Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Best Shot You Never Took In Your Life

Someone's Truck

Running alongside the field where JB's pastured is a dirt road, some grain bins and a large cornfield. A month or so ago the corn fields were harvested and became a veritable dove magnet. There I'd be, unsaddling the horse after a ride, and there the doves would be, in swarms.

Obviously I wanted to get out the gun and have a go, but hesitated to wander off with the yobbish pump action and blast away until I had permission to hunt the land. People frown on unidentified shooters roaming about their land, understandably. So I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the fields in question belonged to a parishioner who was happy to let me shoot.

After making sure (a few days in advance) that the owners of the horselands were alright with the project, I stalked off, Mossberg in hand.

The strategy was simple. Wait for the doves to arrive in their hundreds and shoot them. To that end I walked across a pasture, ducked under a fence, crossed the road, released the safety and... a great clatter of birds erupted from a tree to my front. The avian acrobats dodged the first two shots, but the third went home and a plump, corn-fed creature fell to the ground - just as I hear a great screaming from the direction of the horses. I won't repeat the language but it was strong and directed at the shooter.

I pondered the situation, reapplied the safety, and strode off down-field, thinking with a heavy heart that my riding privileges were about to be revoked. Still the shoot was still on and I figured I might as well see if I could chase up some birds further away. No luck; they liked the area around the grain bins, which I returned to.

Again, a tremendous whirring of wings as countless birds darted out of the trees around the bins, in all directions - just feet away from me. But I wasn't going to shoot and risk the wrath of the horse guardian. Instead I shouldered the gun and watched the quarry speed away to safety; never seen so many of the creatures so close and in the air at the same time.

Frustrating and doubly so when I learned the cause of the screaming. It was all a case of mistaken identity.

It seems a neighbour was in the custom of driving down the dirt road in his pick-up and taking pot-shots at birds from the window of the truck - towards the horses. Bonnie figured that was the source of the shots. Hence the invective; turns out I could have kept shooting. As it was, the one 'bird down' made for a tasty snack.

Moral of the story?

1. Don't shoot out of the window of your truck towards the barn - it spoils it for the rest of us.

2. Tell Bonnie when you're going to shoot.

3. Fresh dove tastes great.

Simple, really.

Hope you've had a blessed Sunday.



Silverfiddle said...

Thanks for the story!

I took the son pheasant hunting for the first time last week, and I passed down to him my Mossberg Maverick.

LSP said...

Nice one - hope you had a good day out!