I headed out Tuesday afternoon and went to the Medina of the Outdoors, Bass Pro Shop in Rancho Cucumunga, CA. After a three hour wandering session and an in depth look at everything that would complete my life as a Western Athlete I hopped into their Archery Shooting lane and shot a few dozen arrows. So I checked that off my list for the day. Man, if I only had a million dollars and lack of purchasing will power I would have had to purchase a trailer to take all the stuff I wanted with me. But, a famous quote rang within my head "Alas poor Tony, for I knew him well. That is until he bought a ton of stuff from Bass Pro Shop and his wife found out and killed him." -William Shakespeare (kinda). So, sigh, I spent 5 buck out of pocket, well really $85, but I had some store credit.
Thursday I awoke and headed out with my Uncle Dale to the great town of Wellton, AZ. Complete with no stop lights and a bar called the Beachfront Bar, but without a beach so go figure. We did the first thing that all hardcore hunters do when they get to their base camp, we went to the pool and cooled off. I mean come on my temp gauge on my truck said 115 degrees when we pulled in. After a round of how have things been with all the guys in the hunting party we headed out to our respective happy hunting grounds that we lease to check the skies for the bombarding patterns of the dove. First field not a whole lot, but after talking to the ranch manager we hit gold. With mouths agape we watched the skies fill with Mourning and White-wing doves. It seemed that it was going to be a good hunt over the next few days. Or so I thought. So with the scouting done we heading to a secluded area of the farm and brought out the AZ legal AR-15s out for some tactical shooting. Man, tricked out guns, lots of ammo and a tactical weapons instructor make for a good evening if you ask me. Shout out to Tom Reese, owner of Firepower Depot in Riverside, CA.
Opening day 5am, I am standing in the fields with my Browning Light 12 that was given to me by my father on my 20th Birthday. I was like a fat guy at an all you can eat burger buffet, waiting for first light to hit to watch'em drop. Oh baby! Exactly 1/2 hour before sunrise I loaded my shot gun and started the spastic event of dove hunting with a Bang and Click?! I thought that was weird, reloaded and then Bang! No click this time. Oh no, my gun in not chambering another round! I have one shot and that is it, You can have 1 in the chamber and 2 ladies in waiting nothing more. As Boston Tom, aka "Plug", found out with a ticket from AZ Department of Game and fish for failing to refit his plug in after his trip to Colorado. But that is only a mood point, the real crisis is that I am now shooting with only one shell in my shotgun. Lets just say I spent most of the morning breaking down my gun only to find I have a worn spring that will not eject the spent round and ready the pin to fire properly.
But in the name of good form and a stiff upper lip, "Tally Ho!" The Bearded Boar is not about giving up, a Western Athlete does not crawl up in a ball and cry because it is really hard to shoot a single shot. No, failure is not an option. The great Dylan Thomas Wrote,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.