If there is one thing I’ve learned growing up in a family of hunters it’s that if you don’t come home with something dead you’d better come home with a good story – if you can swing both so much the better.
So, yesterday afternoon when I found myself watching a pheasant and opossum having a stare down while I was out hunting with the dogs, I figured I was set. “This is going to get interesting!” I said to myself as the dogs came crashing through the cattails toward us.
And then it didn’t.
The pheasant, upon seeing me, dashed off into the cattails.
The opossum climbed a tree, a very small tree.
The dogs ignored the opossum (good dogs!) and sniffed their way after the pheasant.
Storm went on point in the cattails and I couldn’t find her.
The bird flushed – I missed.
The dogs passed by the opossum, stopped, looked up, and carried on (good dogs!).
Then we tracked down the pheasant and even though I was unaided by any sort of pointing from my dog (bad dog!) I got the bird.
Trip retrieved it, (good dog!).
Then he blasted off through the cattails and ran down another until it flushed -waaaay away from us (bad dog!).
So we looked for it, until the dogs stunk of swamp, I had cattail fuzz up my nose and we were all covered in burrs.
Then I got a phone call that I was needed at home.
We spent the rest of the night cleaning swamp muck and burrs off the dogs.
Today the dogs are tired and on drugs to combat the beasties in the swamp water that are disagreeing with their systems and I’m left reflecting that my unexciting opossum/pheasant stare down turned into an interesting evening anyway.
After all, I got my bird and I got a story.