Charles Askins, Jr was an American lawman, US Army officer, and writer. He served in law enforcement, mostly with the US Forest Service and Border Patrol, in the American Southwest prior to the Second World War. He was also known as Colonel Charles “Boots” Askins. He was the son of Major Charles “Bobo” Askins, a sportswriter and Army officer who served in the Spanish American War and World War I, and he was quickly following in his father’s footsteps.

Askins was born in Nebraska on October 28, 1987. The family moved to Oklahoma, where “Boots” Askins was raised. He had several careers in his life, but the first job was fighting forest fires in Montana. Then in 1927, the US Forest Service transferred him to New Mexico to be a Park Ranger at the Kit Carson National Forest. Askins fought fires in New Mexico, until 1930, when he was recruited by the US Border Patrol. Askins wrote in his memoir Unrepentant Sinner, that he had been involved in at least one gunfight every week. I’m sure that work on the US border brought with it a common risk of gunfights. Askins showed great skill, and during his service in the Border Patrol, he won many pistol championships. He was promoted to leader of the Border Patrol’s handgun skills program.

When the United States entered World War II, Askins served in the US Army as a battlefield recovery officer. His work took him to North Africa, Italy, and he was in France on D-day. After being discharged from the Army following World War II, he spent several years in Spain as an attaché to the American embassy, helping Franco rebuild Spain’s munition plants. When he completed his assignment in Spain, he was reassigned to Vietnam, where he trained South Vietnamese soldiers in shooting and airborne operations. Askins had an exemplary career in the Army and while he was in the military, he indulged in big game hunting at every opportunity. He continued hunting after his retirement. In his lifetime, he held several big game hunting records, as well as two national pistol championships, an American Handgunner of the Year award, and innumerable smaller titles in competitive shooting. Askins spent his final years in the military at Fort Sam Houston, and he retired to San Antonio, Texas.

Askins inherited his writing skills from his father, “Bobo” Askins. “Boots” Askins was a creative writer, with a number of books and over 1,000 magazine articles on subjects related to hunting and shooting. His writing career spanned 70 years, from 1929 until his death in March of 1999. While he was an excellent, his writings were considered controversial, mostly because he liked to graphically describe the numerous fatal shootings in his law enforcement and military careers, stating he had killed “27, not counting blacks and Mexicans.” He even once described himself as possibly a “psychopathic killer, and that he hunted animals so avidly because he was not allowed to hunt men anymore.” I suppose his killings were “justified” but maybe not really ethical. Still, many of them were necessary. He died on March 2, 1999, at the age of 91.

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