During my career here, it always amazed me to hear the guests’ comments about the hunt, and then walk into the guide room to hear the guide comments. One would almost swear that the guides were not hunting with the guests who were here. I once kept a book of alibis as to why a quail was missed. However, that book burned up when our original Main Lodge burned up in 1974. I am going to attempt to reconstruct a few of them here along with my comments to each of them.
- The bird flew behind a tree. My comment is that is why we call them “woods” because there are trees there.
- The sun was in my eyes. My comment is that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. How is it that no matter where I place you, the sun is ALWAYS in your eyes?
- I couldn’t get my safety off in time. Has it ever occurred to you that this is a procedure that requires practice prior to going hunting? However, I would much prefer the safety going off too late…than too soon.
- My footwork was wrong. My comment is that I have actually seen guests wearing their boots on the wrong feet, which really hampers footwork.
- There are no pellets in my shells. I would usually take a shell, cut it open, and pour the pellets in their hands to see that the pellets really were in there.
- I hit that bird hard, but he didn’t fall. My comment is that I can’t tell you how many hours we have wasted over the years looking for a non-existent dead bird.
- I had something in my eye. My comment is that in most cases that would be your eyeball in your eye.
- None of the birds flushed my way all morning. My comment is that while this is possible, it is not very probable.
- This shotgun doesn’t fit me right. Well, perhaps you are an Orangutan. We do have stock extenders in our pro shop for very long armed people, and we have a couple of short stocked guns for little people.
- We didn’t see many quail today. My thought here is what were you shooting at for me to see six empty boxes of shells on the back of your jeep?
- The birds were flying to low, and I was afraid that I might shoot a dog. Well, this is one that I actually appreciate and understand. However, we have very few 14’ tall dogs, and my guides tell me that a lot of safe shots are not taken. But, I am still OK with this alibi.
- I was mentally unprepared to shoot. My comment is that we provide guides, jeeps, dogs, and quail. However, we do not provide brains.
- My hands were perspiring so badly that my finger slipped off of the trigger. Well, Duh, have you ever thought of wiping your sweaty hands on your hunting pants before the flush.
- This one is a classic—The shotgun y’all gave me has the bottom barrel shooting too low, and the top barrel shooting too high. My comment is that he needs to hunt with the “ mentally unprepared” fellow.
- Those quail are obviously wearing Kevlar vests. No comment necessary.
- Why can’t y’all make the quail fly straight like the clay targets do at the trap? My comment to that is that quail have very tiny birdbrains, and we have never been able to train them to perform that way.
A friend of mind recently told me that his company was conducting safety training. He was asked, “what steps would you take if your building was on fire?” His comment was, “Big freaking steps.” He said that he failed his quiz, but I thought that his answer was a classic.
Whenever someone says to me, “Oh, you look so familiar, where do I know you from?” I like to respond with, “Do you watch porn?” That generally ends the conversation.
And finally, I offer these pearls of wisdom for all of the wives out there. Husbands are the best people to share your secrets with. We will never tell anyone because we aren’t even listening to begin with.