This is the first excerpt of a story of one of our first hunting trips to Nebraska. Since hunting season is very close and we’ve started getting the dogs in shape again, I thought it was time to get my act in gear again and start writing again. I took the summer off and now it’s time to focus again on my dream.
We rounded up everyone and set out for Todd’s preserve. We had quite a crew with us this trip: the Booth’s, Judd, Hank and Steve, then Mitch and me, and this time another father and sons’ group, the McKay’s, Buck, John and Joe. Eight total, plus Buddy and AJ. Buck’s sons have hunted deer, turkey and quail, but have never hunted pheasant. None of the rest of us could be considered master hunters, so this would prove entertaining.
At Todd’s we made the necessary introductions and completed the preliminary paperwork, hunting licenses, and conservation stamps. Because of the large number of hunters, we asked for more birds to be released. We mistakenly thought with all of the bodies tromping around we would scare up more birds.
Todd pointed our merry band in the right direction and Mitch tried to get everyone in some semblance of order and not just a bunch of lunatics carrying guns scaring all of the birds off. That was a lost cause from the start. People were scattered all over the hillside and the cedar break. I decided it would be safer for me to stay on the outside edge of the invading horde. I didn’t want to be anywhere near where the guns would be going off. I looked over at Mitch and could see the frustration all over his face. Poor man, he was so used to an orderly routine when hunting with his father. Everybody had a position in the line (that invisible line that hunters form when working a field) and by God; they better stay in that position. Now Mitch was faced with total “hunter anarchy”.
There was no rhyme or reason to the hunters’ placement in the field. Judd was wandering off down the hill; Buck was almost on top of Hank, if Hank swung his gun up to take a shot, he would probably whack Buck. One of Buck’s sons was too far in front of everybody, probably running the birds into the next county. Mitch and I finished the cedar break at the top of the hill; we started working our way back towards the rest of our group. A pheasant flew up in the middle of the merry band and it sounded like a fourth of July celebration. They were spread out in a rough backwards semi-circle, facing away from the draw. The bird flew up behind them; everyone started shooting at that poor bird. Six men unloaded their guns at that bird and all of them missed, not even a feather was ruffled. I don’t think that bird quit flying until he hit Omaha. Mitch and I stood there and watched in amazement.
I looked over at Mitch and said, “They suck! We are never going to shoot anywhere close to all the birds Todd set out.”
Mitch shook his head and said, “This is going to be a long week.”
(Some of the names have been changed to protect the innocent.) Come back for more of the story.