It was about the easiest shot I’ve seen. I knew he was close. Zeus’s tail was swinging in a circle and he was snorting like a pig. I walked up to the only pine tree in the tangled aspen thicket. The grouse elevated toward the canopy. The flush hardly even surprised me.
First shot. Underneath him.
Second shot. Underneath him. The grouse slipped behind the pine and gained distance. I leaned back to keep him over the barrel.
Third shot. I thought he shook in the air but he kept going. He banked to the left of an old cedar tree.
I stood in the icy mud in disbelief. Then berated myself. Easy shots in grouse hunting are rare. Like fat-free-bacon-that-actually-tastes-good sort of rare. I was pissed.
Excuses spilled out of my face. Then four-letter shots of encouragement for the next bird.
I walked to the spot where I saw him last. I kicked at the mud. Dejected. I was just about to move on under that big old cedar. Then the grouse exploded from the branches about 20 feet from my head. Ok. That one surprised me.
I drew a bead and followed him to the forest floor. Zeus finished the retrieve.
I stood in the icy mud in disbelief. Then congratulated myself. Like I was saying, easy shots happen mostly for expert grouse hunters. I enjoy the challenge of making easy shots look very difficult. Yeah. That’s right. Or…umm…something like that.
Every shot has a story. It just depends how you tell it. I think it would be cool to start 2013 by swapping some stories. Leave a comment or share a link to your latest #ShotStory.
Happy New Year!