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What if shotgun champions could give Oscar-like acceptance speeches? What would they say?

There are so many people I'd like to thank for this shooting award. (Photo: Visual Space/iStock)


From Hill’s A Hunter’s Fireside Book.


After the smoke and thunder had finally stopped at a recent trap shoot it was discovered that my name was among the winners. No one was more surprised than me (no, that’s not likely to be true at any shoot where I’m known  . . .) when my name was called to come up and receive my prizes. I accepted them with no humility at all and mouthed the customary “Thank you . . .”

But as I stood there I couldn’t help but imagine how I should have accepted the trophies . . . the same way movie stars accept theirs—something like this:

“Thank you all very much, but a man doesn’t win a thing like this by himself. It’s the people behind me that really deserve the award. They’re the ones who made it all possible.

“So I’d like to extend my heartfelt thanks and deepest gratitude to my great and good friends George Schielke and Lew Waltersdorf, who have toiled ceaselessly over my shotguns in their supporting role as gunsmiths. My thanks to Abercrombie & Fitch, who have so kindly furnished my wardrobe on shaky credit.

“And a word of appreciation to my many coaches: among them, Dick Baldwin of Remington, who told me I was standing too straight. Mr. Dave George, who told me I was standing too bent over. Burt England, who said I was shooting too fast. And Ralph Matragrano, who said I was shooting too slow.

“Mr. David Crosby, who reminded me that I shoot better with my head off the comb slightly, and Mr. George Martin, who insisted that I glue my cheek to the stock. And all the other helpful friends who were constantly mindful that I was holding my gun too high or too low, that my feet were too far apart or too close together, and that my stock was either too long or too short for me.”

(At the end of my speech, while the room rocks with applause, a film of other credits is projected for the benefit of all . . . Mr. Hill’s shooting coat by Bob Allen  . . . glasses by Bud Decot . . . guns by Krieghoff . . . makeup by Vaseline  . . . etc., etc. Overall Technical Management and Supervision by Mrs. Hill.)


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