. "I think my grandpa bought it sometime around the early 1970s. My dad thinks he paid about $75 for it. I texted my dad a couple of days before the gun season started and said I was going to go out and shoot it to make sure that it was still on."

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STARTING SEP 16, 2019
STARTING SEP 16, 2019