12 gauge Shotgun. My Weapon of Choice
Well, I never had to feed with a family with a shotgun and rifle,
and trapping furry creatures always seemed heinous to me.
Dad never gave me dog. "Dogs belong in the country where they can run free! Don't belong chained up in a town."
So we never hunted birds with a dog, as he considered that as "Blatant cheating! A good man can find birds without a dog's help."
He would drive slowly around on ridge tops, "Keep and eye out Jeff, dammit! Don't watch the trail."
Then he would stop and consider an area down in a draw that had some good, but usually sparse, sage brush cover.
"Dismount, we walk from here, back up to the top of the draw and walk down. You take the left side, I'll take the right ridge side."
Sneaking around, up, and down to them, 'til WWHHOOSHH!ffflluutterflutterflap..
BOOM!! clack...chick! BOOM!! clack...chick!
2 points with a 12 gauge pump action shotgun and two sharp tailed grouse down!
Pick one up and look for the other...
flutter...flutter.... Hhmm? this one is not dead yet. Good! Few bb's in the breast.
Put my boot on the poor creatures neck, pick his legs up and pull his head off.
Drain his blood off onto my already bloody boots, and bag her.
Your mates did not fly far, dear, and I shall shoot again today.
Back in the truck, I asked Dad " How did you know that they were in there?'
"I didn't, but it looks likely, and I had a feeling."
Years later.... 1993, in northern Nevada, Independence Mountain, right next to the gold mine/mill I worked at.
It was dove hunting season. Never shot a dove before, but they are small
and flighty quick creatures, so I agreed to take some shots at them.
Hard to hit fast little birds. Good challenge.
Me and Jerry parked his truck. Loaded guns.
Jerry took one ridge, and I took another ridge to his left.
Safely out of shotgun range from each other,
because we surely do not want to do a Dick Cheney and blow your countryman away!
Me and Jerry Doerr were both born in Wyoming, Bighorn County.
Dikhed Cheney was born in Wyoming also, but (thankfully) not in
my birthplace, or I should truly be ashamed to be called a Wyomingite!
Silently sneaking up through the sweet smelling sage brush,
I see a small stand of Juniper trees at the ridge line up top,
and when within 50 yards, crouch down and approach slowly......
Near the ridge top and trees about 25 yards away, I stop. Wait..wait..
See nothing, but,
I gotta feeling.
So I stand up and raise the shotgun,
6 Mourning Doves take off!
Two are flying directly away from my gun point.
BOOM!! clack chicK!
Another dove left of me,
BOOM!! clack chicK!
That one goes down, as did two with the first shot!!
The other three escaped.
I picked up the two in line dead kills, and searched for lefty.
Found lefty after a search, and picked him/her up.
I COULD FEEL LITTLE DOVE's HEART BEATING IN THE PALM OF MY HAND!
I jerked his/her head off.
That beating heart that I felt came into my soul.
Mine only religious experience.
Later, I ate the 3 tasty little dove breasts, and wondered
(did I make the third kill a widow or a widower?)
Sold my rifle and my beloved shotgun a month later.
Never killed a bird since. Although my pet cats do.
I really get pissed off trying ro sweep up feathers off the floor!