A Dangerous Pheasant Hunt-
How I Missed The 2005 Pheasant Hunting Season
It is Opening Day Of the 2005 Pheasant Season. My son Len and I traveled Friday night and set up camp with my Pick-up Camper. We are hunting Eastern Washington, in the Palouse Area. We got up early had a nice breakfast and then went hunting. Len went left of the camp with his Brittany Val. I went right of the camp with my Brittany Tony. Both Brittany’s were starting their 5th season.
The Palouse is very hilly country. I went over two hills into a big valley. I went to the far side of the valley and worked it back to the big hill guarding the back. I turned and crossed the valley and was on a side hill just above the valley. I was now starting to work my way back to the camper. When up ahead about 50 yards, Tony went on point. I walked in on Tony’s First Point of the season. I found and flushed the bird, Bam!!! Bam!!! Missed with both barrels. Tony is trained to release on the shot. He ran a short distance and when the bird did not drop, he stopped. He looked at me with a look of “you idiot! you missed.” I said “Right Tony, this idiot didn’t have his head on the stock.”
We went just a short distance further along the side hill, when Tony hit point two of the season. I again walked in on his beautiful point and flushed the bird. Bam!!! Bam!!! I missed both barrels again. I said “Sorry Tony, I did the same thing as before.” We kept working the side hill down to where we turn to go over the two hills to get back to camp.
We went over the first hill and down into a small valley between the two hills. Tony is off to my right working hard in the valley. He is acting like there is a bird close by. I kept walking and intently watching Tony. Then it happened!!!
I stepped into a big deep Badger Hole and I could feel myself falling forward. I had brought my gun up to where I could mount it quickly. My right hand was firm on the Pistol Grip, with that hand. I threw the gun barrels first as far ahead of me as I could. I then had no choice, but to let the fall happen. When I hit the ground, I had Excruciating Pain in my left leg from stepping into the hole. I first thought I had broken it, but I could not feel a break. I tried to stand up and the calf muscle screamed with pain.
I got on my Walkie Talkie, I said, “Len, where are you?” He answered; “I’m in Camp cleaning my birds.” I said, I hurt my leg bad, it’s not broke, but I need the pick-up to get back to camp. He said; “Where are you?” I answered; “Just over the first hill behind the camper.” Two minutes later he was coming over the hill. He checked my leg and said; “I did this at work. You ripped that muscle up good.” He loaded Tony and I into the pick-up and went back to camp. We then decided it best to break camp and go home.
I called my Doctor and he told me to “ice it and see me Monday.” After all modern tests I did have a severely Ripped Calf Muscle. I was told to keep my leg elevated above my heart or I could lose my foot. The way the living room couch is built, I only needed one pillow to accomplish this. So that is where I spent the next two months.
So much for our 2005 Pheasant Hunting Season, two missed birds and it was over. Tony, stayed with me every chance he got. He was either laying on the floor next to me, or sitting with his head lightly resting on my stomach.