Over Christmas break, I usually try to take advantage of the fact that my folks live on an eastern NC farm, and that means it’s politically correct to shoot clay birds in the back yard, and to walk to the woods with a gun in your hand. We had a box of 90 clay birds, and a quick trip to Walmart procured a box of 100 shotshells. My dad, my sister, my son Jason and I went to the field behind the house and set up the trap. I started by missing about 5 birds in a row, but dialed it in after that, and hit about 80% of the remaining birds. Good fun!
The next day, Jan, Jason and Jeff headed back to Chapel Hill. That afternoon, I picked up my over/under and a variety of shotshells and walked to the back of the “Coot Field,” across the road from the house. I had a few bird shells, a few squirrel shells, and a few buckshot…just to cover all the bases. I walked by old marl holes, past the rifle range, and down the path through the pine plantation. Jumped over the water running from the swamp and headed for the small patch of swamp hardwoods. Walked around a bit, admired a cyprus tree, and sat on a log for about 30 minutes. Watched a couple of Pileated woodpeckers fly in for some “grub” 😉 . The last one flew close and spotted me, so I thought I’d move a bit where any squirrels or deer might not see me as well. I sat beneath a large oak, and watched the sun slowly set. A racoon ambled by, about 25 yards away, oblivious to my presence. A squirrel danced across the leaves and up a tree. I looked at him and said “bang,” deciding that I really didn’t want to shoot any squirrels that day. Other squirrels hopped around in the growing darkness. I decided it was time to head back. At the edge of the field, I saw my dad, who’d decided to drive to the back of the field and wait for me. However, he’d gotten the truck stuck, and we both had to walk back 😉 Came back the next morning with the FourRunner and a chain, and pulled the truck out.