One of my favorite past times, as a kid of sixteen, was crow hunting. I used to spend hours following flocks of crows, trying to get close enough to shoot one. Back then, flocks of two or three hundred crows were not uncommon. I would walk for miles trying to get a shot at a crow, but I never did.
What a dunce, why not hop on Amigo, he was my horse, and let him do the walking. So next time I saw a flock of crows fly over, I saddled Amigo, grabbed my saddle scabbard complete with shotgun, and off we went. It can be hard to follow crows, they don’t seem to mind about thick hedge rows, barb wire fences, swamps or any of those kinds of things, but this day I got lucky.
They were after a hawk which decided to land in a tall elm tree that was growing in a hedgerow between hay lots, not more than a mile away from my home. The hawk must have decided that he was hungry, and crows or not, he was going to sit and wait for a mouse to get careless, or maybe he was just tired. Anyhow, he sat in the tree and the crows were incensed and flying around making all sorts of racket and never noticed Amigo and I sneaking down along the edge of the hedgerow. My shotgun was out and loaded and we were within a hundred yards of the crows when they spotted us and made a mass exit toward the other end of the hay lot.
This was just what I was waiting for. After all this time I will be the Great White Hunter, so what if it is only crows. Anyway, the crows were hauling butt toward the other end of the lot and not to be left behind, I kicked Amigo into a full gallop (his favorite speed). I sure you have all seen movies of John Wayne galloping across the prairie with his reins in his teeth and both his guns blazing, but it wasn’t quite like that. I don’t particularly like the taste of horse sweat, so I wrapped the reins around the saddle horn, and encouraged Amigo, the lazy bum, to gallop a little faster.
We were catching up to some of the stragglers; fame was nearly mine. I pulled the hammer back to cock the shotgun; click. That was all it took to get Amigo to run a little faster. I can’t imagine what he thought was going to happen, or maybe he had some prior knowledge, but he knew he was not going to like it. So every two or three steps he gave a little buck, nothing extreme, just a small warning of what was to come if I was foolish enough to shoot that gun. Everything was out of control. I had no control over the horse, he was going to do what he was going to do and he wanted out of there. I was not going to give up this golden opportunity for fame and after I recovered my equilibrium after his next hop, I pointed my gun in general direction of the crows and pulled the trigger.
Boom! Damn, I missed. You would have thought it was a bomb the way Amigo reacted; I thought he was going to jump out of his skin. He bucked and carried on like he was trying out for the rodeo, then he started running faster, I didn’t think it was possible. And would you believe it, he was running after the crows. Hotdog, I get another chance.
So being blessed with the fearlessness and ignorance of youth, I open the breach on my shotgun, Click, slid a new shell into the chamber, and closed the breach. Click. Man we were humming now; another minute and we would be catching up to the crows again. It was time; I pulled back the hammer and pulled the trigger. Click; Boom.
Poor Amigo, he couldn’t stand it anymore. I tell you he was one teed off horse. He hopped, he jumped, he bucked, he bounced on all four feet, you know like Pepe LePugh when he is in love. When he got tired, we finally came to a meeting of the minds; I put my gun away and he agreed to take me home.
Man that was fun, I couldn’t wait to try that again.