Thursday, February 16, 2017

Drive - A Memoir 47th Installment

was about zero degrees, but the sun was brilliant and there wasn’t any wind to drive a chill factor. Still, it was hard to sit still in the arctic cold very long. Russ was coming slowly, his arms full balancing the two guns, the two clubs, his gloves which he hadn’t put on yet because he had a piece of toast in his mouth, and a cup of hot chocolate. Mumbling through the chunk of toast, “why don’t you help carry all this stuff instead of sitting on the tractor throne like ‘king for a day’?”

I should have said ‘you’re right I’ll help’ because he was right; instead I yelled, “Why don’t you shut up!”

At the first hay stack Russ said, “Look at that – there are a bunch of jackrabbits in the fence.” Then as we got closer, he continued, “STOP!” “Some of the jackrabbits are outside the fence still looking to get in.”

Yeah, I see them,” I brought the tractor to a standstill and shut it off. “We ‘shoot um or lose ‘um!” The jackrabbits didn’t scatter into the desert because they spook with movement and not noise. We slowly readied our rifles and positioned ourselves for shooting.

You take the two in front and the ones at the west end, and I’ll get the east end,” he ordered. “Shoot when you’re ready.”
Pop, pop, pop, pop, it was like a shooting gallery, and it was over in twenty seconds. A few were stone dead, some were still kicking, and only two got away before we could draw a bead on them. Things moved fast. We left our guns and trotted over with our clubs and dispatched the ones still moving. “Nice shooting,” I complimented.
You too,” he thanked me.

Russ shot with an old reliable Remington semi–automatic, and I had the new nylon ‘66’ semi–automatic. We would shoot 22 short hollow point in close range and night shooting because the lead flattens out and tears things up more when it hits; they cost less and the guns hold more of the 22 shorts. We also had a bolt action Remington Model 513–T, ‘The Matchmaster,’ with a scope for the long distant sniper–type shots. This rifle is loaded with 22 extra long. Every Christmas ‘Santa’ brought us work boots, socks, a couple of jeans and flannel shirts, maybe a toy or two, and the much anticipated ‘brick.’ The 22 caliber bullets are packaged in boxes of 50 rounds and are often sold by the ‘brick,’ a carton contained ten boxes of 50 rounds. We really would have believed in Santa Claus if he ever brought ‘the case’ containing ten bricks totaling 5,000 rounds. Russ held the record for the most kills per box competition between us with 49 jackrabbits out of a 50 round box. No one has ever got the golden ring of

500 more words tomorrow

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