18 March, 2006

Duck Hunt

Last night we went to a very nice restaurant for a farewell dinner with our MSU friends. It was a precious time of sharing and caring, and storytelling. John regaled Matt McComas with shocking tales from his wild past- but only when it appeared that nobody else was listening. Tim told everyone the tragic account of his and Sara’s first pet: a kitten named Chuckles. Due to the graphic nature of the story, I’m afraid I cannot relate it here.

Most entertaining, though, was Andy and Clay’s scandalous and amusing description of their desperate search for food during a cold Montana winter…

As tender young lads, fresh from the dorms and just getting used to life on their own, it was very difficult for Clay and Andy to get the nutrition necessary for survival at the University of Montana. Having no protein in the house, and no money to shop with, they set out in the snow. After a bit, they happened upon a partially frozen pond, well populated with crazy ducks that had decided not to migrate south. Certainly this healthy game was God’s provision for them, so they attacked first with an ice axe. Unfortunately, due to the curved nature of the blade, and the surprising agility of the plump fowl, this tactic was ineffective.

Next, our hunters tried shooting from a distance with a slingshot, but the ammunition just bounced off of the thick winter down. More determined than ever, they went to the nearest hardware store and purchases a thick wooden dowel and fashioned it into a sturdy spear with a lead-weighted and finely sharpened point. This was unsuccessful as well, though, as the spear did not fly fast enough.

Finally, on the third night, they constructed and laid out a net with an ingenious pulley system and went about trying to lure their quarry onto it with bread. But by now the birds were quite skeptical and refused to set webbed foot onto the net- even when chased from behind by a third hunter that had been recruited for the purpose of herding the animals towards the trap.

In exasperation and anger, Andy “Gottskulz” Gott picked up a stone and hurled it toward the flock on the pond. The rock bounced and skidded, and then clobbered one of the birds with fatal accuracy. Energized by the prospect of victory, Gottskulz grabbed his spear and ran toward the pond. Noting the danger of potentially thin ice, he carefully tiptoed toward his prize, and then, throwing caution to the wind, plunged the spear deep into the animal for the killing strike. He strung it up on the spear and walked back triumphantly with the stick resting on his shoulder, dinner hanging off in back.

The three boys (now men, actually) returned to the apartment complex where they gutted and skinned the duck- feathers flying everywhere, and ate the best meat they’d had all week.

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