Monday, January 9, 2012

The duct tape eight

As most of you know, each hunting trip is a different journey in itself. Some good and some not so good. My hunt today had a little of everything. Kind of like the Clint Eastwood movie, "The good,bad and the ugly."

The good is that I enjoyed a great day in Oregon chasing chukars and huns and am back here at home telling you about it. The amazing part of the good is I even brought eight birds back with me.

The day started out great. I hadn't been on the hill for a half an hour and Riley pointed the first covey of huns. One shot and a dead hun retrieved to hand. Fifteen minutes later, another point produced another hun from a second covey. Things were looking good and than my brain got in the way. I decided to go higher on the mountain for some chukars.

Riley got a couple points on the way up but I could see the birds running up hill in front of him. He tried to relocate and hold the birds but they finally took flight around the hill. It wasn't long before I saw a couple more covies of chukar flying wild and around the north slope. Figuring that would make a good start on chukars I found a decent deer trail and headed that way with Riley in the lead.

That's when the bad happened. Out of nowhere an elephant crossed the trail and tripped me. I tried to protect my gun but knew I had failed when I heard the cracking sound of wood. I lay there for a few minutes trying to decide whether my head was facing uphill or downhill and than realized my head was uphill because the blood from my nose was dripping on my chin. Not to worry though. Riley was right on that, licking me clean and wondering why I was just laying around. With his encouragement I was soon standing on the trail again. While standing there, I realized that elephant had also stomped on my back and ankle as he left. Boy were they sore.

Well, we can't let a little thing like a fall ruin our hunt. I picked up my shotgun and noticed quite a wobble in the stock and a few pieces missing. Riley was already off finding chukars so I needed to make a plan. The light bulb came on and I remembered the duct tape that I pack in my game vest and retrieved it. With two pieces of cardboard from my candy bar and the duct tape I soon had a firearm that fealt fairly rigid. What was going to happen when I pulled the trigger was a totally different matter.

It wasn't long before Riley was pointing a covey of chukar and waiting for me to make my usual swing into shooting position. As I moved in I thought to myself, "don't be afraid, just keep your eyes open". At the flush of the birds, I shouldered the shotgun and only shot once. Wow! A chukar fell from the sky and my shotgun is still together. I think it was the one I was shooting at. Riley was convinced it was as he retrieved the chukar to me. I can always depend on Riley to believe in me.
I checked the shotgun out and it was still some what rigid so we pushed on. Before long we had five chukars in the bag and the gun was getting pretty loose so we headed back down towards the truck hoping for maybe another point or two. I don't mind telling you I was keeping a close eye out for that elephant. I didn't think I could handle him stomping on me a second time. I was feeling a little sore.

Luckily the elephant stayed up on the hill waiting for some other unsuspecting victim to trip. Shortly before we got back to the truck Riley locked in one more time. I carefully inspected my gun. It was in good enough shape for another shot so in I went. As the huns flushed all around me I planted my feet and picked out a bird. I actually know I had my eyes open this time when I shot. The bird crumpled to the ground and I sat down waiting for Riley's delivery. I took the bird from Riley and rewarded him with the candy bar I had stolen the cardboard from. I unwrapped the duct tape from the shotgun and admired the crack down the stock and the two pieces of wood missing.

It was ugly but it stilll did the job.


Greg M said...

This story confirms all the images I have of the larry/riley chukar assault team! Nothing surprising here to me. I wonder if the military is issuing duct tape in the gun cleaning kits....keep the stories coming larry. I am still here in so AZ metering out the meager quail populations to insure breeding stock survives for a better hatch next year I hope. Ony shooting males now and no more than 3/day. I have a beautiful mearns male, a scaly male and looking for the last gambels male in this area to make a mount of all three flying when I return north. Greg M

Pete said...

Nice work with the duct tape! I splintered my forend into multiple pieces a few years ago when I fell and cracked my gun on a sharp rock. Glued it back together later and it worked fine. I finally broke down and bought a new one and had it fitted by a gunsmith.
Unfortunately chukar hunting always includes the risk of breaking either your gun or your bones.

larry szurgot said...

I'm sure the gambels will be with you on your return north. Good Luck

larry szurgot said...

Pete, I've heard of a time or two when the lucky hunter came home with both bones and gun broken. I'll bet that hunter was back on the hill as soon as possible. I have never heard anyone say chukar hunters were the brightest.

scottinohio said...

Larry,what are the best dog boots for your area?

larry szurgot said...

For the past umpteen years I have wore the Alaska hunters and really liked them but after some advice I switched to the Denali this year and think that might be the better boot for the steep side hills. The Alaska hunters are heavier and a little warmer but a fellow doesn't have to worry about keeping warm while hunting chukars.

scottinohio said...

Larry,you misread my question. LOL My question was what "DOG" boots. Scotty

larry szurgot said...

Sorry Scott. Another brain fart at this end. I've never had boots on any of my dogs. They get out in the hills at least 150 times a year and I guess there feet are just hill toughened.