Friday, April 14, 2017

Drive - A Memoir 93rd Installment

and now missed two shots. To add to my misery both missed shots were at the same rabbit. Then my mood was lifted, Russ missed a running shot he should have made, saying he couldn’t keep the darn thing in his scope through the weeds. I realized the advantage of the scope’s accuracy was lost to the difficult running shot – great, zero sum game. The next three were unsurprising: Victor, Me, then Russ had ‘easy pickins.’ Victor flushed up ‘a two-fer,’ and they took off fast at a good clip; I was watching the jack rabbits when “pop,” one went down, and then two seconds later, “pop,” the second one went head over paws. What! Did Russ cheat and shoot one, I thought as I looked toward Russ, but his eyes were wide as mine. Glancing at Victor, I saw the bullet in his teeth was gone and he was still the leader with no misses.

How’d you do that?” I squeaked.

When you shoot all your life, and all you have is a bolt-action, single shot, you learn to reload fast,” was all Victor said.

But – but you’re from the city,” I stretched out the word c-i-t-y like it was a foul tasting dirty word.

I’m from the city but on the edge, and the foothills are an easy walk from where I live. Shooting is what I like to do since there are no work and no play opportunities in the city. I’m the only boy in our family; all the rest of the children are girls, and I practically live alone in the foothills learning to shoot. I did some target practice – ground squirrels, marmots, but mostly birds. They’re typically smaller, thus a greater challenge, and I’ve even taken a few flying,” Victor said, finishing his longest commentary all day. 
We were still competing by hunting jack rabbits when a flock of black birds lit in the grass and brush. It was Victor’s turn, and he plopped on his butt, knees up and with an elbow braced on his knee. He steadied the rifle and plinked off a bird while the rest of the flock flew. I must admit, and I know Russell would agree, we were beginning to respect Victor more and more as the hunt went on. The chatter and laughter increased; we were not competing as much as having a great time. We were becoming fast friends.

As the 3:30 deadline came, Russ and I also tried for some birds. We got a few, but missed some lowering our score. Victor also missed shots, but still won overall – a feat Russ and I thought was impossible! I increased my poor start and ended at 32/44 or .727. Russ with the scope advantage had 34/42 or .809 and Victor had a highly regarded 35/40 or 0.875. We started for home with only a couple hours to make it before 5:30 milking. 

What a day!
500 more words tomorrow

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