After hunting with my father for most of my childhood years, in my early twenties I decided to hang up my guns and ammo for hiking boots and a camera after being “scoped” out by another hunter. For you non-hunters, that means another hunter was using the scope on his rifle to watch me walking through the woods (meaning his quite likely loaded gun was pointed at me – not cool). I always missed hunting but felt the hunter to game ratio was way too high for my liking.
At 38 years old, Natalie and I purchased a hunting camp in an area where we enjoy ATVing. Very quickly I started getting the “hunting bug” again. I completed my Hunter/Firearm Safety Courses, acquired my Possession Acquisition License and for the first time in 17 years, I was a licensed hunter again!
Now what do I hunt? Well, I am not crazy about deer meat so I opt out of deer hunting. I do take part in New Brunswick’s annual moose draw but with 65,000 people applying for a license and only 4,300 actually issued a license; I don’t see moose hunting in my near future. BUT I do enjoy partridge meat (aka: ruffed grouse). So for the past two seasons, I’ve been hunting partridge in the fall…much to the comedic pleasure of my darling wife.
My hunting style is what we like to refer to as Hollywood Hunting. This is where a person drives around either in a truck or an ATV and if they happen to see their intended game; they take a shot at it. This works well for partridge hunting because in the fall, they waddle around on the edge of ATV trails sunning themselves so it’s nice and easy hunting.
It was on one of these Hollywood Hunting trips with my wife, my partner, my rock where I found a huge gaping black void where her support and loyalty used to reside. It was replaced with a pair of pink pompoms and a huge foam finger that read “Go! Partridge Go!” My darling, loving, and supportive wife was now cheering for my enemy – the partridge!
Every missed partridge became an opportunity to play a game I like to call “Mock the Hunter.” Videos with sarcastic commentary were made as I took shots and missed. Photos of my defeated face were documented as I returned to the ATV empty-handed. The smirks, the comments and the cheering for the partridge were almost unbearable.
- “Those partridge are very cunning creatures aren’t they sweetheart?”
- “Those partridge are so wildly aren’t they honey?”
- “It’s sad when a chicken on steroids can outsmart a man with a gun isn’t it babycakes?”
- “Man, those partridge are some flexible and fast to avoid that spray of bullets!”
- “Is there something wrong with your gun darling?”
- “Are you sure you’ve hunted before my love?”
- “Maybe you should get Brent to show you how it’s done?” (Stay tuned for a future Hubby’s Corner on Brent where I will elaborate)
In case you’ve never hunted partridge or met one face to face in the wilderness, this video will quickly display the common traits of the elusive and cunning mastermind I’ve been sparring with on the battlefield:
So last year I went empty-handed until the last day. It was the day I went out hunting alone (without the Camp Heckler) and I was determined NOT to return without a partridge. And at the last minute the forest Gods granted their finest gift ever.
I finally got one – YES! VICTORY! Because at this point, with a seasonal scorecard of Scott = 0 Partridge = 15, it was going to be a fountain of comedic wealth for my wife and a fountain of ridicule for me at all upcoming get-togethers with family and friends.