We’ve all heard of it and some of us have experienced it once or twice in our life: Beginner’s Luck. It is one of those things that can “make a Preacher Cuss” when it occurs and all the “old pros” are made to look foolish by some upstart.
Like someone casually putting a quarter in the slot machine and hitting the progressive. Every one around has been putting in quarter after quarter with no results and some body walks through with a quarter and that’s “all she wrote”. Or the new player comes in and hits a game winning home run on the first major league at bat. Or someone getting a hole in one on the first round of golf while others playing for years never came close.
The truck driver, we’ll call him Willy, picked up freight at our Macon facility for several years. He was a hard working family man moving heavy goods on and off his local delivery truck for a large freight company. He was fun to talk to and talked a mile a minute.
One Friday Willy was picking up some shipments at our place and I happened to see him and asked if he had a big weekend planned. He responded that he was going to be doing something he had never done before: going deer hunting. He went on to say that his brother-in-law was an avid deer hunter and had been inviting him to go along with him one Saturday and he had finally agreed to go the following day to Oakey Woods in Houston County.
I asked him if he had a gun and his answer was no but that his brother in law had a friend that was loaning him a gun. He knew nothing about what type or caliber and, of course, Willy had never fired it. And, they had done no scouting around for a good location so at 5:00 the next morning he would have to try to find a good spot in the dark with a gun he had never fired! The odds were stacking up. But he said he was pretty sure he would know a deer if he saw one.
A few days went by before I saw Willy again. When I asked about the deer hunting trip Willy was more than a little excited about telling me all the details. You guessed it: Willy had bagged a deer on his first outing!
I asked Willy what type of gun he ended up using. He said he did not know anything about guns but had been told that it was an Army surplus gun called an M2 Carbine. Willy said that he was told that all he had to do was point it at the deer and pull the trigger and hold it back. The fully automatic machine gun setting on the M2 would allow the gun to fire 30 rounds in a matter of seconds. At 750 rounds per minute rate of fire, Willy’s odds had greatly improved!
Although quite quite illegal, the M2 was also quite effective as Willy saw the deer coming up a trail and pointed the gun and pulled the trigger. He said he just kept moving the gun, spraying the bullets around, until finally the deer went down. One new deer hunter, one borrowed gun, and one dead deer. Beginner’s luck! When I asked if he knew the gun was illegal he said he had no idea! I wondered about the answer. I wonder if he ever went deer hunting again.
By the way, if you happen to have an old M2 Carbine lying around, it would be worth big bucks! The green kind!
JC © 2017