Old Hunting Licenses Prompt Man to Search for Gun’s Former Owner

I hunted with my grandpa almost every weekend since I learned to walk. After he passed a void was left in my soul that hunting filled. Every time I go out I feel that he is with me. Currently I own a couple of firearms that used to be is and when I hunt with them I feel the connection. They link my to him and the past and it is the closest I can get to hunting with him again.

Objects like my grandfather’s guns carry with the stories and are heirlooms that will be passed to my children. I know how much my family history means to me and I imagine others feel the same way, so it struck a chord with me when I saw a Facebook post by William Nelson searching to return some old hunting licenses he found in the stock of an old Winchester.

In a Facebook post, William reached out to the masses to try and find the owner of the gun which he inherited from his uncle. While doing restoration work, he discovered a couple of old hunting licenses in the stock one was issued to a man named, G.A. Sutcliffe, and the other is a name I can not make out. He would like to return the licenses to the families of the men.

Okay, everyone, I need your help! I inherited a model 1897 Winchester 12 gauge shotgun which my deceased uncle purchases for parts in the early 1950s. It sat around for many years untouched. In the late 90s, I began the process of potentially restoring this piece of history. Unfortunately, life and expenses got in the way, the shotgun and the adventure of restoring it were set aside. However, back then I had an interesting discovery. When I removed the stock recoil pad I found two neatly rolled hunting licenses tucked down inside the hole where the stock connects to the receiver. One license was dated 1911 and the other was from 1941. It was obvious the shotgun switched hands during the 30-year gap. At the time I thought “how cool”! Well, I came across those two hunting licenses while tidying up over the weekend. I came to the conclusion, despite their coolness…these two family heirlooms are not mine to keep. Thus, I would like whatever assistance I can get from anyone and everyone. I would like to return each piece of history to its proper family. I will include photos from both the front and back. I would truly appreciate the help, please join me on this hunt.

William Nelson via Facebook

If you have any information about the hunters named in the licenses please get in contact with William via Facebook so he can give the licenses to the families.