Call 911 Are You Kidding Me?

Real men don’t call 911.  Lacerations, contusions or amputations are only emergencies for mere mortals.  Men will refuse to call or seek help for any illness, accident or even heart attack unless forced to do so by an outside party, such as a spouse or partner.    The only reason a man will willingly seek out emergency help or call 911 is if he needs help finding a missing appendage in case of an amputation.  Then he will try to shake off any help by the paramedics except to maybe reattach the amputated limb.

Believe me I know this from experience.  Mitch has refused to seek medical attention even under threat of physical force to drag him to the hospital.  I came home from work one day and no one was waiting at the door to greet me, which was very odd.  I walked into the house and still no dog or man came to say hi, getting weirder.  As I walked into the bedroom there was Mitch laying on the bed, his right thumb and forefinger wrapped in blood soaked bandages.  I asked what happened and he just pointed skyward.  I looked at the ceiling and saw a hole about the size of a silver dollar with more pellets imbedded around the main hole.

There were bloodstains on his jeans and my first thought was that those are not going to come out.  There were bits of ceiling and insulation on the floor next to the bed.  Again I asked what happened.

His explanation so plausible to another man was just as ludicrous to a woman.  He was working on one of his shotguns by cycling a single shotgun shell in the chamber when the gun went off.  Of course the shell had to be live.  What was I thinking?  Obviously a stupid question.  His thumb and forefinger were wrapped around the end of the barrel of the gun holding it steady.  Once he realized that he had not blown off his thumb and forefinger, then it became just another cut, no big deal.   The shot caused a nickel sized laceration on his thumb and forefinger that looked like someone had taken a grapefruit spoon and scooped out a section of flesh.  Needless to say both fingers bled profusely.

I told him that I wanted to look at the wounds and he said, “No the blood would be too much for you.”  That I couldn’t take it.  Me – who has raised two boys through broken bones, broken noses and visits to the ER for stitches.  After examining the wounds and re-dressing them, I asked why he didn’t call 911.

“Call 911 are you kidding me?  It’s just a small cut almost a scratch.

Orso Finally Got It!

We went hunting in Central Nebraska this past weekend.  The original plan was to hunt pheasant but there were no pheasant, so it was decided that we would hunt quail instead.  Pheasant are not an especially hardy bird at the best of circumstances and with the severe drought have not fared well at all.  Now since it was determined that quail was the only option to hunt I decided to forgo carrying a shotgun and carry a camera instead.  I am not fast enough to shoot quail.  On the occasions we have flushed a covey of quail in past hunting trips, I was always startled at the delicate fluttering of birds and as soon as I realized that I could shoot at them, the birds were way out of gun range.  So I figured I would stand a better chance of getting some shots of the dogs and Mitch with my camera than hitting a quail with my gun.

Saturday was cold and cloudy, with temperatures in the forties with a mild breeze, making day seem pretty raw.  The dogs headed out with Charlie ranging a bit too far in front as always.  We have to call him back often otherwise he’ll flush a bird three counties away.  AJ wandered a lot slower and more methodically this year, his age showing.  Orso as usual headed off lumbering along just happy to be out with everybody bumping into the closest body to wherever he ended up in the field.  Charlie was the first to flush a bird and Mitch actually shot it.  I was shocked.  I didn’t really think that any birds would get shot the entire weekend.  Charlie fetched the bird up with Orso sniffing away at this new creature.  He has shown no interest in pheasants at all.  But this new one smelled pretty good to him. 

Orso started off and actually put head down and used his nose to search for a likely scent.  This was a bird he liked and wanted to find.  Who knew?  Orso wandered farther into the field head down, stopped for a brief moment then lunged forward catching a bird in his mouth before it could fly.  He came trotting up to Mitch with the bird in his mouth, its’ little white head poking out to the side.    He did this not once but three times.  Orso had great success at quail hunting.  He only needed us to carry the birds after he caught them.

Maybe there is hope for him yet.

Learning Something New

This year on the annual “Great Pheasant Hunt” the weather was more cooperative.  Saturday was sunny and chilly around 38 degrees to start the day.  Too windy, with sustained winds around 20 miles an hour, but it was dry, no rain or snow.  Not too bad all things considered.  AJ and Charlie were beside themselves with energy and excitement for the upcoming event.  Orso was just along for the ride, as usual.  No interest in hunting, just happy to be with us. 

Even though we’ve been pheasant hunting for decades, Mitch for almost five decades and me for twelve years, every year we either learn something new or a better way to prepare for hunting.  Because we don’t get the opportunity to go hunting as often as we would like nor do we work the dogs as much as they need to stay at the top of their game, the first day has always been very chaotic.  The dogs have so much pent up excitement at finally being able to do the one thing they were bred for, hunt birds.

Fifteen minutes into our first morning, we always tell each other that next year we need to come up a day earlier than everyone else to wear the dogs out a bit and never do.  This year was no different, but now we’ve added a twist, next year we plan on getting set up about an hour before the others and work the dogs away from where we plan on hunting, so as not to chase off any pheasant that may be loitering in the area.  We definitely don’t need any more handicaps. 

This brilliant idea came to me watching the dogs the second morning totally out of control running through six foot plus tall dense prairie grass, losing sight of them almost immediately.  I stomped down the hill and up to Mitch, poor unsuspecting soul, and said, “I have a thought.  This area is too hard to manage the dogs with all of this energy.  We need to slow them down.  I think that we should take them across the draw to the open hilly field and run them to burn off some of their exuberance.  What do you think?”

Mitch was experiencing as much frustration as I was and quickly agreed.  We both knew that there were birds laying low in dense grasses and didn’t want the dogs to scatter them.  So we called everyone out of the prairie grass, called the dogs and regrouped.  As expected one was missing.  AJ was nowhere to be found.  I told Mitch to hold on to both Charlie and Orso while I tromped off to find AJ.  Orso, thinking he was going to miss something immediately started wailing so I told Mitch to let him come with me.  I found AJ heading back to the cars having lost us.  After getting all of us together, Mitch explained our plan and off we headed across the electric fence that we always forget to unplug until one of us remembers the hard way.  Everyone else that hasn’t touched the fence yet laughs at the victim, really glad it wasn’t them. 

Even though it was only 40 degrees, the dogs found the pond at the bottom of the dam a refreshing swim.  Brrr.  Hydrated and renewed, the dogs bolted off up the open ground.  We started yelling, “Whoa!” as soon either Charlie or AJ got too far ahead of us.  The plan was to keep both of them working close to us.  Orso wasn’t a problem never straying too far ahead, as I constantly clomped him in the jaw with my heel.  He prefers to let me clear a path, less effort on his part. 

After walking and working the dogs from one end of Todd’s land to other, we succeeded in taking some of the out of control excitement out of them.  We decided it was time to head back to the tall prairie grass and give it a thorough sniffing.  The dogs worked wonderfully and rewarded us with two more birds.

Who says you can’t teach old dogs new tricks?

Who Takes a Cell Phone Hunting?

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.