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  • I was my father's middle son,
    but I'm a girl.
    I learned to fish and hunt.
    I like to fish.
    There is an element of chance
    in fishing.
    For the fish, I mean.
    Not so much so, in hunting,
    unless you're a bad shot.

    Our guns were in the basement,
    on a gunrack on the wall.
    The shells were in a
    drawer on the rack.
    On the wall nearby hung
    Arthur, an Antelope head,
    except my dad called him Charly.

    We would never have dreamed
    of taking the guns down, without our father's permission
    or guidance.
    The guns were never loaded
    until we were out in the field.
    And then,
    we were taught how to
    hold the gun while we walked.

    A day of hunting would be
    an early rise,
    a drive out to some
    farmers property, a knock on
    the door for permission.
    Then, the miles traipsing
    through deep snow.
    My nose turning red and my feet and hands freezing.
    My only thought was
    the big thermos of hot chocolate
    waiting for me in the car.

    I never killed anything, although
    I could have.
    I had a ...
    4-10 -
    and it had a big kickback in the shoulder, which
    I didn't like
    as I was a petite 10 year old.
    Once we came upon some
    old stuffed toys.
    I shot the heck out of them.
    Then my dad saw a rabbit
    and told me to shoot.
    I did,
    missing on purpose.
    Finally,
    we would make it back to the car and that steaming
    hot chocolate.
    Well,...at least - luke warm.

    One day my dad came back
    from a hunting trip
    with some co-workers.
    I remember a car
    pulling up and someone helping him limp to the door.
    He had been shot in the leg,
    by one of them, who thought
    he was a deer.
    They had been drinking. Boy was my mom mad!
    My dad didn't agree with hunting
    and drinking.
    And after this,
    he wouldn't hunt with those
    who did.

    I thought then that
    I hated hunting. Although,
    I came to realize, it wasn't the
    hunting or guns but
    the stupidity of these men.

    We always ate what was shot.
    My mom made a special
    pheasant dish and my dad named the dish "Pheasant ala Dewey."
    My mom's nickname was
    Dewey, a type of
    shortened version of our
    German last name.

    When I was in a college speech
    class I had to do a persuasive
    speech with
    a pre and post test.
    My speech was on hunting.
    My speech turned the majority of
    pre-test anti-hunting votes
    to post-test pro-hunting votes.
    Facts verses emotions.

    The animals need it,
    because, for the most part,
    we are no longer
    hunter-gatherers.

    My brother still hunts.
    Still knocks on farmer's doors,
    still traipses across snow drifts,
    and has hot chocolate
    in a thermos, like our dad did.
    He prepares and eats
    what he shoots.
    However, he has a huge
    gun safe for his guns,
    because some things ... aren't ....like
    they used to be.

    The 4-10 is gone.
    I don't miss it.

    I miss my dad.
    He taught me to hunt and fish.

    ________
    Picture of me at age 11 with 4 lb bass I caught with my pole at Lake Okoboji while laying on my back on the dock. The fish had his chance but that big fat earthworm was just too tempting, just as this bass was for me. The picture made the local newspaper.
    One of my few claims to fame :-)
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