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Layton Bags a Taurus


I learn the most interesting things sitting at the dinner table having coffee at Roseen’s Corner.  The other night I dropped in unannounced, crashed Trapper’s 70-less-one birthday party and heard the following story.  It was a wild party, the Swedes are also celebrating the start of the lutefisk season. For some reason celebrating the start of lutefisk season does not include actally eating lutefisk, anyway, the details were somewhat fuzzy but this is what I heard that night.

Layton Oslin was renowned around Wannaska for being a dead shot, no mean feat for an area known for having its share of good shooters.  He wasn’t just one of those shoot-from-a-bench-rest good shots; he was known for those shots where you stand-on-both-hind-feet-and-hit-‘em-in-the-neck-at-a-dead-run-so-you- don’t-ruin-the-meat dead shots. 

One year he was hunting within his home area with the family hunting party, he’d driven to the stand area with his grandson in his brother’s spanking new Taurus.   Since Layton had already downed three deer with his patented skill with an -06, the grandson was supposed to do the shooting on this stint.  They were posted on the southwest corner of a woods, a strong north wind prompted them to stand on the leeward side of the Taurus for shelter.  As one would expect in an area with a glut of deer, one was flushed out by the drivers and started running past the posted hunters.  Layton figured he should shoot since the grandson wasn’t quite up to the running-shot level of skill.  He whipped into his classic off-hand stance and shot twice but the deer ran past unharmed.  This confused Layton somewhat; this hadn’t happened to him for longer than anyone could remember. 


A little later, the driving hunters came out of the woods, they expected Layton to have a field dressed deer ready to haul home.  Layton was at a loss to tell them what happened, he took some good-natured ribbing but, after a bit they loaded into the car and headed out.  On the way, they met another pickup bearing some other members of the hunting party. Being at the right level, someone in the pickup noticed that there was a bullet hole in the side of the car above the driver’s window, another powder burn beside it and a nick in the top of the car. 


Layton had shot the Taurus. He had a passing thought that maybe he could save his reputation, however it became rapidly apparent that this one would be a little difficult to live down. 


Layton had been shooting with a scope from behind the car, as he leveled on the deer and shot the first shot, he had skimmed it across the roof.  It had ricocheted off the top of the car and over the deer.  The second bullet had entered the car but one of the interior cross pieces caught it, you know, those Tauruses were always pretty tough.


After Layton got home, things got worse.  He received a “hands on the hips” lecture from wife Marie, much to the delight of his hunting buddies.  It is one of the defining moments for the Oslin clan, Layton doesn’t know how much the repair cost, his brother was mum about the cost.  The brother lives in Los Angeles, he said the car survived that city with its drive by shootings with no bullet holes, he’d no idea it was in peril in Roseau County.  It must have been second nature to a resident of that city to just to fix the holes and forget about it.   


Its said that after he found out he’d shot it, in an attempt to save face, Layton swore the Taurus was one of the SHO’s, you know, the one with the DOHC Yamaha V-8, mag wheels and a leather interior but his brother says it was just a Plain Jane rental model with a stock V-6, plastic hubcaps and cloth seats.



One of Layton’s friends was a sports announcer for the local radio station, during his hunting report he just happened to mention this: “Layton Oslin bagged a 3,000 pound Taurus in Wannaska on Sunday.” 


The gifts he got for Christmas next were things like blaze orange covers to fit a Taurus and a stool to stand on for shooting.  Some time later he bought a new pickup, soon thereafter some bullet hole decals appeared on it, he’s yet to figure out whodunit and no one has claimed credit for that one.


In an area of legendary characters, Layton Oslin is two shots ahead of the rest.