Friday, January 15, 2010

My First Rooster

This year I had no sports to interrupt my hunting. School tried to do so, and failed, failed miserably. I missed the first day of class to go on the dove hunt opener, went bow hunting for elk that Saturday, made it to the ranch for the duck and goose opener in October, and finally made it to pheasant season. I'd been pheasant hunting before but always because I was injured from sports and thus I couldn't shoot a gun. Not even having a big 5x5 elk traverse right below my patch of aspens in a spike only area got my heart going as much as my first rooster. There I laid in a cheap motel, hardly sleeping, terrified that someone would get to the public land before us. I had no idea of what lay in store for me the next day. I had our group up at 445 am ready to get up there and stake our ground. The sun rose red and beautiul after we had been there an hour and a half. Walking through the thick cattails and having a rooster cackle as he comes up is something that is good for the soul. As we pushed through the thick river bottom vegetation, we flushed up the first rooster of the day in the first 200 yards. He was brought down but not by me. The day continued, and I started realizing the slim chances of myself getting a rooster. I was pushing through a thick hollow of toolies as high as I am tall and heard the flush of a rooster to my left. I lunged out of the toolies to where I could see, and I saw the flight of the rooster crossing from left to right in front of me. I shouldered my gun and slapped the trigger. As the roosters legs spread and body went limp, I went crazy. The excitement of the moment had me sprinting toward where it went down, and not even the dogs could catch me. The proudest hunting moment I have ever had is holding up that first ring neck.

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