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Author Topic: Like Father Like Son  (Read 837 times)

Offline AL WORRELLS KID

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Like Father Like Son
« on: August 10, 2019, 01:55:32 AM »
They only added to the excitement for a 10-year-old Kid heading out on his first Duck Hunt..... Field Mice, too many to count scurrying across the road, everywhere in the beam of our headlights.
 Headed across the Cascades, leaving the smell of the Pine Forests behind us and dropping down into the Flatland's where the scent of Sage came blowing in on the breeze.
 We soon reached our destination, one of the Seep Lakes below the Pothole's Reservoir called “Katy,” who's emerald waters were a natural stopping off place for the Big Northern's heading South through this desert wasteland.
Bedding down for the night, I'd say the odds of falling asleep were on the Coyotes side, who having surrounded our Camp had started singing to the rising moon which had both my heart and thoughts skipping a beat.
 After a little reassuring, I finally drifted off, listening to the sound of my Dad's answering call to a Hoot Owl up on the Bluff.

 Awaking in the predawn to the smell of coffee boiling over the campfire, my sand filled eyes were soon taking in the excitement and expectation of those around me, soaking up the traditions of our predawn preparations.

 I can still remember feeling our way down the old Cow Trail that led to Katy Lake, everyone laden down with Decoys and Shotguns and me wearing my first pair of Hip Boots, looking forward to rebuilding a Famous Blind, the site of many past Hunts and Stories I heard growing up.
Far up in the night sky we could hear the ghostly whistling made by the high-flying Flocks crossing overhead in the dark.
 Along with the growing light in the East, came the sound of miniature Jet Engine's, setting their wings and dropping in out of the dark and right into the middle of our Spread....... whispering I asked, "Dad, what was that sound?"
"Ducks, don't look up!" came his response, and as they say, "The Rest is History."

As we awaited the dawn, Dad shared with me the first time he had ever hunted ducks on his own, he was about 12 years old.
After a long stalk, rising suddenly from the tall grass he blasted away at the flock as it rested on the pond in front of him........ he said, " I was really surprised, when nothing flew up. The Ducks just sat there, it was like the shot had just bounced off them!"
Then he said an old hunter stood up from his Blind along the shore and with a chuckle hollered, "What's the matter Son, can’t you sink them?"............
"What are those things?" Dad asked.

 Why, those are called Decoy's, my Boy!"

(Hearing how Dad, Red-faced had turned tail, made me think that today, I just might make out okay).

Soon I had my first Duck down, but he swam across to the other shore and crawled up out of sight and into the Sagebrush.
 I marked the spot where the Drake had climbed up the bank, but after looking for some time, I shouted my frustration from across the lake.
That I could find no sign of that Duck anywhere!

My Dad hollered, "You have to think like a Duck! Just ask yourself where would you hide out, if you were being chased?“

Looking down a Badger hole I spied the skeleton of a long-forgotten Duck that had gotten away quite some time ago and had no doubt had outwitted another hunter from yesteryear.

 Doing a quick search of the nearby Badger holes, out he came, feet first and I was holding up my first Mallard Drake, (high enough, for all the world to see.) :IBCOOL:
Glancing across the lake I looked into the eyes of one proud Father, as he watched the torch being passed!
 
(Although Dad has been gone for several years now, I fully expect to see the same look in his eyes when we meet up again someday.)

Heading back Home, we watched as the Red Tailed Hawk made lazy circle's across the heat waves, casting the shadow of death on the Jackrabbits below, each one frozen in time.
The Hot Sun shone down on a lone Magpie continuing its relentless search, headed now toward the huge nest, it's fortress of sticks, atop the only tree left on the horizon. 
A land to fall in love with for sure, to return again as others in the past, taking home rich memories of days gone by . :tup:
Doug
« Last Edit: August 10, 2019, 04:40:59 PM by AL WORRELLS KID »
"I was born to pursue the beasts of the field; the fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passes through the paths of the seas."

Offline gaddy

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Re: Like Father Like Son
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2019, 09:22:19 AM »
Love the story. Ive hunted some of those seep lakes when I lived  just above O'sullivan. Brought back some memories, Thanks !

Offline AL WORRELLS KID

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Re: Like Father Like Son
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2019, 07:24:20 PM »
gaddy, Thanks for the kind words. That would sure be the neighborhood to live in for the Hunter.
 Back in the day, you could start with Doves, then Pheasants up on The Royal Slope, hit the Chuckers along the Columbia and end up jump shooting Waterfowl over The Potholes.
One year I even Trapped a dozen Coyotes down in the Seep Lakes a week before Hunting Season opened (so I didn't have to worry about catching somebody's Lab.) Strange to not see anyone the whole time (except the Game Warden every morning at 7:30, driving the main gravel road across the horizon.)  :IBCOOL:
Doug
« Last Edit: August 12, 2019, 04:49:57 PM by AL WORRELLS KID »
"I was born to pursue the beasts of the field; the fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passes through the paths of the seas."

Offline AL WORRELLS KID

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Re: Like Father Like Son
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2019, 06:50:01 PM »
Deadman's Bluff

Over the years, buttes and mesas created by the Ice Age Floods were put to other uses. This large mesa along the Morgan Lake road in the Drumheller Channels has a gentle slope on the south end (this view from north).

The mesa was once used by local cattlemen as a sort of a "Corral in the sky" for their herd. The cattle were driven up the south side and one or two men were all that was needed to keep them on top. One April night in 1880, 15-year-old Edward O'Rourke was assigned the job of keeping the herd on the mesa. At some point during the night, Edward and his mule tumbled off the east side to their deaths. A rock-pile marker visible from the road marks the point of impact.

The mesa is known today as Deadman's Bluff and the nearby lake used to clean Edward up before he was returned to his parents is Deadman Lake. (Lake located just SW of the Morgan Lake - McManamon intersection)
There used to be a Big Black and White hand painted Sign marking Deadman's Bluff, placed just inside the fence, in front of the rock- pile marker. It was made by the Elementery School Kids from Othello. (I would guess it was placed there as their Schools History Project.)
Doug
"I was born to pursue the beasts of the field; the fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passes through the paths of the seas."

 


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