You Feel It

Trout Whisperer

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  • Category Hunting Stories
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  • Prostaff Member Trout Whisperer

Some doors get knocked on, some doors get knocked down. Make no mistake with my hunting buddies. They slam the house doors and fling wide the porch screens when its time to be outside.

We drift out from the dock and Tim flips on the electronics. No more predawn wise cracks and he sweep's the donuts powdered sugar from his shirt. The motor brings the boat up to a full throttle plane that splits the lakes surface, were fishing. Its game on.

Tony uncrates the two English setters. He shuts the breech on two number four bismuth. When the gun safety clicks, all of the summers hunting magazine pages fold closed. We stride into the harvested field and he barks to the lead dog “mags” to “come around”. In that instant, we are pheasant hunting.

Tom sets a foothold trap just outside the outhouse door. From the cabins porch he waits for the booted fool. It's more often than not, me. His belly laugh gets beaver fever in full swing. While I get the jaws back off my hopping boot he howls. Tom says he never gets me with a front foot catch; I’m always falling for the blind set.

The deer shack is alive with fresh coffee. Suspenders are on the day shift. Two boys with wide eyes sit at the table inhaling syrup laden pancakes and almost vibrating in the crooked chairs. Charlie straps on a length of scratched leather sheathing and draws out a shiny steeled blade. When he clips the hilt into the case, the transformed turns Chuck from Charlie, to a deer hunter. Larry's Boys forks pause, and take notice.

Where it hits, and when, is different for so many of my friends but they get cocked and locked. Paul doesn't feel right until the end of the first portage. Then he stops to tell me, “Hey, now were in the woods”. City living for some is gone. Jobs, bills or the mundane of life is thrown away mentally.

Mike gets red faced after two hours still hunting up an oak ridge in knee deep snow with a black powder smoke pole. We glance at each other from opposite slope sides and in his own way, with nothing more than a “thumbs up wave” what I call real life, has drawn him in completely. He takes the deer tracks, I scout up head. It's my turn, for the first trigger pull.

Craig just finished splitting not next year's fire wood, but two seasons from now. You can't get the axe out of his gloved hands. Craig does not care how big the logs are or how many rows we laid in all summer. For one solid week, he splits wood. He packs up, the driver's window comes down, he waves goodbye for one more year.

But in that moment when he's smiling at us, no matter if he's shot one grouse, or no ducks, it transformed him back to the outsides in the outdoors. It takes him a week and he could care less about pulling the trigger or setting the hook. He feels good on the last day and for some, we do better in the first moment.

Posted by Trout Whisperer under Hunting Stories on March 24, 09 09:38 AM | Permalink

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