ONE GLORIOUS MORNING AT THE
A steady diet of work and civic duties had taken its toll on my hunting partner, Ben, a renowned taxidermist, and myself, a community activist and non-profit volunteer. Thus, we found ourselves at the Black Canyon Wing & Clay Shooting Resort in Delta County on a beautiful November morning. Lacy, clearly in charge, introduced us to Steve, our guide for the morning festivities. After a barrage of disparaging remarks about my paper-cased hand-loaded target loads (vintage 1992) and our less than spectacular shooting skills on the clay pigeon range, we headed to the fields with his 2 “bulldog” bird dogs. Even these 2 codgers didn’t buy that and indeed, his “bulldog” bird dogs miraculously became 2 of the finest English Pointers we had ever seen by the time we reached the hunting fields.
This was hardly a youthful endeavor. My buddy Ben is in his early 50s and Steve and I are 75 vintage years. Both our double barrels were over 50 years old as well. Bobbi and Mike, our 2 fantastic four-legged helpers, were the only youngsters.
The pheasants were healthy, devious, fast and illusive. Ben and I both commented how much these birds acted just like the birds we hunted in our youth. In spite of our ages and lack of practice, 12 magnificent birds succumbed to our efforts. The last one to fall prey to my ancient Citori 12 gauge did so at 70 yards, as estimated by Steve. Personally, I attributed the successful shot to my skill as a hunter but there were mumblings about a Hail Mary type lucky shot.
This experience could not have been better or more enjoyable. The guide’s stamina, ability and personality could not have been better. Bobbi and Mike were just simply outstanding dogs. Their energy was endless and their ability to locate, point and retrieve birds could not have been better.
Thank you Lacy, Steve, Bobbi and Mike. Our pheasant hunt could not have been more enjoyable. The experience was even more memorable since it was shared with my good friend and hunting partner, Ben.
John W. Nelson
Suburbs of Colona, CO.