I always hear guys all exited about the newest, greatest gun to hit the market. Guns untried, virgin and unblooded, pristine and perfect in every detail, and I got to wonder what all the fuss is about. I have only purchased one new long gun and one revolver ( for a different kind of job,) in my whole life. It seems to me that guns carry the scars and their traditions from one generation to the next, to the next. My father started with a single shot 12ga, at a very early age, walking the fields with his dad also armed with a single shot 12ga. Get him talking about hunting, and to this day he will talk of his father downing 4 quail with two shots, reloading as he spun, and catching both pair in front and behind! They hunted or they didn't eat. Grandpa's guns are divided among his children now, to pass on when another hunter comes of age. My father spent his first paycheck to buy his father a new shotgun. It was a 12ga. Mossberg 3 shot bolt action with a clip and a polychoke, It was a prized possession for many years, both because of what it was (a fine weapon) and where it came from. That gun now rests in my hands, and it is the best small game/ bird gun I have ever had the pleasure to fire. It now has a lineage and a history to pass on to my son, a second year hunter, first year deer hunter( if the girls will leave him alone long enough
) Or he may prefer the Sterlingworth sideXside 12ga. 100years old, and still ready and eager to take to the fields and the woods. These two old timers are joined by the youngster of the group,(only around 30 years) Savage 22/.410ga. over and under, and this is the first gun we All learned as children to hunt with. Legal here in Ohio for anything from deer down to squirrels, and much prized by all members of the family male and female, because this is where our hunting memories started, walking the fields with my father, and later with my sister and brother. That gun is now in the hands of my nephew as he learns what it is to be a hunter with his father(my brother) and his younger brother is envious though to small to carry it yet. New guns are fine I'm sure, but for me and mine, it's the old guns that carry the traditions and the scars, and the lore . Hand-me-down guns are forged links of shared memories and family connections. To carry my Grandfather's gun, as he did, matters more to me than some bones on the wall ever could.
The only real difference between a good tracker and a bad tracker is observation. All the same data is present for both. The rest is understanding what you are seeing.