I was going to tell you a story about poaching deer. Will do that this week sometime when I am in the mood. Just was in High Intensity and puke every time I go in there. I needed a break from those unsolvable situations that both sides will never solve. So will tell you a story about my Dad. When I need to get away from the crap in the world and peoples minds I think about my Dad. I am helping Nancy defrost the freezer for the coming deer season and we had wheeled the freezer out into the driveway to defrost and across the road from me is 460 acres of Gov't 10 year, corn fields and alfalfa hay ground. Pheasant season started here and it has been a good year. Young didn't drown this spring and the summer has been good. Pheasant populations are up and I give them a 130 acres to stay alive. They have their problems with coyotes, foxes and redtail hawks but have done well. Three guys were running the ground, shooting as birds came up. They would shoot and the birds kept going. Ah well, more for next year. It reminded my of my Dad and our opening day pheasant ritual. My Dad came home from the service and rarely picked a gun up. An excellent shot and good outdoors man, he just didn't have the stomach for killing anymore. Except for pheasants. He called them Chinese chickens. He would tell the story of killing the last prairie chicken he saw in the state of Iowa or at least the county he was in 1932 in a road ditch in front of his home farmhouse and then they introduced pheasants. He wouldn't kill quail but he loved those pheasants. Opening day of pheasant season was our ritual. No matter the chores or corn picking left to do, we would hunt. Dad would take down his Stevens 20 gauge, break breech hammer. He would take one shell out of a box that was at least three years old. That's all he took. My brother and I would slip the magazines full on our 12 gauges and shove enough shells in our pockets to have taken Baghdad by ourselves. We would head down behind the barn where two field ditches came together. Unable to be farmed it grew thick with 10' tall horse weeds and osage orange trees. Excellent pheasant cover. We approached and I or my brother would swing around to drive the birds back toward us. Dad would never close the breech on his gun and would never put a shell in it. He carried the shell in his hand and when he shot he would slip the shell in, close the breech, cock and fire. That old gun had knocked down more birds than some peoples expensive Italian guns would ever see. He had very strong hands, the fore stock worn smooth. the stock checked, the butt plate chipped. Uncannily he knew how they would come up. Foot placement anticipated, flight patten somehow known, they were dead before they left the ground. One of us would flush and before my brother or I could shoulder our guns to fire Dad had one dropping out of the sky like a rock off the roof. "That'll do her" he would say and we were done. Let's get that bird to Mamma. One of us would pick it up, jacking the shells out of our guns and head home. We cleaned and plucked them like a chicken. None of this numbnuts stuff of field stripping the breast and leaving the rest of the carcass for scavengers. Mom would have killed an old hen. Tomorrow she would roast that pheasant with that hen after brining the pheasant in a sugar and salt brine. A deep dish apple pie and/or a cherry pie, with newly harvested fall potatoes, mashed or boiled with a nice gravy, some corn and if we were lucky some homemade ice cream. Always, always some of Mom's good bread. Dad would get as much of the pheasant as he wanted and we would get what was left. God remembering that was so much more pleasant than High Intensity. Postbeetle.