Sunday, February 5, 2012

Four Winds pheasant 2008

Today I snuck Isaac out of school to go hunting while his mother and the
rest of the kids were in New York with the Pope.
       We hunted the Four Winds Pheasant Club in San Jacinto with our
trusty pointer, Victor.  It was Isaac's first hunting excursion and he did
really well.  We had the entire facility to ourselves.  We were greeted by
Lee and her husband Ruben, who gave us our field and essentially, the run of
the whole club.  There was no wind and it got hot early.  The grass was
pretty high and there were foxtails in many of the fields, which made it
hard on our metropolitan dog, so we stuck with the greenest field closest to
the shack. The shack is virtually obscured by swarms of flies the size of
Milk Duds.
       Early into the hunt, Victor pointed on several birds that flushed so
perfectly that we had to let them get away, though our guns were blazing at
the empty spots adjacent to the fleeing creatures. One of the pheasants that
escaped our warning shots was snagged by a huge red-tailed hawk that left us
the head of that rooster, just to show us who the real hunters were.
       We started to settle down and hit our targets (mostly chukar).
Victor got pretty winded and was gagging on brush after a few passes through
the field, even though we kept him watered down.  After a while, we put him
in the shade with some cool water and started exploring adjacent fields that
burped out a few more stray birds onto the gravel road between the fields,
where we spotted them and gave chase.  Isaac did a good job of spotting
birds and made some excellent shots with his 20 gauge auto. Being less of a
sportsman, I went with the double 12 gauge Weatherby, which I had the good
sense to modify by welding on a bayonet lug.  I found I was more accurate at
that range.  Once they are impaled on the end of the blade, you really can't
miss them when you pull the trigger.

   Ruben and Lee were very patient with us hanging around the fields to
pick off stragglers. They did a great job of cleaning our birds, as our
exhausted dog watched their satellite TV with an ice bag on his head and
sucked on a large tropical cocktail. While our hosts and dog were so
occupied, Isaac and I uploaded slugs and snuck over the barbed wire to try
and shoot one of the dairy cows from the next ranch over so we could have a
mixed grill.  The dairy farmer got pissed, even though I showed him the cow
stamp on the back of my hunting license.  The guy was a real grouch about
it, so we decided to let him keep his damned cow.  Like he doesn't already
have enough.  I am not sure we could have got it onto the roof rack anyway,
because we were pretty tired from the dogless chasing of dangerous birds.
When we got home, Victor got a nice scented bath and massage.  He is now
reclining on his dog bed with an FDR style cigarette holder as I type this
 Tomorrow evening, we are forcing our neighbors to come over to eat some of
the jumbo squid and tunas we have previously slain, along with smoked
chuckar and roasted pheasant now marinating in anticipation of their own
invitation to this feed.
       We only feed our neighbors things that we kill, which is why that
cow would have really balanced the meal.  Better than that
missing-cat-casserole we had to whip up for the neighbors when the fish
didn't bite before the last barbecue.  I didn't have the heart to tell them
just to take down the sign taped to the gate, offering that reward, with no
questions asked.  They did get some of it back, along with the sherbet we
fed them after the meal to cleanse their palates.  Good times.
These are the days.

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