Black Cloud over my Hunting Season

T. Fanning

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What is going to become more apparent to you as you read more of what I write this hunting season will be the enormous black cloud that hovers just above my head. I’m not talking good ducky day black cloud. No, oh no. I’m talking jet black-everything that can go wrong today will- kind of cumulus.

The first sign of bad weather occurred last weekend. I had made the pilgrimage back home late Friday night, which made my bones extra-slow the following morning. After I shook off the dust and crumbs we all headed down to the club. The first order of business was to get out into the field they had just cut and check out our pit. Based on previous occasions I was half way prepared for the worst.

Other times we had found many peculiar things awaiting us in our forgotten pit. Once a group of male muskrats setting up their deluxe bachelor pad on top of the step up, refusing to give up their new home. Luckily I had brought my personal real estate agent, Mr. Marlin .22 to sort out the matter. Another time the field we hunted out of went unsprayed during the summer creating a lovely gauntlet of burrs and Johnson grass. When we finally slashed our way to the pit we discovered that the foliage had swallowed the entire structure. This seemed rather disappointing but in a rare moment of sheer ingenious, I decided to cut five melon-sized holes for our five melon-sized heads and was done with it. Wasn't the most comfortable hunting season, but I saved some time cutting corn and burning brush.

Well this year has topped every other year in the history of my hunting conquest. When we uncovered our pit what I saw was such a sight of disbelief I sat there for several minutes trying to register what exactly I was staring at. But before I say what it is that I saw, I would like to take this time to thank my buddies for coming up with the genius idea to keep all of our decoys in the pit during the off season. Obviously men too lazy to load them in a truck could only come up with such a completely flaw less idea as to just “leave em there”. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much. What I saw when I dropped down into my pit for the first time this hunting season was thirty dozen of my decoys, without their strings. I’m not talking, cut off, chewed off or broken. I mean completely non-existent, gone-VANISHED. Not just the strings were gone, all of the gun rests they decided to leave in the pit with the decoys were completely stripped, nothing but shiny, bare metal. All of my robo wiring that was just rolled up and thrown into the bottom was with out any insulation. Not of shred of plastic was left, not even a crumb!!! Some where in the Illinois-river bottoms there are a few dozen field mice with the belly ache of the century. And me, sitting in my pit with the headache of the century am just starting to get the color back into my face when my buddy notes how half of our decoys are missing.

So I just want to apologize in advance if any of my stories sound “whiney” or just plain full of misery, but this is something I cannot change. As long as this cloud keeps hanging out I’m sure this season will be full of “shoulda-coulda-woulda's” and plain-old “ah crap's”. All I ask is to hang in there with me for the hunting season. Cause as you know, misery always loves a little company.

Posted by T. Fanning under Field Journals on October 22, 06 08:00 PM | Permalink

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