This is the second excerpt of the story, “I Came to Hunting Late”
Before long I became fairly accurate with the pistols. We moved up to shotguns. Mitch owns twelve-gauge shotguns, so that’s where we started. A twelve-gauge kicks my butt. Mitch’s guns don’t have recoil pads on them to help absorb some of the shock of the recoil. Every time I pulled the trigger, the full force of the gun jumping back into my shoulder would force me back a full step, even when I leaned into the shot. After a few minutes of lifting the gun to my shoulder for each shot, my shoulder was numb and sore at the same time. Mitch would throw clay pigeons until I couldn’t raise my arm, but with lots of practice, I could actually hit the targets.
We recently acquired a “hunting” dog and the two of us worked together in training Buddy. I asked to go with him on his next trip. Mitch raised one eyebrow and cocked his head at me, “Are you sure you want to tromp around in a field all day long with a bunch of men? There might be bugs, you know. It’s not the best time to scream and jump backwards when you run across a bug out in the field carrying a gun. You might shoot someone at a most inopportune moment.” He knows how much I hate bugs.
“Oh please, the bugs will be dead by November. And how else will I know if I like it unless I go. I’ll just go and walk the fields with you and watch and learn. I won’t even carry a gun the first time.”
He shrugged his shoulders, “Sure if that’s what you want to do.”
That began my field-walking training. Supposedly, it was to work with Buddy and get him trained, but I knew it was really to see if I could walk around in the field with ticks, mosquitoes, spider webs – with or without occupants – and a host of other critters without screaming every time I came face to face with one. We found some wooded, hilly, conservation land that we could take Buddy and tromp around in without worrying about the dog getting too far ahead of us.
Come back for more of the story.