Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Bye Bye Birdy

It wasn’t quite the picture I had painted in my mind, but it was still a good two days with the boys. For those of you who have seen the glory that is Gosford Park, you may recall the hunting party scene, where ducks, geese and pheasants a-plenty dot the sky and everyone more than reaches their bag limit.

Equally impressive, but completely unrelated to my tale, is the luncheon, avec bloody Mary’s, served by a house full of staff, that followed. Ahhhh, perhaps one day.

Newly minted migratory bird license in hand, my brother, cousin and various hangers-on headed out to a family farm to “fill the sky with lead”. Aside from skeet, it was my first time in a long time trying to “bring something out of the sky”. In the end, we managed two ducks, but feasted on goose and moose none the less.

It was also the first time in a long time for a weekend with “the guys” ~ and I mean straight ones. What a fascinating breed indeed. Some stereotypes stood as they always have in my mind ~ when there are no females around, the language goes in the toilet. Who knew the f-bomb could be a verb, noun and an adjective? And sometimes all three at once! I have said it before and I’ll say it again, I am no prude but gentlemen please, there is a lady present.

Other stereotypes fell by the way side. I anticipated a battery of belching and flatulence, especially once the beer (Canadian, in cans – so butch) started to flow. But no, it never materialized. The ‘C’ word was added to the repertoire, but the release of bodily gases was kept in check.

For lunch, I had unfairly feared a bag of chips and maybe a ding-dong or two. Not wanting to be ‘that guy’ I left my Martha Stewart pie basket, picnic basket and accessories at home. A thermos of tea and one of soup along with a Panini would have to do. Oh, and my new flask with a little scotch in it for a mid-morning pick me up. Don’t judge, it was cold and we were in a corn field at 7:00 AM!

As lunch approached, my eyes happily popped out of my head when my cousin dropped the tailgate of his truck to reveal a propane bbq, cooler, wine and real plates and cutlery! I know right? He had wine! Soon the was grill fired up and there were moose cutlets cooking while beef broth and beans heated on the side burner. We even had my cousin's homemade smoke goose as an appetizer. The only thing missing was a bloody Mary.

As we ate, numerous Canadian Geese and various types of ducks flew by the drive shed we were using for cover. As I continued to feast on their kinfolk, I was inspired to new heights of hunting frenzy. After lunch, Grizzly Adams placed us strategically along the riverbank and then headed downstream to flush some ducks our way.

Not sure if it was boredom, or a ‘what the heck’ shot, but my brother took a crack at a duck and spooked the ones we had seen. None-the-less, by the time my cousin made his round, he flushed two ducks right towards us. His son dropped one a la Gosford Park while the other, slightly injured, sought refuge under a rocky over hang on the other side of the river. We were not to be outdone.

One man was placed up river, one down, and one straight across. I know I know, one duck, four dudes, lame. But, it is a hunters responsibility to dispatch as quickly and humanely as possible, any injured game.

As the only one with rubber boots, I was elected to walk as far out as I could and throw rocks to flush Daffy from hiding. Me? Throw? Clearly these boys had forgotten my demonstrated throwing skills from our annual family picnics. Going back to the above mentioned stereotypes, I can no better throw a ball, base, foot or other, than I can catch one.

Conjuring up images of Scarlet O’Hara though, I said to myself, “You can throw straight, as long as you don’t have to throw too far.” I took another step forward.

Dipping my hand in the icy water, I retrieved two stones and rather than aim for the duck, I went for the large, ice covered branch above his hiding place. Amazingly I hit exactly where I wanted and ice and debris let lose. But a little ice was better than the three guns pointed at him I guess, so he stayed put.

I wanted duck a l’orange though, and my second stone did the trick. I will spare you the details, but suffice it to say, Daffy and Daisy are once again together.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So that is where my scotch went. Keeping my little boy warm. Hmmmm

6:54 AM  

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