The Outsider: From the sublime to the ridiculous
|By Will Jones - The Outsider | September 14, 2017|
Now, you’ll have to work with me on this one as I try to describe the contraption that I found myself lying in, in a field, at five o’clock in the morning the other day.
Sounds ridiculous already, right?
So, imagine if you took a sun lounger, put the back rest up so you could read a book and the foot end tilted down onto the floor. Now, get an oversized green or brown sleeping bag (yes, the colour is important) and slip the sun lounger into it. Then, find a pair of those swing doors that saloon bars in cowboy films always had and fernangle them into place on the lounger somehow so that they swing shut over your face as you lie on it. Finally, spend a good half hour covering the entire contraption in grass, poking clumps into every orifice, so that your sun lounger thing-a-majig looks like a grassy mound not dissimilar to the rest of the field that you are in, in the dark of early morning.
Sounds kind of cuckoo, yes? If it does, then you are not a goose (nor cuckoo) hunter. On the other hand, if you quickly gathered that my ridiculous attempts at descriptive writing were working towards a hunting blind of some variety, then you are as crazy as me, and, may have also been lying in another field somewhere, covered in a similarly bizarre disguise.
There I was, having arisen at some ungodly hour, driven to a field in Lindsay, then stumbled around planting over 70 plastic geese in said field, all before dawn.
Now, lying in a store-bought but just as bizarre version of my previously described goose blind, to say that I felt kind of silly was an understatement.
Strands of grass obscured my view and tickled at my face; the shotgun that lay across my chest felt uncomfortable; a small stone felt quite large as it dug into the small of my back, but I dared not move because the hunt was on.
As the sun slowly rose and the sounds of geese chattering to each other on nearby Sturgeon Lake wafted towards me and my fellow hunters, the ridiculousness of the situation lifted and the anticipation mounted.
We heard the first small flock honk about 10 minutes later, calling out as they neared our decoys. Through my grassy disguise I caught sight of the birds as they cupped their wings and set to land.
“FIRE!” shouted my guide. I flung open my saloon doors, and, like Clint Eastwood, came out firing. I was surprised as my goose fell, along with three others that my hunting partners had bagged. We leaped up, sliding out of our lay down blinds, raced to collect the dead birds and got back in position as fast as possible.
Heart racing, from excitement and exertion, I tried hard to catch my breath as I heard the call of the next flock circling over. They hadn’t got a clue what lay in wait for them below, such was the perfection of our disguise. Swing the saloon doors, shoot and repeat.
Like my dad’s movie hero, John Wayne, we hardly ever missed. What a morning! What a hunt. From the ridiculous to the sublime via cowboy films and Canadian geese.
WILL JONES - is The Outsider