The ducks and geese have been flying this week, making it seem like the holiday season is here. Rocket has been retrieving limits, or jumping pheasants at Glendo. On Saturday, I dined with several duck hunters. Notice how the duck is served rare. Notice the 2000 Chateau de Fieuzal. Wild duck is about the only meat that can handle a deep red like this one. Don't over-cook your duck, or serve cheap wine. Rocket is seeing Jewel between hunting adventures. This is proving to be a great winter. I watched lines of geese fly over last night in the stiff wind. I said they were going to roost on the frozen lake. A five-year-old heard me and asked if they were going to wrap themselves in towels first.
The early mallards appeared last week. I went out with Rocket, Bill Mixer and my two new mojo decoys. The shooting was fast and furious. My ears are still ringing from Bill's last shot. We ended up with 9 mallards. We would have limited out, but my feet got wet and we had to leave early. The highlight of the day was when Rocket freelanced and caught himself a skunk. I had to stir a huge Bloody Mary in my tub and convince Rocket to get in. He still smells a little funky.
In other news, Rocket might be a father in a few months. I've found a female black Lad with good papers. Jewel is about Rocket's size, but seems to have a table-scraps problem. Rocket is only 65 pounds. Jewel is 70-75, but could stand to lose 10. We've met her and she doesn't seem too enthused yet. I'll keep you posted.
Deciding how much you should dance at a rock concert is always troubling. It was the same last Thursday when I went to see the Black Keys in Denver. My lady friend bought me a concert t-shirt, and rather than carrying it draped over my shoulder, I immediately put it on.So I was suddenly in the distressing predicament of wearing the actual concert shirt while still at the concert. In the 80s, this type of transgression could cause socially extinction. Down in the General Admissions section frequent plumes of white smoke trumpeted up into the thick Black Keys atmosphere. The smoke looked like whale spouts off the California Coast. The smell of pot was outrageous. It brought to mind 1984, when my brother took my friend Greg Glover and I to see the Talking Heads at the Hampton Coliseum. We loved the Heads, listened to them with an almost autistic loyalty. But when they came on, Glover and I huddled in the back on the crowd. We would not dance, or even sway. We were paralyzed by the enormity of the event. We begged to go home early. Thursday night was similar. I wondered if I should stand during certain songs, whether or not I should yell, as did so many others, "Hell Yes!" at certain times. Should I get my hands out of my pockets at least? There were people having, apparently, so much fun they verged on seizures. Me, I just marked the various whale spouts of smoke and thought about Moby Dick.
There was a cock-fight in Goshen Country this weekend and we were there to stop it just in time. We hunted Springer, Table Mountain, and the fabled "Area 51." Meeting the birdman just as he was releasing the pheasants was like a warm kiss on the neck. We thought it would just be a matter of getting there the next day and collecting our limits. But it wasn't to be. The birds were few and far between. We managed eight in two days. Bill Mixer--mid cigar--shot once and killed one rooster, thereby maintaining his perfect and spectacular lifestyle. The dogs worked well in these hot conditions. Red was particularly good at flushing birds from 250 yards away. He was "birdy" even in the hotel room, and while rooting out our accumulated trash from the trash pail. The weather is going to turn for the worse, or to the best if you're into ducks. But this week I'm going to Denver to see a show. There's no restaurant review for this week. We went to Grandpa Chuyey's in Torrington on Jason's recommendation. Sometimes, things are best left unsaid.
This weekend marked the tenth annual English Department Pheasant Hunt in Yoder, Wy. The birds were flying. The smell of sugar beets hung in the air. Rocket stretched his legs. Red, got birdy and stayed birdy. We managed 13 birds the first day, half that much the second day. We had retired professors and professors who should have retired ten years ago. In Wyoming, we shoot the hens and the roosters because the winters and coyotes are so bad nothing lives past Christmas. There was one sharptail shot, but he just happened to be in the wrong place at the right time. The hunt climaxed at the senior center where the Yoder Women's Club hosted hunters with chili and miles and miles of homemade pies. (Canned fruit, tubs of whipped cream.) These little towns used to get a financial bump with the pheasant opener. The pie sale is a reminder of those old days. The best shot of the weekend came on Saturday when Jason, aka Mrs. Doubtfire, dropped a cock-bird at thirty yards without even pulling the trigger.