Sometimes there are those difficult days… like the evening of the second day of dove season, when it got so hot it melted the butter off a passing butterfly.
Sometimes there are those difficult days… like the evening of the second day of dove season, when it got so hot it melted the butter off a passing butterfly. I found a good place along the edge of a sunflower field, in the shade provided by a grove of short thorny, locust trees. It was the very first hunt for my young chocolate Labrador, Bolt, and I shortly wished I had left him home. Heat is very hard on Labradors, and I felt so sorry for him I gave him all my water. He did good at drinking out of a canteen, which shows how intelligent he is. It was all the water I had, which shows how intelligent I am!
In no time, I was soaked with sweat, and Bolt sounded like a steam engine, panting hard in his spot beneath the locust bushes, wondering what we were doing out there. He did a great job, finding all the doves I dropped. There was one I never would have found without him because it fell in some heavy weeds. That nose of his found it, where my eyes never could have seen it. But to tell the truth, he never retrieved a bird. He just didn’t want to pick up the doves, because those short dry feathers were sticking inside his mouth so bad.
Doves are not good game birds for Labrador retrievers, but it is good to take a young dog hunting most of the time, regardless of what bird you are hunting. Midway through the afternoon, we went to investigate a small draw where there was once a pond, and hallelujah, there was a foot of water in it. Bolt waded out into it and cooled himself off, drinking his fill. I watched him, wishing I had saved the canteen for myself.
I was badly dehydrated when we returned to my pick-up about 7:00 with a good bagful of doves that Bolt had found, but not retrieved. The temperature was 94 degrees. Why is it that every year, dove season comes upon us with temperatures and humidity toward the top of the scale? If somebody doesn’t do something about the heat, I may not hunt them any more on opening day.
My next Lightnin’ Ridge outdoor magazine will come out in November and I wanted to remind readers of this column that if you like to write, we often receive great stories written by people who never considered themselves to be writers, and maybe only have one story to tell. If you want to write an article about any aspect of the outdoors, send it to me. We are having a little contest to pick the best outdoor story submitted by a reader and will pay $75. to use it in our magazine. If we get two or three really good ones we will use them all. Stories can be truth or fiction, humor, nostalgia; about hunting, fishing, trapping, etc. We need them to be between 1,000 and 2,000 words, and typed. But if something is really good, it can be any length.
Page 2 of 2 - We will send prospective writers, or readers who have never seen the magazine a sample of the Lightnin’ Ridge Outdoor Journal free. Just send me four stamps to mail it, and your address. You can mail any of your stories to me, or e-mail them. The address is Box 22, Bolivar, Mo. 65613 or firstname.lastname@example.org. My website is www.larrydablemontoutdoors.blogspot.com