• 15Votes

    Best Independence Day Ever

    by Bruce Adwell Richmond, VA on July 31, 2018
    1 slide

    This past July 4th I was water hunting with a good friend on a local river that saw heavy Civil War action. We dropped off my truck at the take out spot and then took my buddies truck up to the launch location some 8 miles upriver. We loaded up into the canoe and then paddled down to our first location to start hunting some 2 miles or so downriver from the launch. In our haste to get on the river my buddy had left his battery pack to the AT Pro in his truck. No way we could go back so we decided to make the best of it.

    I have been told over the years about a wagon load of rifles being dumped off a cliff somewhere on the river in the section we were hunting. As we were traveling down the river I was constantly on the lookout for a cliff that hung out over the water where they could have dumped the guns directly in the river. About midway of our trip we came upon the spot that had to be the one they used and I told my buddy; “this is the spot... I am going to find a rifle”.

    I got out and hunted around the cliff but there weren’t any signals there. I started wading down the river and got a good signal about 50 yards from the cliff. Using the pinpointer I located the target in waist deep water and picked it up. It was a lead sabot from an artillery shell. The next signal was about 5 feet from the sabot and was a very strong signal. I thought this has got to be the rest of the shell. Again I located the target with the pinpointer in waist deep water and reached down to retrieve. To my surprise it was not the shell I anticipated but a whole Spencer Carbine rifle that had been dumped in the river in 1864. We loaded up the rifle and the sabot and continued our journey.

    When we got to the fall line in the river we flipped the canoe in the rapids. The first thing I thought of was I had lost the rifle in the deep hole below the falls. Unbelievably when we turned the canoe back over both the sabot and the rifle were still inside the canoe despite the fact that everything else was floating all around us. I lost an IPhone to water damage as my dry bag wasn’t completely shut. At that point all I cared about was the rifle. I can replace the phone but I may never find another fully intact rifle. A find of a lifetime for me and the best 4th of July ever!!! Happy hunting.

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