Posts Tagged ‘Veterinarian’

I had high hopes on our return to Flying Double F ranch near Vale, Oregon, the next location for Wingshooting USA. And ultimately, we were rewarded. We redefined run-and-gun, covering miles of ranch property to hunt honey holes ranging from standing corn to streambeds, sagebrush slopes to CRP. 

A week of rest for one little cut? Okay boss, if you insist.

We alternated host Jim Farmer’s pointers with Manny and Buddy in tandem, until the pup yelped and I scrambled down a ditch bank to unhook him from the barbed wire fence. A quick glance, no damage and back to the pheasants. Or so I thought.

Manny and Buddy tracked ringnecks up and down the ditch, through the fields, and into a cattail swamp where the one close bird snuck out and under a gigantic irrigation pipe. 

We trekked up a steep, crumbly desert slope, huffing and puffing after a covey of chukars that flushed wild. Around the ridge and down a draw and there they were! Jim’s son James put the hurt on one, brought to hand by Buddy. The leavings doubled back, and on our return trip James flushed them, dropped one of the gray rockets while I did an artful pirouette and brought down another.

Sometimes on hands and knees, we snuck through the hardwoods and dog-hair-thick willows along Bully Creek. Valley quail escaped well in front of us until James called a covey milling nervously, pittt-pitting under a tall cottonwood. They broke left and jinked right, squirting through the leaves and over the creekbanks on both sides. One finally dropped to my shot.

Another sneak up a lava-bed slope and a big covey of valley quail ran like track stars, then flushed wild but in gun range. James doubled left and right and guess what? So did I.  

Back at the ranch I had a closer look at Manny’s thigh. Yuck. Three inches of wide-open gash, loaded with weed seeds. No blood, but the slice went to muscle. Cleaned and slathered with antibiotics, and the Monday morning quarterbacking started. Why hadn’t I seen it when I picked him off the fence?

One sleepless night later, I decided consulting a nearby veterinarian was worth stopping our shoot. Manny was a trooper as he got his first stitches, with an audience in attendance, no less. The vet recommended a week of rest … like that was gonna happen. The Awesome Upland Road Trip was just getting into high gear.

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