because nobody else ever tried to get in the damn book," said Bill.
people had to try, or else I couldn't be 10th. You guys come on down to Texas
some day for some spring turkey huntin'. That's something! We got a crazy
friend we go with sometimes, in a Jeep. He drives that thing right through oak
trees and barbed-wire fences after those birds!
ended up with about 800 miles of wire around the drive shaft. Sometimes he gets
so excited he lets go of the wheel at full speed to get in a shot. I've been
bounced right out of that Jeep on my butt more than once! Turkeys are tough,
but not as tough as Bill here makes them seem. Why, he had a nine-year dry
spell once. Was it all of nine years, Bill?"
Bill, though none
too warm toward the subject, agreed. "I've screwed up on turkeys," he
said. "Every way you can."
"But he did
save my life on a sandhill crane once," Dick continued. "I'll give him
credit for that."
blame," Bill added. "Depends who you talk to."
crane?" I asked.
"I hit one
and it ran off, and I chased it and finally caught it," Dick said. "But
when I got that big old crane cornered, I realized I was out of shells. Then he
got me cornered. I mean, they're big! He was looking me straight in the eye. I
was exhausted, backed up against a fence, with no shells, and he was coming at
me with murder in his eye. I figured I was dead when Bill finally got him. But
Bill still isn't much on turkeys."
The mention of
death turned the talk to the poisoning of coyotes. "A family friend got
killed by one of those damn cyanide traps a few years back," Bill said.
"It went off and got him in the hand. He was gone long before they got him
to the hospital."
They talked about
Oregon, too. "Daddy never had a lot of money." Bill said, "but we
were lucky kids, because he always took us camping in summer. We've been up
this way plenty of times. Why, those trips to Oregon used to make us money. I
think. We'd go back loaded up with fruits, berries, game and fish we got along
the way. We're not meat hunters now, though."