Sunday, January 11, 2009

According to The Oxford English Dictionary, the word "snapshot" was originally a hunting term.

Ahhhh! Hunting is awesome but oh such a pain in the ass it can be! I went all the way up to the Kern National Wildlife Refuge and got my ass kicked. I got there late but got on the "free roam" area by 10am so I thought I was lucky. Goddamn I was wrong. The free roam area is a gigantic, thick, and unruly area of marsh at the south east corner of the refuge and, as the name implies, you set up your dekes wherever you want or roam around deke free. Hunters are responsible for making sure they're far enough apart so no one gets Cheyned. Aside from being difficult to get around in due to the thick reed cover you also have to navigate around all the other jackasses out there and the place is huge. I spent an hour walking in and out of marshland only to find every bit of open water already had someone camping out on it and boy oh boy, were they unhappy to have my dumb ass interrupting them. I was also overheating as I was carrying eighteen dekes, blind bag, gun, and wearing waders, a thick jacket and a beanie. About thirty minutes into my death march I had to stop and take off the beanie and stow the jacket in the deke bag and drop wader-trou. My shirt was absolutely drenched but when I had started walking it was freezing. Now the sun was high and the cloud cover had burned off. Go for heat exhaustion. I finally found a spot: small bit of water but shallow and reedy with cover all around, including some reeds that allowed me to sit on my little chair but be concealed. I threw out all eighteen dekes and set up shop and waited. And waited. And waited. Once again the Shovelers fucked with me and they are now my mortal enemy. My only goal for the last few days of the season is to kill as many Shovelers as possible. While they are fascinating looking birds they are now my sworn enemy. A couple flew bizarre patterns around my head but not one got close enough to pop. A huge flight of Green Wing Teal came straight at the spread and just as I was calling them in some lard-ass came tumbling through the bush and flared them off, never to be seen again. Literally, as I was drawing down on them he spooked them. Awesome. I stood up, he said "Oh, I didn't see you there." I replied, "Yeah, well, the birds definitely saw you." He looked confused and then sad and slunk off back into the primordial ooze to go find another pond to hunt. I tried calling. I tried not calling. I sat so still and quiet that I had a bird land on the barrel of the FNG. Some sort of long-legged black stork thing flew straight at me and freaked out about three feet from me when he realized I was there. All in all, very cool stuff but no ducks. Harumph!

On a more positive note, I then drove for nearly three hours to get to Doug and Meaghan's slice of heaven along the coast, just up from Goleta which is just up from Santa Barbara. They  are now the proud owners of some 2008 close-out baby girl twins who were born December 30th. Cuttin' it close, ladies. They're actually cute babies! I know most people always think babies are cute but I find them rather off-putting most of the time, at least in regards to their looks and lack of decorum. Ah, what a lovely family unit! I'm overjoyed that Doug and Meaghan have a little family and I'm slightly jealous but my time will come. We hung out for awhile, basking in the glow of two new lives just starting out on their journey but eventually I had to go home. Long drive, late night duck call practice, sleep. Good times.

Peace out, bitches!

1 comment:

savannah said...

you're a good man! all things will be revealed in time ;)