pheasant, dog, and shotgun hunting story (long)

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Kingcreek, Nov 15, 2016.

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  1. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    at the center of my own little universe
    Decided to post this old but true story here, happened back in the 1980's...

    I was a young and very dedicated pheasant hunter. I had a young male golden retriever named Buckskin (usually called Buck for short) that had been very well trained and had 88 retrieves on mostly wild birds his first season. He was in his 3rd season and was working really well and had a great nose. He was smart enough to work close when birds were tight and yet round out and herd runners like a border collie on rangy stock. Living in Northwestern Illinois but hunting also in eastern Iowa with my brother in law and Nebraska with cousins, we were busting pheasants in 3 states.
    My wife worked for a small but successful manufacturing company at the time. One day got a call from her at work. She knew I had the next 2 days off and said they had a serious problem and wondered if I could help. She put her boss on the phone. Seems a business associate from Spain that supplied some essential parts was visiting for a couple days and had expressed his deepest desire to hunt the legendary Iowa ringnecks he had heard so much about. Promises had been made and a pro guide with dogs was hired for the VIP visit.
    The problem was the guide had just called and was sick in bed with flu and had to cancel. He had offered a map and access to some good Iowa ground but that was the best he could do. The VIP was flying in that day and wanted nothing more than to hunt the next.
    Why sure, I would be glad to stand in with my dog and my Iowa hunting license and help the company!
    Left in the dark and drove over 90 minutes to arrive early the next morning and the big company Town Car was already waiting at the entrance to the field with Senor VIP and an interpreter and the wife's boss with his sweet little Springer spaniel (all pet but not much of a hunter). I rolled in next to them in my CJ7 jeep.
    Introductions were made all around and I let Buck out to stretch. The trunk was open and Senor V brought out a beautiful leather hardcase and started assembling a gorgeous engraved side by side 20g shotgun that was probably worth more than my jeep. We passed it around and tried not to drool on it before gently handing it back to him. The interpreter sat in the car with a magazine looking already bored as we got ready to hunt.
    I had my 12g Browning BSS with 26" barrels out and was grabbing some shells for my vest when the Senor dropped 2 shells in his and closed the action and BLAM!. One barrel went off into the ground next to Buck, who responded by jumping 6 feet sideways and circling around to heel behind my left knee.
    There was a lot of commotion and confusion and chattering in 2 languages over the next couple minutes. The visibly shaken VIP dropped his pretty little shotgun in the trunk and got in the backseat of the car and shut the door and wouldn't come out. The interpreter got involved. The wife's boss looked like he was passing a kidney stone. It took a while to get the whole story. Apparently, in many upscale European gun clubs an AD will get you kicked out and banned for life. Finito. The VIP had ordered the special shotgun for his dream hunt and just took delivery of it before leaving Spain with no opportunity to shoot it. He was devastated and I'm not too sure there wasn't tears in his eyes.
    We were finally able to calm him down and coax him out of the car for some analysis. I retrieved the shotgun from the trunk and tried it with empty chambers and sure enough, one sear tripped when the action closed 2 out of 4 times.
    He sadly disassembled his shotgun and put it back in the case. I reassured him that we could still salvage the hunt minus his 20g double. He refused at first and then was reluctant but we begged him thru the interpreter until he finally agreed.
    As fortune would have it, I had brought along my wife's 20g 870 Wingmaster (some of the nicest walnut I've ever seen in any wingmaster). I brought it out and offered him his choice of using the 870 or my 12g Browning BSS. He shouldered both a couple times and carefully decided he would join us and carry the 870. He still looked pretty dejected and the dog was eyeing him from a distance.
    My dog really came through and worked his tail off for 3 hunters. The little Springer followed her master most of the time but everybody seemed to enjoy the hunt and we did get into birds with Senor VIP shooting 4 of 8 roosters. Amazingly, just as we ended up back at the vehicles at around 2pm a car pulled up and delivered a nice catered box lunch with ribeye sandwiches from the nearest town- a nice touch arranged by the company. We sat in the shade and the Spaniard fed most of his sandwich to Buck. He had relaxed by then and had thoroughly enjoyed the hunt. He had shot very well and tried his hardest to buy my wife's 870. I couldn't sell it even though he was determined and willing to pay me double what it was worth.
    As we loaded up to part ways, The Spaniard once again opened the beautiful leather case and just looked at his shotgun for a few moments. He shrugged as he closed it and then turned with a big smile and gave me a hug. Then he even hugged my dog and chattered something spanish as he climbed into the car. My wife's boss winked at me and gave me a thumbs up and got in to drive.
    The dog slept all the way home and I made one stop for gas and a 6 pack of imported beer to celebrate the day when I got home around sundown.
    A long day, an interesting day, and one I'll always remember. My one and only day as pheasant guide and dog handler for a gentleman from Spain.
    (BTW, that wife, the 20g 870 Wingmaster, and Buck the retriever are all long gone. I still have the BSS and I sure miss that dog.)
    birdshot8's likes this.
  2. TwoFirstNames

    TwoFirstNames Member

    Oct 10, 2015
    south central Idaho
    Great story. Thanks for sharing!
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