Although author Nash Buckingham died in 1971, two years before DU launched its Gun of the Year program, there is no question the great hunter-conservationist would have approved. It is only fitting that his two famous shotguns—Bo Whoop and Bo Whoop II—are on display in the lobby of DU national headquarters along with a complete Gun of the Year collection donated by Tony Palermo.
When it came to waterfowl guns, Buckingham believed you should "never send a boy to do a man's job," and he practiced what he preached. In 1927, the original Bo Whoop was the finest long-range shotgun money could buy. An H.E. Grade Super Fox, it has 32-inch barrels specially bored full and full by gunsmith Burt Becker for 3-inch loads of size 4 shot. The gun weighs 9 1/2 pounds and is decorated on the receiver and the breech end of the barrels with leafy scrollwork.
Buckingham lost the gun in 1948. In the early 1950s, friends ordered a new Bo Whoop from Fox (by then under Savage ownership) and presented him with Bo Whoop II. The original Bo Whoop finally resurfaced after 60 years, and now both guns are displayed at DU headquarters, thanks to the generosity of Hal B. Howard Jr. and William B. Dunavant Jr.
Phil Bourjaily sold his first story to
Field & Stream in 1985 and today serves as that magazine's shotgun columnist. He is co-author (along with rifle authority David Petzal) of
Field & Stream's new book,
The Total Gun Manual, available in bookstores this fall. Based in Athens, Georgia, Terry Allen specializes in print advertising, food, lifestyle, and travel photography. To see more of his work, visit terryallenphotography.com.