Yesterday I came across a couple of duck decoys in my travels. Since they were cheap, (like me) I figured I’d buy ’em and nab me enough fowl to have duck a l’orange, Peking duck and maybe a few duck sandwiches. I smiled to myself all the way home, thinking of how easy it was going to be to send a whole slew of birds directly to my stew pot. All I needed to do was load the gun, take a seat and hope that I didn’t get a sore back from carrying them all home.
My troubles started this morning when I woke up and noticed the water in the creek next to my house looked odd. By odd, I mean odd that it wasn’t water any more, now it was a sheet of ice. It had been years since I’d seen Stars On Ice, but if there were any ducks in the cast, I think I would’ve remembered. I had no more chance of getting a duck now, than Romney had yesterday of getting the White House. Since I had no intention of chopping a hole in the ice and waiting for some sort of arctic water fowl to show up, I had to switch to plan B.
There’s nothing like a frosty morning for hunting partridge. Or deer for that matter. Over the years I’d been frustrated more than a few times by going hunting with bird shot and practically tripping over a deer, only to return the next day with buckshot and see enough partridge to start a bird sanctuary. It’s like they knew I couldn’t shoot them. So, being the genius that I am, I started collecting double barrel shotguns. This morning my plan was foolproof. I’d load one barrel with a slug, the other with bird shot. Two barrels, two triggers and two different loads. I was ready.
I headed into the brush, carefully picking my way along a woods road, hoping not to make a lot of noise. After a kilometer or so, I decided to leave the main trail and head down a less used one. Big mistake. I rounded a turn and walked smack dab into a minefield of maple leaves. There was nowhere to go. Since I wasn’t about to turn around, I had no choice but to cross them. A few steps later and I imagined every wild creature in the same time zone as me running for their lives. An overturned Ringling Brothers’ truck carrying a load of African Elephants couldn’t have made much more noise.
Presently, I returned to the main road and took a seat, hoping that the forest would eventually settle down. After a bit, I resumed my walk. As I rounded another turn, two partridge burst out of a bush. One flew across the road and disappeared, the other began sneaking away through the trees. I smiled to myself, this was going to be easy. As the bird appeared between two maples, I took aim and fired. Instead of keeling over, it sped up and disappeared. I couldn’t imagine why, until I realized I’d pulled the wrong trigger and fired a slug. I might as well have thrown my lunch at it. So much for a venison dinner. I imagine the decoys will be quite tough and bland. Maybe I’ll take them skating…
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