The maturing of a growing hunter Part 2, 5 Years Old
5 Years Old
I can remember sneaking into a hiding spot with my Dad, watching him get ready and imitating him. My Dad with his 1940 Browning Auto 5 and me with a stick of unknown origin. First we hear Grandma's holler "woo hoo! Lets go ducks". Then the Rush of 100's of ducks lifting at the same time. Dad whispers "Here they come get ready" We lean deeper into our patch of Giant Rye Grass waiting in anticipation. The quiet whistling of the wings getting louder as they approach closer and closer. As their silhouettes come into focus over the horizon Dad whispers again "stay in your cover, hide your face". As the ducks get overhead Dad leans out of his patch of grass: Bang, Bang, Bang, goes the old double thumper. I point my stick and yell BANG, BANG. As birds start to fall and dogs get released, I adamantly say. "Got one Dad, I know I got one." Dad smiles and says "Good Job".
I run from cover out into the sage brush blanketed field, thinking I am just as good as those dogs finding downed birds. I come upon a Mallard Drake and I grab it. What's this, it's still alive. I better find someone to take care of this. As I see Grandpa walking through the scrub, I think, I will take MY DUCK to Grandpa and he will help me. As I run over to Grandpa, I trip and fall (STUPID SAGE BRUSH). I get to Grandpa and tell him "I shot this duck" and Grandpa gives me a "Holy Smokes" I also tell him the duck bit me that's why I fell, Grandpa chuckles and rings the neck. We get back in the truck, me in the back seat with the muddy dog, there is no worries we're hunting.
At the end of the day it's time to clean the ducks. I find My Duck and start feathering. Now it's time to gut, well I better have someone do this part for me. Later around the camp fire I get to tell my story of triumph.