Saturday, August 30, 2008

Kaiser's Ranch South Dakota 1990

I lie prone n the grass, listening to the meadow larks calling, the rustle of the grass. The gravel is rough under m, a newly emerging cactus sticks my in the thigh. I view the prairie dog village, miles of mounds marking their homes waiting patiently for things to quiet, my presence to fade into the smell of the sage. It gives me time to watch cotton puff clouds hang still in the bright blue sky, a Redtail Hawk circles over another part of this huge village looking for lunch. The dogs start coming out of their holes and so it is time. I shoulder my rifle, thumbing off the safety, the smell of gun oil replaces the sage. I pick my target, focus on my sight picture cheek welded to the varnished stock. Slowly I squeeze the trigger, holding my breath, steadying the rifle. It seems as though minutes have passed before I hear the retort, see the shiny spent casing fly out in front of me, feel the bolt ram another cartridge into the chamber and see a puff of dirt an inch to the left of the prairie dog.

He seems unconcerned so I adjust my sights a bit, take a breath,hold, and squeeze the trigger, again a loud report, the casing flying yards in front of me and the prairie dog disappears down his hole.

Then a shadow passes over me, the Redtail has come to join my hunt. The dog's shrill whistle warn of the danger from the sky and all duck into their holes. The hunt is over for now.

13 Comments:

At 3:07 PM, Blogger Little Lamb said...

Oh dear! Shooting poor prairie dogs. Oh those poor things. You murderer you!

 
At 3:07 PM, Blogger boneman said...

Oh shit, I got lazy (sort of) and stopped doing the thing ....you know, putting in addresses and going around and inviting folks over and such.
Got to painting again (no, not the shirt) and tat really grabbed my head bone!

Now, tell me...as I have been around prarie dogs before. I know they're quite skittish, and disappear (folks don't understand what you're saying, there, but I do....disappear) at a moment of danger.
Like the redtail that came cruising by.

But, Phos...are the prarie dogs so used to your shooting they just sit there and giggle at you?

I mean, they don't recognize you with a rifle as being a threat, but a flapping ol' redtail and they're gone down their holes?

I think /t has a word for that....

it's



hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Danged near funnier than the shirt!

Hope you bought some food at the grocery, guy.
Sounds like you'll be eating store boughts tonight!

 
At 3:09 PM, Blogger boneman said...

dang Lamb snuck in and grabbed spot number one while I was yakkin'

I, too am a passive, but, prarie dogs?
You could shoot ten every day and still be over run with them

Wonder why?

 
At 5:04 PM, Blogger ..................... said...

do you use them to make prairie dog goulash?

 
At 5:06 PM, Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

LL: The ranchers are more than happy to let us shoot prairie dogs. They eat all the vegetation and the cattle trip in the holes and break their legs.

B-man: They are prolific breeders. They instinctively fear the hawk, but can't quite figure out the rifle. After awhile, perhaps after seeing their friend George buy it, they will disappear. I'd just have to walk over the ridge to the next town and start again.

 
At 5:42 PM, Blogger Little Lamb said...

That doesn't seem like fun. Get rid of the prairie dogs.

 
At 8:12 PM, Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

Larger game is more fun...

 
At 8:53 PM, Blogger Keshi said...

lol Phoso plz dun shoot me!

Keshi.

 
At 2:53 AM, Blogger SJ said...

Guns don't kill people and apparently don't kill prairie dogs either.

 
At 3:01 AM, Blogger dianne said...

Poor little prairie dogs they are just such cute little critters. Its a shame they have to be shot but I wouldn't like to see cattle with broken legs either. Do you actually eat them or are you just helping out the farmers? :)

 
At 10:05 AM, Blogger /t. said...

here
on the prairie
we shoot dogs, cats, coyotes

republicans

/t.

 
At 11:13 AM, Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

keshi: No worries, you are too far out of range!

SJ: The weapon worked fine, the shooter isn't so hot.

dianne: I wouldn't go near them, they are known to carry the plague. The Rancher I talked with said, "yeah, be my guest, shoot 'em all."

/t.: There should be a bounty on all politicians.

 
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