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Hired Help House While waiting for my barn plans to be approved by the county I decided to go to Minnesota to help some friends build their house.  I needed the experience and they wanted the help.  Winter closes in quickly in northern Minnesota and it's always a good idea to have a roof over your head before snowballs start hitting you in the butt.  We didn't get the roof on while I was there but we did manage to get pretty close.  I also gained some valuable experience I'll need before starting construction on my barn back here in Hawaii.  Best of all, I got paid!  I felt bad about taking their money but as a farmer between harvests, I'll take whatever income I can get.

Duck hunting season started while I was in Minnesota.  A couple days ahead of time we went to one of the nearby lakes to check on the duck population.  The lake was absolutely packed with ducks, thousands of them.  The hunting limit is four ducks per license per day.  I didn't go hunting myself but I did help pluck some ducks and eat them for dinner.  Ducks are yummy.

I think there's a Minnesota law that says you can't be a resident unless you own several guns.  I was just visiting but I didn't want to be the only person there that didn't own a gun.  I also figured that I couldn't be a real farmer unless I owned a shotgun.  So I bought one.

I purchased the cheapest shotgun in the store.  It's a simple pump action 12 gauge.  It was being sold on consignment by someone that had won it in a contest.  I can imagine the winner thinking "Why would I want this cheap gun when I have a collection of fancy semi-automatics at home?"  If I hadn't come along this gun would have sat there lonely and forgotten, like Charlie Brown's Christmas tree.

A shotgun isn't usually the preferred weapon for hunting pigs.  Many pig hunters prefer a bow and arrows but I'm not that talented.  My dogs won't help because they're afraid of pigs.  A good rifle can take a pig down quickly at long range with little damage to the meat but as far as I'm concerned the pig has plenty of meat, I can't hit it at long range anyways and by the time I get close enough to hit it then the shotgun will do the job nicely.  More importantly, a decent rifle starts at $500 and I really didn't want to spend that much money on something that will likely spent most of it's time locked in my closet.  So that cheap shotgun was perfectly suited for me.  I'll use slugs when hunting pigs then use regular shotgun shells for hunting pheasants, turkeys, rats and aluminum cans.  Now all I have to do is sign the family up for a gun safety class.


As a side note, next time you fly keep in mind that all luggage must be unlocked.  Except gun cases, they must be locked.  Of course there's no way to know this until you show up at the airport.  All guns are sold with a gun lock so I removed my lock from the gun and used it to lock the case closed.  I didn't even try to bring ammunition, I'm sure they would have confiscated it.

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