Five Months, 447 Miles, and One Spreadsheet
Go ahead, start making fun of me now, you’ll need the head start.
I kept a bird hunting journal this year. (Date, location, species, take, shotgun, mileage, etc.)
The whole season.
Didn’t miss recording a day out.
Details I later compiled and used to calculate statistics. In a spreadsheet.
What? I was drinking. On a Tuesday. With Excel open. How do YOU procrastinate during tax season?
Days afield: 37
Days afield alone: 15
Easiest way to get out after work, and I’m not alone with the dog.
Days afield with others: 22
I have some friends. Apparently about ten. Low quantity, high quality.
Days skunked: 13
No shame in sightseeing.
Days skunked while with others: 8 of 13
Hmmm, about those friends of mine…
Species Pursued: 7 (plus waterfowl)
Blue, Ruffed, Sharptailed and Sage Grouse. Pheasant, Chukar and Dove. And ducks.
Miraculous points, shots or retrieves:
They’re all miraculous. And long stories best told over strong drink. With friends.
Birds Killed: 60
Ate them fresh, froze them, or smoked them. Stir fry, confit, fajitas, chukar soup with rice…
Planted birds: zero
I understand planted birds for children and the infirm. Stout and I are neither. Fight for habitat.
Days I remembered to log our mileage: 18 of 37
Sometimes the beer came out before my OCD kicked in.
Mileage as logged for me: 117 Stout: 217
This doesn’t account for the days she went swimming for ducks and I sat on my butt.
Extrapolated mileage for me: 241 Stout: 447
I could have hunted all the way from my house to Veedauwoo, Wy.
Miles per bird: 4.0 Stout: 7.4
Probably not calorically efficient. Especially the chukar.
Pairs of breeks worn: Zero.
At least, not worn hunting. We won’t cover what I do in the privacy of my own home, whilst nattily appurtenanced.
Shotguns hunted with: 3 (Betsy, THE TOOL and The Czech)
Of course I name my shotguns, I make spreadsheets about bird hunting. Don’t act like you’re not weird, too.
Most efficient shotgun: THE TOOL
A black plastic semi-automatic 12 gauge. Unwelcome at driven shoots on the moor.
Most storied shotgun: Betsy
With me for more than thirty years. My first gun. An Ithica O/U in 20 gauge.
Most disappointing shotgun: The Czech
Almost a hundred years old, the Czech developed a loose rib just as we were getting to know each other this year. Hopefully he’ll be back in action after a little R&R.
Bags of Kettle Chips consumed at the end of the day: Eleventeen Mazillion.
I lost count at “bunches”.
Times the dog got her head stuck in a chip bag while I ran in for coffee: 1
She was unapologetic.
States hunted in: 3
Wyoming, Montana, Utah.
Trips already in the works for next year: 3
Looking forward to good friends in new country.
Months hunted: 5
And we’d have kept on going, if we could have.
Bad days experienced: 0
But we already knew that. Now I’ve got to get to my taxes.