The Ottumwa Courier

Sports

May 4, 2013

Barnyard Bounty

I know a wingshooter who once suffered from depression. When the grouse, pheasant, woodcock and duck seasons ended, my friend got the blues. His dog got the blues, too. His wife, because her husband and dog were downers, suffered as well. The whole household went into a terrible tailspin.

Then the wingshooter found a cure. You could say it was a miracle drug. Prozac? No, this was no ordinary drug like Prozac.

It required no prescription from a physician. Neither could it be found over the counter nor on a street corner.

No, the cure came in the feathery form of a fast-flying airborne acrobat that decoys better than the dumbest bufflehead.

It can descend from great heights with the speed of a dive-bombing falcon. Its ability to dip, dodge, flare and flee defies the skills of a green-winged teal.

The cure was a wingshooter’s dream bird and is available in virtually unlimited supply.

He had been aware of this bird his entire life but had never given it much thought beyond noticing its talent for pooping on city statues and silo tops. The creature was, and is, the common pigeon.

The light bulb went off in the wingshooter’s head while reading a magazine article about pigeon shooting in Outdoor Life magazine.

Here was the solution to his off-season doldrums.

Pigeons!

No season, no limits, no problem finding permission to hunt, unbelievable shooting practice, phenomenal dog training, fun, fun and more fun ... it was a dream come true.

My friend’s first foray into pigeon plinking happened at the first farm he encountered with visible birds.

After a knock on the house door and a short conversation and handshake with the farmer, he was standing next to a silo with his Brittany at heel and his 28-gauge side-by-side in the crook of his arm.

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