Gunny’s fans come in all ages—like this highly motivated 4 year-old from Alabama who waited in line to meet him. Rhonda Pyatt PHOTOGRAPHY

TK: If we were inviting you for a game dinner and promised to fix anything you wanted, what would your choice be?

Things like alligator tail, snapping turtle meat and soup, squirrel, rabbit. Then there’s duck, quail and pheasant. But it better be wild game. Not pen-reared. I can tell in a New York heartbeat. And, of course, I love venison. But I have venison so often here at home, that if you invited me out I’d rather have something different. Here at home I have a lot of venison, elk and buffalo. Wild game? Mmm—love it.

TK: When you’re at knife shows, what questions to people ask you most?

People don’t ask me a lot of technical questions. They want to know more about how I grew up, what my family was like, things like that. Once in a while, they’ll ask things like, “What was your favorite machine gun?” And then I’d have to say the Dillon Mini-Gun, which fires thousands of rounds per minute.

TK: What shows have you attended lately?

I’m just back from visiting the folks in Alabama at Hoover Tactical Firearms, in Hoover outside Birmingham []. I stood there greeting the folks in line for nine hours one day and ten the next. Funny thing happened. A little four-year-old boy there with his mother on his birthday waited in line and then ran up and gave me a great big hug. They were “Mail Call” fans. A photographer snapped a picture and it ended up on the front page of the paper the next morning—Birmingham News. The kid was wearing camos—one of the nicest hugs I’ve ever had in my life. It took them about three hours to wait to get to the front of the line. Hoover Tactical Firearms has grown in one year from a small store to a huge supermarket—with multiple shooting ranges. The guy that runs it was the head of the S.W.A.T. team there in Hoover.

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Gunny’s fans come in all ages—like this highly motivated 4 year-old from Alabama who…