Friday, January 30, 2009

Hunting--by son Mark

Well, here goes....Some of the best times on the farm were in the fall.  I always loved to hunt and we had an abundance of places to hunt.  I still remember one of the first times that I was able to carry a gun myself when we went pheasant hunting.  It was either Christmas or Thanksgiving at Aunt June's and Uncle Clarence's farm south of Simpson when I was about 10 years old.  It was the beginning of lessons in gun safety.  I believe that Grandad, Dad and the boys and Uncle Clarence were all along that day.  We went to a pasture on the northwest corner of the mile line just north of Uncle Clarence's place.  We were all getting out and lined up to walk the grass and trees there.  I was carrying a Mossberg bolt action 20 gauge shotgun.  There was a thumb tab labeled 'safety' located under the rear of the bolt action.  I don't know why they called it a safety because it wasn't safe (didn't work properly) , and me being on my first hunt that I could carry a gun, I had my finger in the trigger guard  and my thumb on the safety tab.  Needless to say in all the excitement I had a real strong trigger finger and as we were walking along my gun, (which Dad had been real diligent in gun carry safety, had been pointed at the ground) decided to 'go off'!  Needless to say, there was a hole in the pasture about a foot or two from Uncle Clarence's foot and I got the priveledge of watching the cars until everyone got back from the hunt.  It was a lesson I will never forget, TEST YOUR WEAPON BEFORE YOU USE IT!  Whenever I used that gun again I would always carry it with the bolt in the raised position and close it before I shot,  just to be safe.

Starting in about my 8th or 9th grade year I would go hunting along the creek (Pipe Creek) north of home just about every evening after chores whenever I had enough ammo.  Mom had a nice Marlin lightweight 12 gauge pump that I would use.  It 'kicked' pretty good but was easy to carry and maneuver.  The more you hunted that stretch of the creek the healthier the birds would be and the more coveys there would be as you would keep them scattered.  I got pretty good with the gun and could shoot a lot of '3 bags' when I would raise a covey of quail.  I had to let the birds fly away for a bit on straight away shots or there would not be too much left except wings and a poof of feathers.  I would always get startled when a pheasant would rise and usually shoot before getting lined up, kinda frustrating but eventually I got over that.  I would look forward to that time of the year starting with Dove through the end of Pheasant and Quail season.  I never really got too involved in Duck and Geese hunting but would sometimes hunt the slough areas in the field for Teal when there was water there.  I didn't do much Deer hunting as they weren't as plentiful then but I do more now.

1 comment:

Max said...

From pheasant to ELK