© 2013 Aaron Atkinson

Four’s a Crowd

Our third covey of quail that morning flushed over a staunch point. White-faced, a lone male darted my way, crossing right to left at about twenty yards. Focusing hard on the little bird whose beating wings sounded like the rolling r of a spanish speaker, I swung my barrel through his flight path and squeezed the trigger once I saw daylight in front of his beak.

He tumbled in a cloud of feathers and fell in the middle of a dense locust shrub. This little bobwhite never hit the ground as a woody spike from the locust impaled his broken body. As I reached in to fetch him, my fourth and final bird of the day, a spike from the tree grabbed my cheek and left a bleeding, half inch gash – a fair trade for the little life I’d just taken.

I praised Indie, gently stuffed the bobwhite into my game vest, walked a mile back to my car and headed for home leaving a cloud of Kansas dirt road dust a few floating quail feathers behind me.


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