Goose Blind Death Trap
My grandfather got me started hunting. I had to mow his lawn for a year before he felt I earned enough money to pay for my Hunter's Safety Course, but I finally got enough and he took me every day to the classes. Once I graduated, my next task was to build with him the goose blinds we would hunt in.
Now, my grampa was a simple man. He taught himself how to read, andlike most men of his era, he grew up on a farm. His favorite thing to say was, "On the farm, we never had money to just go out and buy what we needed. We made what we needed from scratch. If we couldn't build it, we must not have needed it." So... we built these goose blinds from what eve we had around. Luckily, grampa was from the depression era... so he had a TON of stuff lying around. We had the wood, screws, plexi, rails, rollers, everything. The blinds really turned out well. He was quite the craftsman. But them I suppose he had to be.
In a previous post, I mentioned that we always had dogs around the house. His and ours. His at the time was Berretta, a black lab. Poor Berretta never stood a chance. See, again, growing up on the farm, nothing ever went to waste. Nothing. Not even the table scraps. Those went to the pigs. Now we never had pigs growing up, and old habbits die hard, so grampa gave the scraps to Berretta. She was a FAT dog. I mean FAT. It didn't matter how many times I ran her, swam her, what have you... That dog ate what ever was fed to her... And the grandparents ate well.
One thing my 13 year old brain failed to comprehend while building the goose blinds, was that Berretta's diet could be... well...noxious. Not the diet I suppose, but certain by-products of the diet. Yes. That's better.
So we build the blinds and tote them up north. My grampa leased lands in a small farming area north of Denver called Windsor. We placed 3 blinds and used the farmers dead corn stalks to blend them into the area. It looked wonderful. I couldn't wait until goose season.
Goose season finally opened up, but because of school, I was unable to with grampa until winter break. I grabbed my carharts, (purchased by him for me via another long list of chores and such I won't go into...) my shotgun, and a lunch packed by my gramma. Peanut butter, butter and honey sandwiches, club crackers, and an apple. God I miss her sandwiches. Anyway... we were off. I sat in that car at 5 am with visions of geese falling all around us as I deftly dropped one fat honker after another.
We arrived at the farm just before dawn and the snow was pristine white. Not a mark in it until I stepped into it with a sharp crakling sound. We unloaded a huge tank filled with Propane. We used it to heat up the blind. Well... grampa told me we would heat up the blind with it... darned if he ever lit it though. Blue toes will attest to that. anyway we were ready. WE were ready, but the geese weren't. Nothing flew that whole day. I mean nothing. Not even the stupid magpies who would ruin many shots of mine later. Grampa introduced me to a game I plan on sharing with my son called "Dutch oven." See, we were there in this small 5 x 4 blind with nothing to do... So he'd let fly with some horrendous rumblers. Seat shakers he;d call them, and just laugh! Oh god the smell. It was no suprise to me why the geese never showed up.
At one point I wondered why he even bothered with a gun. Jst drop trow and blast one skyward. The geese would asphixiate and drop!
So with a dead heart and destroyed nostrils, we packed the truck up and headed home... goose-less. Berretta, having worked herself to death just trying to get her big old butt into the truck, decided that my feet were a good pillow, and since I was frozen solid, I didn't complain. Grampa, seeing I was thoroughly frozen, decided to turn the heater on in the truck. That heat felt great on my face and ears. He turned it on high, and I thought I heard a small, stiffeled giggle escape him as he re-adjusted himself in the seat.
It hit me like a freight train. My eyes fogged over. My throat closed. I couldn't breathe. It wasn't him because I didn't hear anything. rust me when I say I KNEW it wasn't one of his. He'd make your ears ring. Oh God! I was going to be sick. Berretta, the dog would and did eat anything, Oh God!
reached for a window and Grampa yelled at me! "Don't roll down that window! You'll let the heat out!"
She did it again. Oh no. I thought I would pass out. The heater which had once been my best friend now turned on me. It blew silent death into my face at all angles. I couldn't get away no matter what I tried. It was every where. For 58 long minutes I forced back gramma's sandwiches and crackers, until finally we arrived home. I LAUNCHED from the cab of that truck, eyes watering, gasping for air. All I could get out was "Buh."
Grampa laughed harder than I have ever seen someone laugh to this day. I lay there in the snow praying nothing was permanently damaged.