Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Red Neck Pheasant

I'm back!!    Now that I have that nasty diverticulitis behind me, as well as other diversions, I'm ready to have at it once again.

If ever there was a late autumn bird, it is the iconic Red Neck Pheasant inhabiting the agricultural vastness of America.  First brought to this country from Asia, the great bird has flourished, and has become one of the country's most popular game birds.

I even saw one in my backyard a few years ago. Anyone who has ever hunted will get a smile on his face when hearing their familiar and singular cackle off in the distance...no matter what time of the year.

I dedicate this Bird of the Day entry to my two good friends -- and about the only hunters I still know -- Jim Brown and John Erickson.  Jim is probably my oldest friend, having grown up with me on the same street in St. Paul back when we were both about twelve years old. Together, we graduated from Forestry School at the U of M.  Jim went on the become one of the leading fire scientists in the country, and has lived and hunted in Montana for the past fifty years.  When we were kids, my dad took us pheasant hunting in southern Minnesota.  Belatedly, we found discovered that our well trained dog was gun shy, so the old man put Jim and I down into the ditches to flush out the birds.

John, a friend of later years is a my defense attorney, when he is not hunting.  It is good to have him in my pocket.  Even though I'm old, I'm still not too old to get into trouble.  Last year John said he was going to have me over for pheasant dinner. He still hasn't come through.  Perhaps it is because I told him about my involvement with the Tea Party.  He misunderstood me, apparently, for I was speaking of a Tea Party on my block, where all the ladies invited me over, in the the hopes that I might debauch and marry one of their daughters, who would only have to wait a few more years, to inherit my vast empire.

I haven't hunted in years, and don't suppose I will again, but I have many happy memories of walking those cornfields with my father and my friends.

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