Standard side

This is Bonny. A girl with a really big heart and, as you can see in the photo on the left, some rather large (other) body parts as well when this story took place.

A few years ago Bonny (Perrygreen Abby) was in the process of weaning a litter of pups so I decided to give her a small break and a nice long walk around a local lake. I loaded her in the car and set off, but as I crossed a bridge at the upper end of the lake, what did I see? A small flock of unassuming geese leisurely swimming about 75 meters out in the water. Well I had a retriever and a rifle in the back of the car. I also had permission to shoot all geese on sight, as they had become such a pest in the area, so what could I do? I'm sure you have figured that out by now. So after parking my car, a little belly crawling and four shots later, four geese lay floating in the calm water amidst a fair amount of vegetation. Now all I had to do was go get Bonny. The rest was simple. Four times out and four times in, but I will have to admit that due to that big heavy undercarriage she was sporting, she was riding a little low in the water and set no speed records!!!

My first and probably only ever Snipe double

 

One fine October day in 2005 a good friend, Maria Trogen and I, decided to do a little snipe hunting, She had just recently gotten her first shotgun and this her very first time to shoot at game, and in my opinion, it takes a brave heart to choose snipe as a virgin hunting experience! Anyway, the coin was tossed and Maria would take the short grass and bogs near the lake's shore with her little cocker, Yippi, while I would take the waist high grassland further inland with Bonny. After only a short while Bonny and I came to a very wet, marshy area that looked promising and before I could finish thinking that thought, she flushed two snipe. One flew straight ahead of me and the other about 120* to my right and slightly behind me. These are the times when experience and instinct seem to shift into high gear. Being right handed, the snipe to my right would be the toughest shot, as I would have to twist my whole body in that direction but coming back to pick up the straight away bird would be much easier. Bangbang! and both snipe dropped into the tall grass and as I broke open the faithful and true old side by side 12 gauge that I have been shooting for forty years, I looked down at Bonny who was still holding fast but with a serious case of the shakes waiting for me to say that magic word. After loading two new bright red and shiny federal 7 1/2 shot shells I said "fetch" and Bonny leaped into action, but to my surprise she dove into a tuft of marsh grass about a meter and a half away and out flew another snipe. Bang! now three lay hidden in the tall grass and I understood just why she was really shaking as she was. She knew all along that that third snipe was tucked in and hiding. That's my girl! I must say that it takes a lot longer to tell this story than it took to transpire, because in real time from the first to the third shot, maybe 30 - 40 seconds had passed. Bonny had marked all the falls and made the retrieves, but they were not that easy as the tiny little devils were for the most part laying in mud and water below a meter or more of grass. Shortly afterwards, Maria came over to me and asked me if I knew what I had just done and it was only then I realized I had shot a snipe double, and sort of a triple, I guess you could say.

On another occasion a few years earlier a good friend, Peter Norberg, from Sweden; paid me a visit to do some snipe hunting and it was another kind of day indeed. One of those we spent shooting a lot of holes in the air. So much so, I had to write a poem about it. Hope you like it.

Ode to a sportsman

with gun in hand

and dog by side

through the marshes

we did glide

in search of a tiny

wing-ed beast

upon which only

kings and queens

should feast

then out of the grass

at the speed of light

this wing-ed creature

takes to flight

and no rhythm does

this demon possess

first flying east

then shifting west

suddenly is heard

a thundering sound

but alas nairy a feather

falls to the ground

and time after time

this scene is repeated

until hunter and hound

are soundly defeated

now t'is the end of the day

as we reminisce

about how often we hit

and how more often

we miss

b oth hunters agreed

they really had fun

but the snipe had beat them

by twenty to one

Hei!
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