Larry's Short Stories

Larry Potterfield, Founder and CEO of MidwayUSA

Larry Potterfield - Founder and CEO of MidwayUSA

A new story from Larry every week.
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Dad taught me to hunt and fish, back when I was growing up on the farm in northeast Missouri. Things were much simpler in the '50s and I can't imagine what my life would be like today, had I not enjoyed the benefit of all the instruction of those early years. I shot my first duck at age 9 and my first quail at 13 - the same year I got my first gun for Christmas - a hand-me-down Stevens 16 gauge single shot.

Some of my fondest memories are the hunting and fishing stories Dad and my uncles shared with us kids back then - generally around the wood stove, and other times in the field. Unfortunately, it was pure and simple storytelling, so all I have are the memories.

Now, as a father and grandfather and having hunted and fished all my life, I am taking the time to write down some of my own stories – for the enjoyment of my children, grandchildren, friends and Customers.

These are all real stories that I participated in, nothing is made up; and I write them purely for your enjoyment.

Signed, Larry Potterfield

Larry Potterfield,
Founder and CEO of MidwayUSA

Russell donned a red beret to strike this ‘French professional hunter pose’.

Larry's Short Stories #50

One of the trophies on Russell’s wish list was Lion, so we were always looking for lion tracks in the dirt roads as we drove around.  On occasion a lion will be spotted from the safari car, but normally you find…

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This is the entire pool of water and not much to hide in; but if he were only wounded, it would have been a nightmare to have gotten him out.

Larry's Short Stories #48

“Do you want to shoot a croc?”  With that simple, unexpected, whispered question from my professional hunter, this story begins; you see, we were looking for a hippo to shoot for lion bait – and the thought of bu…

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The Nambu Type 14 was the principle sidearm of Japanese troops in WWII.  This is an early small guard version, made in November, 1932.

Larry's Short Stories #45

George Spence was a locksmith at Blytheville AFB, Arkansas, when I arrived there – right out of basic training -- in November of 1971.  A few months later there was a Q&A, in one of the gun magazines, on wher…

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This is a large hippo, but they get even bigger.

Larry's Short Stories #41

“Do you want to shoot a hippo?”  The safari car had stopped, without apparent reason, and this question was put to me by the PH.  “Where?”  “There, sleeping in the water.”  “What would we do with h…

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A cape buffalo is one of the great trophies of Africa and you will never forget the first one.

Larry's Short Stories #29

Your first cape buffalo will dance around in your mind for the rest of your life, not necessarily because of the size of the trophy, but rather because of the circumstances of the hunt - no matter how routine.  W…

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Russell and his PH congratulate each other over the difficult but successful stalk.

Larry's Short Stories #27

As our plane circled to get downwind of the runway, we could see small herds of buffalo on the hills and in the valleys below.  This was a seven day hunt in rough country and son Russell, amazed at seeing all the…

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What a great confidence builder for an 11 year old girl to shoot such a nice deer.  Of course her brother was jealous!

Larry's Short Stories #24

Hunting with an eleven year old daughter is an interesting experience.  By that age she could sit quietly and pay attention for reasonable periods of time, so it was my job to present her with a deer that would s…

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A hunt is even more memorable when Brenda and I both shoot trophies – at the same time.  Our guns are Rifles, Inc. Mountain Rifles in 300 Win Mag.  Yes, Brenda’s  goat is bigger than mine!

Larry's Short Stories #22

It was Brenda, who wanted to shoot a goat; so when we landed in spike camp the guide immediately said “Brenda, I have found your goat!”  The spotting scope was set up, and about two miles up the valley on the rig…

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This is a giant specimen, approximately 48 feet in circumference and 16 feet in diameter ­— but they get even bigger.

Larry's Short Stories #19

It had been a long and successful safari; we had collected most of the desired trophies and were driving around on the dirt roads enjoying the last few days in the bush without a pressing agenda to collect more.…

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Who, me?  Certainly no one thinks I lit this fire!

Larry's Short Stories #18

If you like to set fires and burn things up, you’re called a pyromaniac – except perhaps in Africa.  There, if you burn your thumb flicking matches off the striker strip of a match box and set fire to thousands o…

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One of our trackers holds a small part of the prize; a wax honeycomb full of warm, sweet honey.

Larry's Short Stories #16

We discovered the bee hive quite by accident, while putting the stalk on a zebra in the bed of a dry sand river.  This dead tree was serving as our cover when we noticed the bees buzzing over our heads – coming a…

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His horns are quite broken up, but he offered a shot I couldn’t refuse.

Larry's Short Stories #12

Some people say that elk hunting is like spring turkey hunting in Missouri – make a sound like a female; the male responds, comes to the call and you shoot him – simple as that.  From personal experience I can co…

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Brenda with her large Alaska Brown Bear, that will square 9’ 6”.

Larry's Short Stories #8

If you don’t count the travel time from Missouri to Anchorage, then out to Port Moller on the Alaska peninsula, then the one day weather delay, then the flight to spike camp – well, if you don’t count all of that time…

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Larry and Brenda high in sheep country.

Larry's Short Stories #3

"Can we get closer?" Those were my words to the guide, as we looked down the mountain at the seven rams – nearly 600 yards away. We had been working these rams for four days, but bad luck…

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