Every Thursday I will be sharing a hunting story by Tim Elsey from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. He is going back in time and putting his childhood memories down on paper. I will be posting them here on my site until he runs out of paper or memories, whichever comes first. Enjoy, in his own words!
We lived in a small town called Souris in Manitoba i was about three years old and the first thing i remember is my father and his friend Mr. Trights coming through the kitchen door from the garage saying to all the kids,come look come see what we got.I rush to the door in excitement and saw a cardboard box filled with all kinds of ducks,i was in awe.
My father then saying to me someday Timmy i will take you hunting and i smiled from ear to ear.
I watched my father and his friend pluck the ducks seeing the feathers floating in the air i was trying to catch them,it was so much fun i giggled and then my father chuckled and said lot of fun eh!.
My parents didn't make a lot of money,my mother worked administrative jobs and my father a local baptist preacher,sometimes whatever was left in the collection plate that would be his pay and my mothers pay would go towards the house and to the five kids so i was used to eating a lot of wild foods in my diet and what my mother grew in her huge garden, good old fashion homemade meals.
I remember going to a church function in the fall with my family and my father pulling over the car and saying look there are some geese in that field ,my father got out of the car and put on some coveralls and crawled on his belly in this field,and my face squished up against the window watching to see,then BANG ! BANG ! two shots rang out and my mother saying to us i think he has some.
My father i could see him walking back to the car with a smile on his face,then holding up his arm with two geese in his hand,throwing them in the trunk of the car,well he said we better hurry or we will be late.
After the church meeting people where coming out of the church watching the whole family plucking these birds,it was quite the site.
I think a few days later the door bell rang and when we got to the door no one was there and at the foot of the door was a couple boxes of food,i guess someone from the church felt we did not have food at home and left the boxes there for us.Well we may not have been rich but we never went hungry :).
In 1974 my father shot his first whitetailed deer,i remember it hanging in the garage,my father was so happy it was a good size deer body and rack ,he went with his friend Mr Trights and they went into the Souris Hills my father went in one way and Mr Trights in the other way,five minutes goes by my father hears a shot so he stays put just in case something gets pushed his way.
Sure enough he sees this buck coming through the willows so he leans up against the tree and waits for it to go to this opening, it stops he squeezed the trigger BANG! the deer drops .
He meets up with his friend and the first shot he heard earlier was Mr Trights so they both have deer now,they put them on the car and drove back home watching the other deer hunters looking at them with envy.
My father was so proud of the rack that he entered them in a contest and at the contest he left the rack for a few minutes and when he came back someone had stolen his rack, my father was not a happy hunter,and when he went to pick up his hide the deer hide they gave him was someone else,s hide it was riddled with holes,his hide had only one hole.so my father did not go deer hunting for a very longtime .
The fist time my father ever took me duck hunting i was in kinder garden ,i told my teachers all about my father going to take me hunting all week so they let me draw pictures of ducks and shotguns:).
It was early in the morning the sun was not even out yet,we drove for awhile then came to a marsh.
It was cold my father saying are you warm,my teeth chattering my body shaking yep i am ok.
It was great watching the sun rise seeing all the birds jumping back and forth pond to pond,the smell of the coffee and the sounds of the birds,watching my father load the shotgun and saying keep your head down if you see them coming and let me know.
Filled with excitement my heart pounding i said look here comes some, my father raises the shotgun BANG! BANG ! but no ducks came down,that,s ok he says more will come :)Sure enough more came my eyes wide open look here they come BANG ! BANG ! one mallard fell out of the sky,YOU GOT ONE ! YOU GOT ONE ! i cried out .my father then said did you see where he fell i said yep i will get him.
my father with a big smile on his face be careful grab it by its neck he might be still alive.
Walking through the and cattails smelling the swampy air i said i see the duck i put my hand out to grab the bird and it moved so i did what my father told me grabbed it by the neck and took it back to my father, he said good boy you found it,yep i replied but it is still alive.
- Well he says give it to me and i will show you what to do next time this happens,he took the bird around his neck and with a swift flick of his wrist he snapped the ducks neck with my eyes wide open i said HOLY MOLY!
- My father said don,t worry he did not feel anything.we sat the rest of the day there my father shooting a few more ducks eating sandwiches and chocolate bars i will never forget my first time duck hunting
- thanks fore letting me share my memories and please forgive my writing skills and spelling mistakes hahaha
- TIM ELSEY