A blog by Bob Rich. Squirrel Hunting, Henry Rifles, Reloading, Range Shooting and More!


Saturday, October 29, 2016

Shotgun Hunt Dedicated to my Brother Doug

I arrived at the WMA about 1/2 hour before sunrise, which is the legal time in CT to start a hunt. Being a Saturday I expected to see 10-15 cars and trucks in the lot, all empty with at least a half dozen dogs running around. Instead, the lot was empty. "Wait a minute" I thought. "It's Saturday, right?! Of course! Then what's going on? Was hunting suspended today for some reason?". 

I entered the woods and walked for about 15 minutes. I thought, "Maybe they know something that I don't. They aren't stocking." Last weekend I hunted over 3 hours in pouring rain and saw nothing. I was later told that they stocked Friday, and all the retired guys cleaned out the birds. Maybe this would be a repeat of last weekend. 

My brother is in the VA Hospital dying of bone cancer that he came down with two years ago. The VA acknowledged his cancer was the result being sprayed with Agent Orange while in Vietnam in the 60's. It started two years ago with a tumor in his shoulder, and this month it went to his bones, and now to his muscles. He's been given two months to live.

I said a little prayer as I walked down the trail asking the Lord to let me bag a bird, preferably a rooster, because I'm going to see Doug tomorrow and I'd have a photo to show him and a story to brighten his day. Doug was once an avid pheasant hunter, and he's the guy who I hunted with from 10 years old until I went into the Navy in the early 70's. 

Is this nuts or what? This is a cock pheasant that was sitting right over my head, and it didn't move, even when I stood right under it. I already bagged my limit so I had to give it a pass.

Within a few minutes I flushed a cock pheasant which I bagged with the old bolt-action 20 gauge Mossberg that the old lady next door gave me when her husband passed away. A few minutes after that I flushed a group of three more cocks! I never did that before! I fired a shot and dropped one. I ran to grab it and a hen flushed to my right. In total I flushed at least 10 birds in less than 5 minutes!!! I could have bagged a half dozen if the limit wasn't two. I have never had a morning like this in my entire life. They must have stocked the birds early this morning (which they never do), and the miracle was that no one was there!! What an amazing morning.

By the way, you might be wondering why a squirrel hunter would be hunting pheasant. For years I carried a .22 into the woods during pheasant season and I'd be pissed off because of the noise the bird hunters and their dogs would make. I'd be putting up pheasant from time to time and couldn't take a shot. One year I remembered the Bible verse that said to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice. In other words, be in sync with those around you. From that point on I hunted squirrel from Sept. 1 through the end of the month and hunted pheasant with a shotgun until the second weekend after Thanksgiving. They stop stocking Thanksgiving and by the 2nd week most pheasant hunters hang it up for the season. Then I break out the .22 and hunt squirrel until the season ends the last day of February. Life has been much better since.

By the way, I'd appreciate any prayers for my brother. These things don't always turn out the way we want them to, but the Lord does promise to use our trials for good if we are lovers of God. I've already seen miracles happen in this. Thanks.

I made pheasant stew tonight. It was excellent.

This is how I make it:
Slow cook the pheasant covered in chicken broth in a crock pot for 5 hours until the meat falls off the bone.
Pour off the broth into a kettle and strain it to remove any shot that were missed and that stuff that floats to the top.
Separate the meat from the bone and return the meat to the broth.
Add potatoes, carrots, onions, parsley, and pepper. 
Slow boil for another hour.

1 comment:

Bob Rich said...

An update. My brother enjoyed seeing the photo and hearing my story. Doug only lasted 30 days from the day he got his diagnosis. This was one of the last times that I saw him before he went under heavy pain killers and could no longer say more than. "I love you brother".