My Favorite Month
October is probably my most favorite month. The weather is fairly warm during the day and cool at night. This makes for pleasurable days of outside excursions, cozy evenings by the fire pit and burrowing under the blankets at night. In my family it is also the month of two big events: opening day of bird season and following soon afterwards: the beginning of “The Rut”.
In an earlier post I talked about “The Fall Disease”, well by this time we would be entering full blown disease. Now, not only are compound bows, crossbows, arrows, rangefinders, deer stand parts and etc, littering all around the vicinity, now the guns, cases and shells are added to the mix. And, since bird hunting also requires a different set of clothing…
You Can NEVER Have Enough Shells
Now, since there are three of us all preparing to do the same thing, sometimes nuisances arise consisting of: “That’s Mine”, “Where is my _____?”, You used my ____ last” and many other colorful scenario when one cannot find their equipment, or clothing, and of course waited till the night before to find said items.
Probably one of the most important necessary items for bird hunting would be shells. Can’t shoot any birds if you don’t have any ammo to put in the gun, right? For once we checked out our supply TWO days prior to opening day for a surprise change. So, I’m cooking dinner and the Hubby is checking the supply of shells. Manboy, our son, has a case of shells, he is good to go. Hubby informs me that I am good, but he is going to need more.
Me: “I’m good? How many shells do I have?
Hubby: “About 25”
Me: While stirring the Rice A Roni I can feel a seize of panic starting to rise, “25???!!! That’s all I have???!!! I need more!!!!!”
MInd you, I always figure he has enough shells cause he doesn’t need as many as me. He is generally a pretty damn good shot, and it seems our son his following in his footsteps.
Here In Jersey
Let me explain a couple of things: here in NJ there are no more wild pheasants, so they need to be purchased and stocked. The club we belong to pays for a “Semi Wild” permit that allows us to stock and shoot birds on our properties and it also includes Sundays. As a rule, you are generally allowed 3 birds per person. Occasionally when a member doesn’t show up unexpectedly, his birds will be divvied up between whoever else is hunting that day. If you are hunting on stocked state properties you must buy a pheasant stamp and are allowed three birds.
Alright, so really I have plenty of shells and I am good to go. The Hubby is actually good as well since we have amassed a slightly large collection of different shells over the years and he is kind enough to use them up before buying more. Or as he would put: “Using up the junk shells” as to portray his sacrifice for the sake of our family. He is such a dear thoughtful man, right?
Opening Day Of Bird Season
Well opening day finally comes and as usual the Hubby is the first one up. He gets up early everyday so this isn’t really considered a big deal to the Manboy and I. Hubby wakes us up at 7:00 am. He is being his thoughtful self again and let us sleep till 7. Well that’s just great, is my tea ready too? Nope, and he expects me out the door in 20 minutes. Thank God I don’t wear contacts anymore, because this used to be a serious time management problem on these kinds of days. The kid has no problem other than needing a little morning attitude adjustment. Me? My biggest problem is getting dressed. I can’t get dressed first since I will wind up drenched in sweat before I leave the house, and I am clinically declared POST menopausal, so what gives huh????
And We’re Off
Manboy takes off before us with the birds to meet the other club members (The birds are delivered to our house and put in our shed for the weekend). So far, so good, nobody as growled at anybody, made threats or derogatory comments to one another WHOHOO! Going to be a good day! Then the Hubby notices the gas gauge. I wasn’t feeling good at work yesterday, came straight home forgetting to put gas in my car, and then promptly lay down and took a nap. GRRRR I spoke to soon. The gauge is on empty and it has now been declared the end of the freaking world. Not even kidding. I, single handedly, ruined the day by my incompetence, and all before 7:30 am. Really, I did all this, and I have only been awake for 20 minutes. And why are we taking my car anyway?
Hubby: “Do you know how many minutes this will take to fill this up?”(What he is really thinking: We will be hours late now because of this and it is all your fault!)
Me: “Are you f*****g kidding me? You are seriously asking me how many minutes it takes to fill up the car with gas???? Just get the birds, get gas and we go hunting” (What I am really thinking: SOB, now I’m going to be stuck hunting with his crabby ass, oh Happy Happy Joy Joy, I’m going to go hunt with Loren instead and make Manboy hunt with his father.)
Mind you, we only have to drive 5 miles. The gas station, where we hunt and where we pick up the birds are all within the last eighth of a mile…
Did I mention what we call the Hubby around here? VOICE OF DOOM. The poor man has one of the worst attitudes, and look on life, that I know. Then me, and my Mary Freaking Sunshine Self, remind him of all his blessings. So when the reality check settles in, he calms down, changes gears and a good day is still possible. YAY! Or maybe he just does so I shut up, or both?
Meeting Of The Men Folk
We finally arrive at the designated spot for the club members to gather and collect their allotted birds before going our separate ways to do our thing. We are the Sunday bird hunting crew. For some of us, it will be the first time seeing each other since last season or meeting for the first time. Do you know what this means? I’m sure they don’t even realize they do this (or do they???), but I swear their chests puff out a little more, their voices get a little deeper and they each have their own “yeah, I’ve done that before, I know exactly what you mean look” they give each other when one is describing a distinct tale of their awesomeness hunting one species or another.
So if you have several of the male species together telling tales of their conquests, near misses and occasionally a flat out epic fail, what do you think happens if you throw a woman in the mix? If you have a fairly decent bunch of guys it doesn’t mean a thing. But when out of the bunch is a wife of one, and mother to another, guess who knows, without a doubt, when the bullshit is so deep that she can’t help but bust a gut laughing??? Ok, it actually depends on what mood I’m in. But then I’m pretty much straight with everyone and anyone and have no problem laughing at you if I think you are full of it.
All in all, it’s all good. The Sunday morning crew chat that starts the morning off, puts everybody in a good mood and ready to shoot some birds. Oh yeah, we have to go get gas first…
Ten minutes later we are out in the field and the fog is still hanging over everything like a big cloud. The sun trying to make its way through makes for a stunning picture and I can’t help but try to catch it. Being this is my second year blogging, the Hubby is finally getting used to the idea of stopping for “photo ops”. We stock the birds and wait a bit before letting Cami out. She KNOWS what day it is and is wound up tight and can’t wait to get out and go hunting.
I imagine most bird hunters will tell you the same thing: watching the dogs hunt is their favorite part. A good bird dog is pure poetry in motion. Having multiple dogs who work together, and honor each other, has to be one of my favorites. Years ago, when we had three dogs, it was really awesome to watch them. We had two Pointers and a Brittany who was super tiny. She couldn’t keep up with the bigger dogs but she always kept an eye out or listened for the Hubby’s command when there was a dog on point. As soon as she knew there was a point her whole body language and walk became that of a woman walking in a long dress that was to way tight. Mind you, she also had a serious Phyllis Diller thing going on with her hair, you just couldn’t help not laughing. And yet, this puny little messy hair ball had the drive of an amazon and could outlast all of the bigger dogs.
Like anyone else who loves their dogs, I could go on and on, but that is something for another day. Unfortunately the Hubby’s gun jammed right off the bat and Cami was not going to be happy to wait for him to fix it. Luckily I believe in keeping some supplies in my car at all times. My List of must haves in the car: water, duct tape, flashlight, multi tool gadget. Trying to get Cami back to the car and keep still at this point was definitely not in her plan. Luckily Hubby got his gun fixed quickly and Cami didn’t have to wait long. All in all, Cami did a great job. She hunted nice and slow and kept in range, she nailed it! Hubby was happy! YAY AGAIN!!
Admittedly there were a few ”the sun was in my eyes” and I had one of those : “I forgot to take the safe off”, but overall we had a great morning bird hunting and everybody went home happy. Stayed tuned to find out what I made with our first batch of pheasants
P.S. Another great thing about October: