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- Category Hunting Stories
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- Prostaff Member Trout Whisperer
Three thirty in the afternoon on your regular Tuesday. I called in to work last night and left a message that I was going to be sick tomorrow. Mental health day. A small twinge of guilt because I know their going to be busy without me but my mind was tangled and I needed some very fresh air.
Refreshing is an understatement. At noon, listening to the radio driving to yet another calling set-up, the radio announcer said 17 below wind chill. It's brisk. I'm lying prone on top of some unused railroad tracks perhaps thirty feet above the surrounding countryside.
I just mashed some black grease from the rails into my white winter camo. At these temps it's hard to believe it could stick to anything. My concentration has mentally faded and this day is not what I planned.
This is the 17th set-up and I have seen zip. This is going to be my last for the day. I have snow shoed so far my legs are stiff. Lying in the cold is getting to me. Brown ribbons where the tractors do not plow surround the fields like a fence, God made it out of cattails. I have a perch with a very wide country view.
The wind today is from the north. Polar air is sweeping across the entire Midwest and in front of me it lifts snow duffs and creates little squalls that get lifted from the frozen surface and vanish in the distance.
For the umpteenth time today I close the bolt on the same round. Scope is clear and I hit the button on the electronic caller. I'm facing east. I can see without obstruction at least two hundred yards. Nothing in my way. Wide open. Not so much as a drift or swale. Flat frozen snow covered field.
Minutes pass and I get caught up in thought. I'm mentally not, where I physically lie. Staring back at the location from which the caller is making a moaning screaming ear piercing sound is a red fox. Sitting, facing me, in the very center of the field. Posing for a Norman Rockwell poster is a yellow phase red fox.
Major jolt to my emotional system. I felt the shock in my body and I shivered. This is good! Shouldering the rifle with adrenaline boost I exhale and the breath plume rises. The crosshairs centering on the chest as I finger the trigger.
Rising, the fox is on a slow trot quartering southwest. I pick up his stride and when he fills the scope I touch off the shot at the back of his front shoulder. Fist pumped and grabbing gear I head for Red. How it materialized out of thin air in the middle of the field is a mystery. I wonder if I was so mentally cooked I somehow watched it stroll across the field and then my brain finally refocuses bringing my thoughts and physical being back into alignment.
I'm one piece again.