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  some guys are just born lucky

Hunting StoriesMy second year in South Dakota I did the brotherly thing and invited my brothers from Pennsylvania and Colorado and my buddy from Chicago to come hunt pheasants. I was sure the guide thing would work out just fine. The first day the shooting was pretty good. We found birds and had some good drives. We were hunting around a small lake walking the high grass by the shore line. Some times the birds would drop in the water sometime not. This was of little concern as we had our dog “Niko”. A New Foundland Labrador mix. Everything was going as planned, until we came to a peninsula. We hunted the small spit and had a large group of birds go up right in front of us birds fell. During the bird finding it was discovered that one rooster flew out over the ice and fell. The good news was we could see the bird the bad news the ice was very thin.

Repeated attempts to coax the dog to retrieve the bird resulted in wet feet, mine. Once my feet were wet I pulled the dog in with me. My logic went something like this my feet are wet so who cares if my ankles get wet. This pretzel logic continued until the rooster was retrieved. I knew I had dry cloths in the truck so no big deal really. Cheers of “you the man” fueled my misguided zeal of retrieve you game at all costs.

Now the ice conditions should give some idea of the temperature it was about 19 degrees and very slight breeze. I made the announcement that we would hunt to the truck where I could change. A simple plan for a simple man. There was only one problem Niko starts acting all birdy, and is not hunting toward the truck. My PA. brother is to the west of me and in the direction Niko is hunting. I quickly move ahead of Niko and loop around the idea being flush the bird or birds his way. Niko is stopped and pointing into a large clump of olive brush. As I approach the now pointing Niko, I notice she is not pointing directly in front of me but to my left. As fast as your mind goes sometimes it is just not fast enough. The sight of the skunk a full 10 inchs from my left leg doing what it is they are know for. I just watched as the creature preformed. It was his last great act of defiance. Niko looks at me with that look only a dog can give you. “ see I can happen to you too”. I saved the dog from being sprayed by a selfless act of kindness. Did I mention there were no birds.

The walk back to the truck was graceless. Two brothers a friend and my son all laughed and wondered how I was getting home. I wondered as well. Now to the lucky part. After stripping my iced over clothes off, I found that I was almost sent free. My boots thankfully were on their last hunt anyway the blue jeans would never make another hunt with me. They found their way in to a box tied to the roof rack of the suburban. All I can figure is the ice covered pants protected my skin from the “O de Colon”.

I didn’t hit another bird that day. But it didn’t matter I was able to arrive home and be allowed in the house.


longwalker

Posted by longwalker on Thursday, May 19, 2005 (15:41:13) (9049 reads) [ Administration ]
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