James, a family friend told me this story, and his stories usually have at least a grain of truth in them. James told this story at least 10 years ago and I don't know how much earlier it is supposed to have happened. You'd have to know James to appreciate his slow and carefully considered responses.
One day during dove season James was driving around with his gun and vest looking over the various properties he had permission to hunt on. He was checking them out to see if any had enough doves to justify stopping and getting out when a game warden stopped him. He said the guy was young and probably new at this sort of thing.
After exchanging greetings and documents the conversation went something like this:
GW: So, have you been hunting today?
J: I guess you could say that.
GW: Do you mind if I look in your trunk?
J: Oh, I guess that would be alright.
James opened the trunk to reveal a hunting vest, a couple of full boxes of shotgun shells, and a gun in a soft case. The case was the kind that only zipped around the butt end of the gun.
GW: Do you have a plug in your gun?
J: (Pause) You know, I don't think I do.
GW: (getting excited and displaying a sort or rubber ruler) I need to put this in your gun to see if it has a plug in it.
J: Well, I guess that would be ok.
The game warden unzipped the case and started to pull the gun out. When he got it out far enough to see that it was a side-by-side he stopped, pushed it back into the case, zipped it up, turned, walked back to his truck, and drove off without another word.
The moral of the story is: Make sure you ask the right question.
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