Well, folks, here we are, June. Can you believe the year is nearly half gone? One good thing is our longest day of the year will occur on or about June 21. From then on our daylight hours will shorten as we head to the first day of our new hunting season, and the opening of dove season. That's right, in less than 90 days we will be at it again.

I'm going to start reloading a box of shells or two as time allows.

Did you have a good dove hunt last year? Did your old shotgun perform well?

Many of us grew up shooting a mechanically good shotgun. Few people really ever “patterned” their shotguns for the shot size being used.

Since the introduction and commercial use of “choke tubes,” shotguns are now very versatile. Choke tube inside dimensions are available now at almost any size.

On a February dove hunt to Argentina, I carried two shotguns, a Winchester 12 gauge Model 50 with a 30-inch full choke factory barrel. It performed without a hitch. My second gun was a Winchester 12 gauge Super X-1 with a 28-inch modified barrel. It performed its task as I expected it to.

What I'm getting to is that I shot better with the modified barrel. My hunting buddy Jerry McGee of West Plains, Mo., shot a Browning Goldwing with screw-in chokes and used an improved cylinder tube. Jerry was amazing. Jerry shot 2,025 times and downed probably 1,600 to 1,700 or more doves. I'm here to tell you, he was on a mission.

Since then I had the barrel on my 28-inch Super X-1 threaded for choke tubes. This cost far less to do this than “hunt” another barrel.

Carlson's Choke Tubes of Atwood, Kans., performed the job for me. For right at $100, I now have a shotgun that I really like, that can go might near anywhere I choose. Improved modified, modified, and improved cylinder for my three hunting chokes.

If you own a shotgun with existing chokes, you might get an “exotic” choke tube for your particular shotgun. You might have a barrel that really doesn't shoot anything as you would expect. Threaded with tubes you might be able to shoot the barrel again. Turn around is two to three days at Carlson's, but they have to have the barrel.

If you get a chance, take a kid hunting or fishing. For that matter, take anyone. One doesn't have to kill to enjoy the outdoors. Some of the best friends and meals are made “at the camp.”