A Letter to Gunsite Instructor Il Ling

Il Ling,

I’m not bragging – not very good at it. But, I wanted to tell you about a great shot I made and I don’t think I could have accomplished it without the four days with you at Gunsite in September.

My son wounded a buck he shot while it was running. It was close, in a field and not running wide open. And, even though he had not practiced running shots, I thought he might connect. He did but the hit was bad; broke the back leg and went into the paunch. We did not know the details at the time or that the wound would have ultimately been fatal. However, I felt it was a gut hit from the reaction. We went back to camp, waited a while and took up the trail, both of us with rifles this time.

We were spread out in the woods working the track down a ridge when I noticed the deer running straight away at about 150 yards through the trees. Scope on 3X, rifle comes up, found the deer and touched the trigger. No reaction. Keep in mind, this was relatively thick timber with only a few openings to shoot through here and there. We continued the trail and about 100 yards later we found his buck. My shot entered just forward of the hip, passed through the gut and liver. Not ideal but remember the deer was running away.

At any rate, because of the shooting I did with you, I was able to help him collect his first buck. That was priceless. By the way, I was using a New Ultra Light Arms (NULA) rifle just like the one I used at Gunsite but in .243 Win. Bat was using the NULA in .30 Rem AR.

Thanks for your tutelage! Hope all is well.



About gunwriter

Born and raised in the West Virginia hills, Richard literally grew up in the woods. He has chased coon hounds until daylight, waited out whitetails perched high in an oak, canoed the New River and hunted from the Montana Mountains to the Green Hills of Africa. During service in the Army and later as a municipal police officer and Special Agent with the railroad police, Richard obtained numerous certifications in small arms instruction. He has trained military personnel, law enforcement officers and civilians in the application of firearms for defensive, competitive and recreational use. Richard won the West Virginia Governor’s Twenty Award for law enforcement, the West Virginia National Guard State Pistol Competition and earned his Distinguished Medal with pistol. Badge turned in, Richard is now a contributing editor for several magazines. He was the compiling author of the book, Rifle Bullets for the Hunter and conceptualized and contributed to Selecting and Ordering a Custom Hunting Rifle. Richard also contributed a chapter to the John Velke book, The True Story of the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency. Richard has patents on a riflescope reticle and a revolutionary bullet testing media. A hillbilly at heart, Richard lives on Shadowland - his shooting range in West Virginia - with the most understanding wife in the world, their three kids and a very protective ridgeback hound.
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5 Responses to A Letter to Gunsite Instructor Il Ling

  1. Chris says:

    Moral is, dont take running shots!

  2. Il Ling New says:

    Richard, Having seen you shoot, I’m pretty sure you would have made the shot even if you’d NOT come to Gunsite…. 🙂 but thanks for thinking about our time together and that it might have contributed in some way. The coolest thing about this is that you and Bat were together for his buck, and you helped. Bat, congratulations!!! Nice animal! I look forward to seeing more from you. And your dad.

  3. Jim Dodd says:

    Il Ling is my favorite shooting teacher!…jim

  4. C D Roberts Jr says:

    Way to go Batt! Congrats to both of you. Richard I was there when Ryan killed his first and the reaction it brought was a memory I hope my failing mind never forgets. Pure, untainted emotion at its best. There was elation, tears and shouts from a young man that was truly overjoyed at his hard earned acomplishment. I sincerely hope it was the same with Bat. I know how you felt. Priceless.

    • gunwriter says:

      That was actually Bat’s 5th deer. He got his first at six. This is his first buck other than a spike and it was indeed very cool. More fun than any of my – alone – hunts. Have a great Christmas and stop by and visit anytime.

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