Crossing the Arkansas River the other day, a huge flock of Canada Geese came up, hundreds of them, heading north. As I watched them fly away, I had a flashback to a particular duck and goose hunt I had shared with Bobby back in the day.
We were staying in Carl King’s cabin and were on our way to the blind for a late afternoon shoot. And if you must know, yes, we were well fortified to deal with the cold and not just with warm clothes if you know what I mean. We were in a pickup affectionately known as Ol’ Brown. To say that Ol’ Brown was past its prime was an understatement as one could observe the highway passing beneath one’s feet through a good sized hole in the floorboard. But Ol’ Brown was a mudder and could travel roads that would scare the Bejesus out of most pickups. No one could remember the last time Brown had seen a car wash.
Somewhere along the way, Bobby spotted a roadside field absolutely covered with snow geese. It was just off the highway and easily accessed by a section line road. Bobby hit the brakes and pulled over. We looked at each other and grinned. It was one of those hold my beer and watch this moments. We piled out of Brown with shotguns blazing. Naturally, the geese blasted off with the first shot fired and headed for the refuge. Now you would think that with those kinds of numbers, you could just shoot up there among ‘em and hit somethin’, but nary a feather fell as far as we could see. What we did see however, was a nearby farmer running out of his house with a shotgun of his own and he wasn’t pointing it at any geese. If Brown could have burned rubber getting out of there it would have. That didn’t happen so we settled on whatever power it could give us and got the hell out of Dodge.
Later that night over a couple Bloody Mary’s, we totaled up the number of broken laws and misdemeanors.
- Hunting from a public road. Check.
- Hunting from a moving conveyance. Check.
- Hunting on private property without permission. Check.
- Hunting without a license. (I had one but had left it at the cabin). Check
- Trespassing. Check.
- Open container in a vehicle. Check.
- Driving Under the Influence. (Oh, hell yes.) Check.
- Driving and hunting while ate up with the dumb ass. A most definite, Check.
One thing for sure, if you hung out with Bobby Bracken for long, shit happened. Hold my beer events were not uncommon. And somewhere down the line when you’re sittin’ in your rocking chair, you are gonna have some flashbacks; some good, some not so good, but all memorable.
I miss you, buddy.