First morning of the annual “Great Pheasant Hunt” was a crisp sunny morning about 38 degrees with 20 mile an hour sustained winds out of the south. This made it a challenge for the dogs trying to catch a promising scent. The windy conditions made it a challenge for us too. The dogs quickly disappear in the six foot plus tall prairie grasses. So we have to stop, watch for movement of the grass and listen for the sounds of someone or something moving in the dense grasses. This is to determine where my fellow hunters or the dogs are, which direction they are moving and which way I will go.
We hadn’t walked fifty feet when a pheasant bolted for the sky catching us all off guard. We watched its’ flight and marked where it landed, so we would get a second shot (literally) at the bird. Moving on, we headed in the direction of where the pheasant landed, the dogs were almost out of control with pent up excitement and finally getting to do what they’ve waited a year to do. Within twenty feet of where we had marked the bird’s landing spot, AJ was dead on the bird. It took two shots, one from me and one from Mitch to take him down. First morning jitters, I hoped.
We started up the hill spread out to cut off any retreat of a wayward bird and to not shoot each other, intent on anything that flies, and ready to shoot at the first sound not belonging to one of the dogs when there was a melodious sound of a CELL PHONE RINGING!!! Who brings a cell phone hunting? I understand the safety factor of having a cell phone with us in case of an emergency, just like carrying identification so they can identify the body. Not only did he answer the call, but went on to have a lengthy conversation with the caller. The temptation to shoot the offending party was great but I refrained. Willpower…does a body good.