Thursday, November 24, 2016

His First Pheasant Hunt

The dogs quivered in their kennels as we parked to hit the first piece of cover.    They dropped me off and drove back to the other side of the cover belt and we would meet in the middle, pinching the birds together

Approaching their position, I could see one big orange coat followed by a much smaller coat.  Big C's first pheasant hunt was in motion

6 years ago with the arrival of my first son came the excitement of having a partner in the field and on the river, just like my father and I.  Resisting year after year to overdue it and expose him and his brother too early he was finally ready to go.  Big enough, strong enough and showing some excitement to join his father and OMR.

A couple of hens got up out of range but the dogs indicated that there was more.  As we got closer to each other we let the dogs really get to work

"Stay behind Poppa Fay"

"Watch the dogs buddy, they're getting birdy"

"Isn't this fun!"

Finally the dogs hit paydirt and the rooster rocketed up at 15 yards going left to right.  Close enough to take my time and let the bird elevate

Boom.  Clean miss.

Shocked that I missed such an easy shot and filled with a bit of terror that I wasnt going to bring home the bacon on Big C's first experience, I re-steadied and let the pellets roll.

The wild rooster crumpled to the ground

Turning around to see the awestruck face of Big C and the big smile of OMR was a moment I'll never forget

One more bird later and a lot of walking, we called it a day a bit early.   You could see how tired he was getting by how many times he fell in the tall grass and the last thing we needed was to turn it into a forced march.

He played the roll of a typical 6 year old.  Asking questions about funny stuff, his imagination and focus wondering from time to time.  Still he saw a glimpse of what we do when we bird hunt and I knew we won the day when he said this to OMR and I at the end of the day.

"Can we go pheasant hunting again"

You bet we can buddy, you bet.

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