The Denver Post has an article today about pheasant hunting in N.W. Kansas. It brought back a wonderful memory.
Few things were more important to me as a teenager than getting my driver's license when I turned sixteen. Usually, when my dad asked me to go hunting with him, especially when it involved crawling on my hands and knees on snow-covered, wind-whipped ground in North Dakota to get to a slough, I had an important basketball practice for the next vitally important game, and, sorry Dad, I couldn't make the trip.
One time, though, Dad asked soon-to-be sixteen-year-old Bob to drive him and my Uncle Bud on a local pheasant-hunting trip on a dirt road through nearby Iowa cornfields. My Uncle Bud had been a tail gunner in World War II. He sat in the back seat of the family Buick. Dad was in the passenger seat.
Suddenly, Uncle Bud shouted at me to stop this go#*amn f#*king car NOW! He pointed his shotgun out the window at a poor helpless pheasant minding his own business on top of a cornstalk. BOOM! We had the beginnings of a Thanksgiving dinner. Yes, Bud had "issues," as the saying goes today, but wouldn't you have had "issues," too?
photo from Rick Dykstra, Special to The Denver Post