The years have been kind to Osbourne Owings. Nearing 80, he can look back on a lifetime of doing pretty much as he pleased, which to Owings meant fishing, hunting and sailing. What's more, he's still at it.

"I'm sitting here right now looking at geese 20 feet away in the yard," said Owings, who owns and lives on one of the most prized goose gunning properties on Maryland's Eastern Shore -- 444-acre Jamaica Point Farm on the Choptank River in Trappe.

A Washington native, Owings grew up well-to-do at a time when outdoors opportunities beckoned around every bend. He spent his childhood hunting and fishing along the Patuxent River at his uncle's farm at Lower Marlboro and graduated from there to roaming the globe in pursuit of big game and big gamefish.

To his knowledge, he still holds the record for the largest fish ever caught in competition, a 1,128-pound black marlin boated off Cabo Blanco, Peru, in 1958.

Owings recently published a book on his exploits: "The Wizard Is Os," which scans like an angler-hunter's fantasy diary, complete with photos. Owings, who followed his father into the banking and investment trade, has "been everywhere and done everything," by his own assessment, from giant tuna fishing off Canada to bass fishing and dove shooting in Mexico.

Nowadays, he and his wife of 32 years, Jeanette, stick close to their riverside home in Trappe, where he exercises his remaining hunting passion for Canada geese.

Jamaica Point, which Owings has owned since the late 1950s, is famed for its spectacular gunning, and a recent visit showed its reputation is well deserved. All of its 1 1/2 miles of riverfront and all of the fields but one are kept as sanctuaries for geese, with hunting allowed only two mornings a week from two pit blinds overlooking a pond.

The result is old-fashioned gunning, Eastern Shore style, where the geese are plentiful and relatively unwary. Owings has guests in for shoots on Fridays and Saturdays, followed by cocktails and lunch at his place, and an invitation is considered one of the crown jewels in a waterfowler's career.

At Jamaica Point, you meet at 7, watch the sunrise over the Choptank and ride out to the blinds on the back of a trailer towed by a poky farm tractor.

Once the decoys are set, Owings perches in the corner of the blind, calls to the geese as they swarm around and revels in the scenery and company. "I had Larry Albright {from Albright's Gun Shop in Easton} bring me a box of shells two years ago and I just finished using it up," he said. "I hardly ever shoot anymore. I've done all I need to of that."

It must be nice. 'Wizard' for Sale

Owings's "The Wizard Is Os" is no literary masterpiece, but it offers insight into a lifestyle most of us only dream about and an interesting look at the environmental riches abounding around Washington only a half-century or so ago. It's available for $28 from Osbourne Owings, Jamaica Point Farm, Trappe, Md., 21673. Owings says profits will go to charity.