16 Chukar

I left about 6:10 in the morning and drove 50 miles east to Kiowa Colorado where I would be hunting for the morning. I arrived about 7:20 and as soon as I arrived saw some pheasants running around while waiting for my buddy to arrive. A bit before 8 he showed up and we met John with Nickel Creek Gun Dogs who brought along Indy and Sierra, his two prized German Short Hair Pointers. A short drive later up a hill and through a creek to some fields and we were off. It wasn’t long before these two magnificent dogs were on point standing stiff as a board with one leg up and a tail pointed to the sky while starring at where a bird was. As we got a bit closer, they were flushed and the hunt was on. This went on for 3 hours and by 11 in the morning I had 16 chukars in the bag. It was a great time. I only missed one bird that I actually shot high on because it was up a hill a bit and I was afraid Indy, the black dog, was in my line of fire, so at the last minute I raised my gun too high to hit the bird.

After breasting out (cleaning) the birds, I quickly headed home with my catch to drop them off as I had to be down in the Franktown/Elizabeth area by 2pm. This was another good hour away but I had an appointment with one of the premier gunsmiths in the U.S. Jim, the gunsmith, is a 63 year old guy who had a triple bypass 3 months ago and lost his wife to cancer 2 years ago. When I made the appointment I asked him if he drank wine and he said “no, bourbon”. I decided to take him a nice bottle of Kentucky juice that I knew he’d enjoy. It turns out we really hit it off. He instantly took a liking to me (who doesn’t, ha ha ) after we started talking guns, kids and life in general. He was quite impressed (he told me) at my knowledge of guns and ability to pronounce certain European manufacture’s names correctly. I have to tell you, I learned more from this guy in 2 hours about shooting and shotguns than I could have by going and taking lessons from some high priced pro somewhere, all at no charge except for a small fee for the parts.  After shooting some 20 or so rounds at a metal pattern plate, and an hours worth of work by Jim, my prized Browning over and under shotgun had an additional 1 7/8 inches added to the stock at a slight angle to fit me perfectly. It was a real treat for me to meet Jim as there are some people out there that are just real good people who are really good at their craft. Jim is one of them. You can’t teach 40 years of experience, you just have to have done what you do for 40 years!

So, what a fun day for me! I arrived home around 5pm and ran up the street to get some mexican food for dinner as it was too late to cook up the chukars. We’ll have to have them today. Thanks to Mom for taking the boys to a movie and giving me a day break to refresh. Today, after a couple of hours on the phone, I’m taking the boys for a road trip, I think to the river in Boulder, to play. The youngest is on the couch next to me waiting to go to Target to get some Wii game with his own money. I told him I’d prefer he didn’t spend his money on a video game but he seems determined and it’s his money.

Time to hit the phones, I’m also trading one of my shotguns in for a youth model for the oldest as he’s ready to go and wants to bird hunt this fall. I was going to take him last fall but we had to opt out of Hunter Safety Education (which is mandatory) to go see Grandpa Bob last year when he thought he was going to die. Turns out, if you remember, it was heartburn! Three cheers for heartburn!

Take care, have a great day and we’ll see you tomorrow.

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