I took my little Nikon Coolpix. "Batteries Exhausted" came up when I turned it on. So no pictures.
As I entered the fields, for the first time this year, I decided to work on my "paint a picture" in my writing. Wish me luck. A post to RBD without pictures? Like a bagel without cream cheese.
Opening day at Hastings Island was last Saturday. This morning, as I got my club "20-bird card" I was talking to one of the employees of the club. "So, how many came out for opening day?" I asked. "It was good. Well over 100." On this fine Thursday morning, there were 8 hunters ready to take into the fields. The weather was perfect! 55 degrees with about a 10-mile-per-hour breeze coming out of the west. Couldn't have really wished for better conditions for a pheasant hunt.
I wrote to the management of my company from my office desk the following e-mail at 5:15 this morning:
In the dark, I drove an hour along the River Road out into the heart of the San Joaquin Delta to Hastings Island. I was one of the first hunters there. The sun was just coming up at 7 a.m. as I parked the truck in the clubhouse's lot. Went inside the 70-year-old hunting club house where I got my "club card" and a couple slices of toast.
Waiting for the starting of the hunting day: 7:30.
Bailey was ready. I was ready. The pheasants had been salted in the thousand-acre hunting preserve.
We headed out into the fields and I parked the truck after a short 1/4 mile drive. We had a hundred acres to ourselves. The air was crisp when we got out of the truck. I got on my bright orange hunting vest, loaded my CZ 20 gauge, before I let Bailey off his leash. Then I blew a quick toot on my whistle to send him out into the first of four fields we hunted today.
The tension of work was still heavy in my shoulders. Stress is high at work. I have been looking forward to the feeling of farm fields under my boots with a good shotgun in my hand, and a wonderful Hungarian Pointer heading out into the seed grass hunting the hidden pheasants. I knew all this would happen.
Part II tomorrow. "Into the Field."