Friday, December 15, 2017

Every hunt is an adventure.

Jake and I just finished our long ride home from Oregon. It was long because I fell today pretty hard on my back and the ride home was very uncomfortable. I'm not new to falling this time of the year but this one had me free falling for about 8 feet before I landed flat on my back with shotgun on my chest. I'd forgotten what it felt like to have the wind knocked out but the memory came back to me as Jake stood there licking my face or maybe he was thinking I needed mouth to mouth.

Before that we were finding lot's of birds and Jake was on top of his game.
Some of the time I was too.
For four hours Jake would find covey's of chukar and a couple of large covey of huns and I moved out front for the flush. Once again today my shooting was below average and Jake ran in the direction of the flushed birds just to return with puzzled look and empty mouth,
Once in a while I would do my part and Jake happily retrieved the bird. 
Not enough times to please Jake or me.

About a half mile from the truck Jake locked up just below the trail I was on and as I neared the point my foot slipped and the next thing I knew I was being propelled over a sage brush to a flat spot about ten feet below. My shotgun was still tight against my chest and for the next minute or so I was wondering if I was going to get to find out if the SPOT worked. I don't know what happened to Jake's point but was appreciative to his licking me back to health. 

Five minutes later I was trying to stand up and gather all the things that had fallen from my pack and proceeded to another trail in a crunched over position and moving pretty slow. After a while I was standing taller and I noticed a piece of my gun missing. I could look right into the trigger mechanism. I have no idea how the piece got broke off but I know we hit the flat spot and there was quite a jolt.

About 200 yards from the truck Jake was on point at 78 yards up the hill. The hill there wasn't real steep and I decided I could chuk it up enough to get to him. I only needed one more bird and thought how great it would be to finish that way. It wasn't to happen that way though. As the birds flushed I raised the gun up and tried to swing with them but couldn't and fired both barrels behind them. 

At the truck I snapped a picture of Jake, the birds and my gun and started thinking about our next adventure.
I have a matching shotgun to use while this one is at the doctor.


Troy, Rowdy and Ben said...

Wow Larry, we are all glad that you are seemingly ok! Falls are always part of hunting these birds but you hope that you always end the day with dogs, guns and limbs intact. Great to see you finding birds that hold well enough this time of year. That wasn’t the case for a few of my hunting buddies on a recent Idaho trip. They worked hard with talented dogs, but the birds weren’t very cooperative for them.
We all really enjoy your site and your hunting trip recaps. You and Jake be careful out there!!

Hanson said...

Wow- "Could have been worse!", which means we get to keep doing what we love, despite the dangers. I keep saying I am done hunting chukars alone, but if we waited for someone else to fit our schedules, we would only hunt half as much. And, it is also difficult finding hunters that climb hills at the same pace.

Glad you are OK.

larry szurgot said...

Thanks guys. As you both mentioned "it's just a part of the hunt" and hopefully we will always be back home to speak of the adventure.

Hunting at the same pace. What a perfect way to describe why most of us hunt alone. Whether you are the one forging ahead or the one falling back you still seem to get unhappy with the other guys pace. When you are by yourself you determine your pace and whether you want to take a break or not along the way. You have no one to blame for not getting birds because you know your dog is the best dog ever.

Jake and I both are lucky to be still finding plenty of birds that want to play the game fairly and hold.