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A bear hunting story

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A bear hunting story

Post by DIY_guy on Fri Sep 23, 2016 9:01 am

Back in 1895, the Winchester repeating arms company made the first edition of the 1895 lever action". In 1896 they made a few small changes and released the second edition of the 1895. In 1880, Norwegian immigrants Ole P. Quisla and his wife Anna had a son named Oscar. In 1900 Oscar Quisla Bought the 1895 rifle at a hardware store in Portage County, WI in the town of Rosholt. The new rifle (serial number 749) and 3 boxes of 30-40 Krag shells cost him $45. He took that rifle on many deer hunts in WI.

There were no deer in Portage county at that time so Oscar and friends would board a train and ride North until they reached a logging camp where they would hitch a ride by horse and wagon where they rode with their tent, blankets and food until they reached the winter deer yards where the deer would congregate to eat slashings (tops and branches) left behind but the loggers. The picture below was taken in 1905 when Oscar (far left) was 25 years old. On this trip they returned with one buck and one doe for each man. Oscar is holding the 1895 Winchester which has a shiny nickle finish. Most guns back then had a black or brown finish.

My Fathers family farm was only two miles from the Quisla Farm and since My Grandfather did not hunt, my father learned about hunting from Oscar. In 1958, when my Father was 23 years old, Oscar sold him the 1895 Lever action with 3 boxes of 30-40 Krag shells for $45.

In 1961, my Parents moved to Milwaukee and my Father left the 30-40 Krag back at the farm since he had no use for the Rifle in the city but he would travel back to Rosholt each year to deer hunt with the krag.

In 1964 Oscar Died at the age of 84. That year, when my Father returned to Portage County to live and farm with his young family, he went to the home farm to retrieve the Krag. His older brother who was never happy about my Father leaving the farm for the big city, told my Father that the gun was no longer his and that his older brother was keeping the rifle as a remembrance of Oscar and that the rifle is now “the farms” rifle and he could not have it.

As the years went by, my Father made attempts to get the rifle back but was unsuccessful. Back in 2007 with his brother (in a nursing home) in his 80's, my Father was back on the home farm doing some repairs and when finished, his sister asked how much she owed him for this troubles. My father said that he would like to have the Krag back. His sister went to the closet and retrieved the old rifle and gave it to him.

I asked my Father (now 81) what he had planned for the 121 year old Krag and he said Im gonna shoot a deer with it.

My oldest brother who reloads has since made a few boxes of 30-40 cartridges for him and after the rifle was thoroughly cleaned and inspected.

My father has hunted with the old rifle but has not yet connected. I expect he eventually will. In the mean time, My brother used the Krag on his 2016 Fall bear hunt and on the 22, killed a nice boar with the vintage rifle so its still a proven killer.


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