Yesterday was the opening day for pheasants out here in Wisconsin, a sport very few participate in simply because there aren't many good game farms here. Well me and my father went out there to the annual opener, a beautiful day by the way, where they grill up some brats and make up some sweet corn on the cob from the local farms and you get to mingle with some of your fellow hunters. It's pretty nice, especially being amongst like minded individuals who share your sport of hunting and love of nature. You eat, talk, let the dog run around, shoot some traps and poke around the property for some birds, all around a fine afternoon.
Now my game farm is one of the best there it, in my opinion. It has heavy cover, the birds are hidden well and often get out of the cover and move around before you can flush them from where they were put out, and people often miss much of what they had put out for them. Needless to say, it isn't a game farm where the hunting is more like shooting fish in a barrel, it's genuine finde'em and flush'em. My father and I, however, take it one step further, making it even more difficult for ourselves, and even closer to the real thing. We scratch hunt, that is, hunt for the birds everybody else miss. We are the cleanup crew, and every bird we harvest is one someone else put out.
It was a pretty good day, my sister and brother in law came out that day and she took my niece shopping with my mother, so Neil, my brother in law, came out to join us. He's a good guy but not as much of a hunter as us. He doesn't do much more than Whitetails in winter. But, he did surprisingly well when we shot clays, almost better than me. Then I got a chance to shoot this little 22. I won at the DU banquet a while back, now I know why they call them plinkers. It's a sweet little gun, though, and pretty fun to shoot. But before any of that, we got the dog out and walked around looking for birds, not hunting hard though, just mainly checking out the property and giving Hannah a chance to run around. She's getting on in years, but still is an excellent bird dog, and she loves hunting. It's very lucky to find a natural hunter in a dog, and I'm glad Hannah worked out so well.
That was opening day, and we didn't see anything but a good time.
For those of you who don't know, I am a hunting fellow. It runs in the family, and I'm damn glad (and damn proud) that it does. We are a dying breed, which really saddens me, but I will do my best to get my children into hunting (and fishing) when I have them. As hunters, me and my father do a lot of stuff to make sure we can hunt. We go to the Ducks Unlimited banquets, donate money to make sure that the wildlife that we admire is around for future generations. We go out to local farms and make sure that our long standing deals with them are still intact so that we can try and harvest a few whitetails in December. We own a membership at a game farm, Lazy Acres, where we scratch hunt and have a lot of good times trying to get the pheasants. We own and train our dogs to fetch the things when get them, and all around we have a fine time. One of the main problems people have with hunting is that it doesn't give the animal a fair chance, and I'm going to tell you that is a load of BS, case in point, last night.
Youth Duck Day, my last one, is a fine day when the young hunter alone can have a crack at that waterfowl I love so much. Me and my father packed up the boat and headed out to the lake in the late afternoon, and it took us a bit over an hour to get in there proper. For those of you who don't know how duck hunting works, you load a boat up with your decoys, shells, gun and dog, you speed across the lake towards the shallow, mucky parts where the algae has grown thick and you set down a few decoys here and there. The ducks like to land back there in groups to feed, it's really quite interesting to watch them. Then you find a good clump of reeds and jam the boat into it so the ducks can't see you from overhead so good. You blow on your calls, and if your lucky a flock of them will see the decoys and come in low to land amongst them. You have to shoot them over the water (And away from the reeds or the dog can't get them and the ducks wasted), and in the air (Shooting them sitting is just awful, unsportsmanlike conduct), and the shotguns you use aren't really the longest range.
With this in mind, I got absolutely no kills last night. They were all over the place. Me and my father simultaneously said, "Holy ****!" when we saw a flock of thirty or so swoop over head. It was beautiful, I can't describe how amazing it was. They just never came low enough over the water for me to shoot. The few shots I did get at them were sabotaged by my own stupidity of loading the wrong shells in, but next time I go out I figure we'll get some kills. The trouble was, there weren't enough hunters out there to shake them loose, just another piece of evidence that mine is a dying breed. It was alright though, I got some fresh air, enjoyed nature, saw a sight few will ever have the pleasure to see (nearly brings me to tears thinking about it), got the dog out (She's getting on in years and it's good to give her some fun), and all around enjoyed myself. Not only that, but it hit me with duck fever, and it'll be good to get my aim straight before we head out for pheasants.
Yes, whether your happy to here from me or thinking, "Oh no, this asshole again,", I'm not dead. I haven't been on and posting because of several things, mainly writer's block, but I've broken free of that and am starting to write a story. It's the first idea I have had in a looong ****ing time, so I'm a bit pumped. It's gonna take a while, since each time I write a little bit, I hit a brick wall, and school is beginning soon so I will have less time to myself in general, but my goal is getting AT LEAST the first part of it complete before then. I don't know how many parts this thing will be, but more than one is for sure. If your curious about what it's about (Ya right, giving myself too much credit) I'll give you the title and nothing more. Fan Nation. And I'm almost 100% sure you don't know what it's about anyway, but then again I might be wrong.
So anyway, I'm still alive and I'm hopefully gonna be posting my second piece of honest writing to this site very soon.
Alright as none of you know I am learning to tame the instrument that is the guitar, and yesterdays lesson was a particularly fun one because we were finishing up on one of my favorite songs, Tribute by Tenacious D, and my fender had some shiny new Erney Ball strings, and I had a new little Jazz pick, but all that aside. My teacher, Kelly Klaus, had me practice a first position pentatonic scale for this lesson and I had. He told me it was what was used for solos so I had some fun with that little scale, messing with it, making cool little mock solos, but nothing real. Well Kelly said,"Ben, I'm going to play the chord progression from the solo part and I want you to improvise." Now I have no idea if this was what he actually said or not, but that was the general idea. Anyway, I was like,"I don't know, a solo? **** I'm not that good." Well it turns out I was.
It was the coolest thing ever, he was playing the chord progression and I was just dicking around with the scale, it sounded god damned professional, and cool, and I was feeling it, a new experience, a new emotion, to just feel the music and go with it, let your fingers find the right notes to match the progression. It was awesome, and now I have 5th position and 2nd position to mess with for the next two weeks until our next lesson, plus all the open chords for Tribute to learn, but I've got them down pretty good so far. All I know is that my new strings, which are heavier since my old ones kept breaking, have been giving me calluses from hell, and you know what? It feels good! I think of them more of a badge of honor than anything else.
So in conclusion, I'm more pumped about guitar than ever before, I know I'm improving, and I am having a **** load of fun with the new scales he gave me, and just the fact that they are only the tip of the ice berg makes me excited to get some more scales for other songs and improvise up some face melting solos. This has been a look into the life of Chickidy, peace be with you all.
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