Dove Season 2007 - Opening Day in Texas
Topic: Personal Commentary
Awaking at four o'clock Saturday morning, I gathered up my shotgun, the rest of my hunting kit, and headed out. Arriving at my brother's house in darkness' pitch, we loaded up the truck and motored our way to Palo Pinto County, up towards Possum Kingdom Lake. It was Dove Season's opening day. And we had birds to shoot.
Pre-dawn over the field...
The birds were flying, which was a pleasant change. For the last three years, the birds were flying elsewhere. .
I shot through more shells in the morning hunt than I had collectively in the previous three seasons. By day's end, both my brother and I complained of sore shoulders. It was a great feeling.
My brother, Ty, is a terrific shot. No lie, he shot this one bird. It landed about twenty feet away from me, so I stepped over to gather it up. He had shot its head clean off.
"Nice shot," I said.
"I meant to do that," He said. "Next one? I'm just going to shoot out its left eye."
Our big challenge was finding the birds after we'd shot them. The sunflower fields were tall and dense.
We settled on a process of watching where each other's birds fell so that we could talk each other in to finding it. Not just the two of us. The other hunters around all joined in guiding the shooter towards the fallen bird.
It's the fellowship of men with guns. We're helpers. We help. It's what we do.
As the sun went down, we had shot fourteen-and-a-half birds. We had accounted for nine of them.
Wait. Fourteen-and-a-half, you ask?
Well, the brother and another hunter had shot one bird simultaneously. None of us could tell who had actually made the kill. So they flipped for it.
Ty returned sans dove, "Never tossed for a bird before."
After a few more minutes, he marveled: "I've never lost a coin toss before."
A little more time passed: "Maybe I should go kick his ass?"
As we counted up the birds, Ty held that he should get to claim at least half of that bird.
In the interests of full disclosure I must say that of the birds tallied, I knocked down two. I'm really a very lousy shot.
The brother argued that one of the fliers I shot was not actually a dove, but since we couldn't find it in the sunflowers I maintain its dovelines.
We left the field at the end of a day full of shooting, telling stories, drinking beer, and smoking cigars.
Terrific day and a great start to what looks to be a wonderful season.
Posted by Aron Head
at 6:15 PM CDT
Updated: Saturday, 27 October 2007 11:43 PM CDT