My beloved brother Roy, who was also an uncle and brother-in-law, and I loved this time of year. Not only was the fishing on every body of water known to us reaching its peak, but our need to go hunting was driving our respective wives crazier than any of our daily stupidity could ever dream of.
My apologizes to my male counterparts, but I’ve been reminded that I may be thought of as sexiest if I don’t occasionally mention our better halves.
Bird hunting, especially doves, was Roy’s’ favorite. I was so poor with a shotgun; it took Roy two years of yelling and screaming — and I think he even through rocks at me — before I ever knocked a dove down. On my best day of doves I had six by nightfall, and Roy had limited out by lunch with three doubles and a spectacular triple. That was also the day he wing shot his beloved pearl white Jeep, but we weren’t counting Jeeps. It was also the afternoon of the history-failing Sage Chicken Massacre. We never hunted, nor allowed any of our multitudes of offspring to hunt chickens after those 10 minutes of pure stinky nasty mayhem.
This was also the year Roy, Doug Urie and I had discovered, while fishing, the best hiding spot ever known for elk. Opening day spots for elk are relatively easy to locate, but the places they go after they tire of screwing with hunters are a once-in-a-lifetime find. They usually hide in some deep, dark, ugly spot where they can lay around playing cards and laughing at the foolish hunters all around them.
We decided this would be our spot on the fourth day of hunting season, we also swore its location would remain secret. In those days if you wanted everyone to know everything about anything, you told Roy or called Sylvia Beeler of the Craig Daily Press.
After a two-hour climb up and into the elks’ clubhouse, Doug and I glassed down to Roy’s location. Low and behold, everybody that had been in the Cork and Bottle liquor store over the past three days was camped at the bottom of that draw. Glassing back into the elks’ hiding spot, we watched them wiggling their way into the deep, dark ugliness of never get to. As life would have it, one bull dropped away from the herd, and I took the shot. Before the report of my rifle even echoed back, everyone below us was yelling and screaming obscenities towards Doug and me.
It seems all these new “friends” of Roy’s had come up with their own plan, and my shot spoiled it. Roy didn’t talk to me for two weeks, not even in mixed company when he was supposed to be polite. Convinced I’d robbed everyone of an elk, he’d shuffle messages through wives or other friends. Of course he started talking to me again and would brag the rest of his life what a great rifle shot I was; in fact, though I’m good with a rifle have always been a notch or two below great. I missed low and away that afternoon.
And finally, my personal congratulations to Bryce Jacobson on his appointment to the tourism board. He’s one of the few people I know who will treat tourism as a long-term economic goal instead of a get-rich-quick scheme.
I also strongly support spending your money here instead of driving to where ever it is you go. Of course it’s your money and you can do what you want with it, but I’d rather see my neighbor at the bank making a deposit than at the food bank making a withdrawal.
Hey, you be careful out there.