pheasant season started on a warm fall day in october. i left in the dark that day and came home hours later without firing a single shot.
months pass and i wake up to a light snow and mild temps for the last day of the season. i dress quickly, while thanking the hunting gods for the ideal conditions. i slam down some coffee and a smoothie for breakfast. i load up the dog and it's wheels up, swilling coffee the enitre ride. i'm a public land guy so i was happy when i pulled up and no one was around. even better there was a big, proud rooster in the edge of some stubble. i rolled by him and parked far enough away not to spook him. if he's made it this far, he's no dummy.
we hit the field and things were going great and then i felt the first stomach rumble. no big deal i tell my self. i try not to think about the coffee and smoothie. sometimes a combo that can really "grease the wheels."
a hen flushes in the distance and even further out a rooster gets up. after another couple hundred yards, another rumble hits.
i'm cool, it's cool.
i feel my back pockets for the few pieces of TP usually folded up in there. but my pockets were empty.
no big deal, it passes and i was feeling fine again.
it's cool, i'm cool.
a few hundred yards deeper in, another rumble hits and things come undone. all doubt is gone. the sweats hit hard and there is only one outcome now.
i'm not sure the last time you have been in this situation, stuck in the middle of the absolutely treeless landscape of the high plains with nothing but shin high corn stubble and wheat stubble to hide behind. it's not good.
i quickly shuffle over to the edge of the corn field and pull off fist fulls of corn husks. then i duck walk over to a slight dip in the landscape. i drop my gun, struggle out of my vest, and well... i'll spare you the details.
so there i am in the most undignified of positions with a dwindling supply of corn husks when I become aware that my world has shrunk to a 3 foot radius around me. some primal instinct says "hey idiot, take a look around" and that's when i realize there are 4 guys and several dogs standing in the wheat stubble staring at my bare white ass.
where did this silent group come from? how long had they been there? good lord baby jesus, what had they seen?
what do you do in this situation? i had no previous experience to draw upon. i've never naked butt squatted in front of anyone before. so i decide to just stand up and gather my things...
...then i waved, because it seemed like the polite thing to do. i turned and walked quickly in the opposite direction. i would have walk to another county if necessary to avoid an up close conversation.
we didn't kill any birds because believe it or not, things kinda went down hill from there. snow turned to rain and my e-collar stopped working altogether. this group of fields was my best option for the day and the least i could do after the sight i'd presented was give it to those guys.
so the last day of the year was some distorted reflection of the first day. we pulled away from the fields without firing a shot while still managing to end things with a bang.