I got my bird!
Today was the pheasant opener here. My boyfriend was off in Long Island, performing as best man in a wedding, but not me! I stayed home and decided to head out to our club's hunt by myself.
The organizer put me in a group with four other people - including the only other woman I saw at the hunt - and off we went into our designated rice fields. I paired up with a guy named Brian and his dog Riley. I told Brian I was a new hunter, so he graciously agreed to let me take shots at the first bird to flush. That decided, we began our hunt, walking up and down the checks, waiting for Riley to find a bird.
Soon enough, Riley found one for me. The bird flushed, and up my gun went.
Bam! Missed. Dear God, what a crappy mount.
Bam! Missed again. Man, that thing still ain't mounted right. Oh, what the hell...
Thank you, dear lord, for autoloaders. The third shot - which never seems to help me in duck hunting - did the trick and I got my bird. That boy dropped near another check and charged into it for cover, but Riley found him, and that's all she wrote.
Brian took the next rooster to flush, and I took the third. Or tried to. The safety! I forgot to take off the safety! By the time I rectified that, that rooster was pretty far away, and nothing I fired reached him.
After that, Riley was getting pooped, which was a relief, because so was I. The limit on opening weekend is two per person per day, but Brian and I settled for one each. I would've loved a limit, but I was just so happy not to get skunked.
When we got back to the parking lot, I called my boyfriend to tell him the good news. He whispered his congratulations from the church where he was waiting for the wedding to begin. Awwwwww, he left the phone on so he could find out how it went!
Then I got home and saw my neighbor working on his house, and invited him to peek at my bounty.
Can I have a feather? he asked.
Sure! I obliged him. Three tail feathers and one from the back for his hat.
But the best part was at home. I spotted our outdoor cat, Giblet, who's been known to take out scrub jays for kicks, and I thought, Hey, she'll LOVE this! So I brought it out to her to show off my hunting.
And she absolutely freaked out. Wouldn't go near the bird at all. Looked on from about five feet away. Seemed relieved when I took it back in the house.
HA! You've got to love the role reversal, dontcha? Isn't it usually the cat who wants to show off the carcass to the human, and the human who wants nothing to do with it?
That's enough blogging for now - I've got a bird to pluck! Then it's nap time, because I'm getting up at 2 a.m. tomorrow for what may be the first rainy duck hunt of the season. Hallelujah!
© Holly A. Heyser 2007
Saturday, November 10, 2007
I got my bird!