Do dry several potential stock chunks. And make sure the chunks are a good big larger than the stock has to be. Just yesterday my wood router slipped and I butchered a good looking slab of wood beyond salvage. I had worked on it for days and now I have to start over. As for drying time, the rule of thumb for air drying is one year per inch of thickness, to get it to the normal moisture content for where you are drying it. And seal the ends of the wood with paint to keep the ends from drying much faster and splitting.
And since this is a gun forum and not a woodworking forum, let me say that the moment I'm finished with this jewelry cabinet (in Cherry), the ammo reloading stuff gets set up and I load for my late Father's 270 and 223, so that the rifles will be ready for opening day in Louisiana. His greatgrandsons will use the rifles.