Outdoor Life

LEGENDARY ARMS WORKS HELLCAT

THE FIRST MOUNTAINS

I ever saw were the misty peaks of the Pacific Northwest. My great-grandfather on my mother’s side, an Italian peasant from Calabria, homesteaded south of Seattle in the early 1900s. Modesto Palermo came to America to work on the railroads, and our family took root in those damp, mossy environs with the Cascades to the east and the Olympics to the west, and, looming above all when the clouds parted, the magnificent snow-cloaked Mount Rainier.

When I was younger, I hunted those cedar-covered mountains, wearing

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