Thursday, January 27, 2011

T*ts Up on the Tailgate, With No Apologies.

Late season. The endless driving down rutted, washed-out, half-assed roads. The endless walking through section after section of worn-out prairie. The rancid burgsville cafe lunches washed down with iced tea that tastes of catfish. The constant wind moaning over empty plains devoid of any warmth or softness. The stinging dust, the freeze-drying cold. The two-track section line that keeps going on the map but in the real world ends at a locked gate. The bleary-eyed, windblown, horizon-spanning quest for land not grazed, beaten, grubbed, trampled, disced, cultivated, plowed, posted, drilled or center-pivoted into a choking, talcum-fine, anhydrous-soaked oblivion.

And when you finally find it, that one promising spot not littered with the tire tracks, empty hulls, potato chip bags, beer cans, feather piles and other detritus of  asshole slobs gone before, there's the plan: The carefully-orchestrated truckside tactical plan, one conceived in the optimism of roadside dust, then falling completely to shit the moment boots and dogs start kicking through the stubble and grass and the birds, those devious friggin' bastard-birds, find where you aren't and then fly and run and cackle out of range. Always out of range. Screw your plan, screw your silly shotguns and screw your stupid, slobbering dogs, too. Looosers...

You hurl invective and rage at their ass ends and keep walking, stewing in humiliation and dreaming of payback. It's a beat-down, and you know it. Back to the truck, defeated, to start the whole damn thing over again. And again. And again. And again. Why? Who the hell knows why? I sure don't. Because you're a masochist, maybe? Beat me harder, may I have another...

Until finally, in a little patch of cover on some anonymous piece of ground you'll never share the location of and hope like hell will still be there next year, one of them does something wrong; commits a tiny little bird-brained mental error. Perhaps zigging where he should have zagged, or maybe hesitating for just a moment where he should have run like hell. And suddenly he hears the crackling of the boots, the hot, eager panting of the dogs and he's in the air. Close enough.

There's no contemplation, no naval-gazing, no tears other than those of the joy kind, no quick pang of angst or question about how this devil bird's death might affect your inner man-child, no solemn prayer of thanks for his sacrifice, no imagined communication with the bird's recently departed soul, other than perhaps a heartfelt "Gotcha, bastard!"

Nope, there's none of that shit. Just a deep, personal satisfaction at having finally outwitted one of the taunting little bastards. Gratuitous tailgate shot? Hell, yes. Gloating? Fer sure, dude. Will you be back next January to be humiliated yet again? Absolutely. Because you're a masochist.  Beat me harder. May I have another...  


  1. Ode to the bloody-minded.
    nice work chadster

  2. Damn. That's some quality scribblin' CL. Well done.

  3. mmmmm.... anhydrous ammonia.

    Well done, Chad. You've captured the reality of Oklahoma pheasant season.

  4. Prose, Chad... almost felt like I was there...

  5. Damn. Sorry I missed it. Too busy writing about Booth Babes.

    Next year. There's always next year.

  6. Yeah baby! Where there's lead, there's danger. Death to all the long tailed jackals!

    White hot fire from the barrels tomorrow at early morning light.

    Good pep talk.

  7. Thanks for the kind comments everyone. Just got back from Pheasant Fest in Omaha and haven't had time to respond.

    SBW, you need to make it out here.

    Double D, I saw your post today on FB and it looks like you did just fine without enduring the drive. Next year, though, the "Beat Me Harder Classic" has a nice ring to it...

    Bruce, likewise. Love your scribblin'...

    David, thanks, although it was technically Kansas, it was rock-throwing distance from Oklahoma.

    Scampwalker, damn eerie how you have that feeling, huh...

    Gary, hope you get them...

  8. I’m enjoying your Blog! Danmned pheasant act the same everywhere!
    I found it through my friend Albert at The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles™. I’ll be reading your archives as the weeks continue. I’m getting ready for what will undoubtedly be a huge Snow Goose season, so I will be in and out for the next few weeks.

    Thanks again!
    Scott Croner
    Nebraska Hunting Company™

  9. Great story, I've felt it before. Now go to West Texas and chase the blue track stars Scalies, they will really set you off!