Saturday, October 6, 2012

An Awesome Saturday

It has been almost two months since my last post. I could make some kind of excuse up but I hate people that do that. I do have some good news. NOOOO….I have great news. Dullsville left the Grayquill property Saturday morning and it was better than great.
There I was sitting drinking my one cup of coffee. Yes, I am now down to one cup of coffee. I know it is very very very sad. I mourn it every morning. I was nearing the half way mark of my one cup and a movement caught my eye. It was a different kind of movement, not like the small birds that gather under my bird feeder to clean up the fallen seed. It was slinky, almost like the ground its self was moving. Raising my gaze it all came into focus. There to my hateful delight was a rat. A rat right there in broad day light. Well you know what that means don’t you? Yip, the hunt is on.   
Heading into my back room, I rummaged around and finally found my old pellet gun. Next, where did I put those pellets? I think they are in the garage. After a few minutes of moving pile A to where pile Z was, and then pile B to where pile A was, it took some doing but I finally came across them under pile T. Soon I was back to my kitchen table where I carefully laid out my battle wares.
In a ghost rat like fashion I smoothly crossed the room and slowly slide the slider open until an eight inch gap appeared. With elegance my sylphlike limbs floated me back to my chair. There I settled down to wait. It wasn’t long before my first shot opportunity raised its self.  Pling…I heard the sound of my pellet whip through the underbrush as the creepy critter skedaddled away to who knows where.  I reloaded but realized my cheap pellet gun with its archaic sights needed a tune up. Out came the felt pen and I soon had three targets made on bright purple paper. Placing them out in the yard about the same distance as my bird feeder; I began what Grayquill would describe as an excellent gun sighting experience.  My first shot did not even hit the target. After way to many shots I had the gun hitting the target but my grouping was less than desirable. Urgency to get back to the hunt helped me decide to stop the adjusting and get back to the whole point of this exercise – KILL A RAT!
Back at the kitchen table, the slider again open to about 8 inches, a perfect view of the ground under my bird feeder in my sight, my gun loaded, I waited. I was hopeful I might now actually hit something. Fifteen minutes went by, nothing.  Twenty minutes went by nothing.  Time for breakfast!
Soon two eggs with two slices of toast were made.  Dipping my toast into the yoke I ate silently, watching, waiting. After my third bite I looked up and there right in my line of sight were two rats that seemed to have just appeared. One was directly under the bird feeder and the other was back by the edge of the brush.  Where did they come from? Moving slowly and quietly as I could I laid my fork down and picked up my gun. The adrenalin was now beginning to pump. My breaths were beginning to come a bit faster helping my vision crisp up. Maybe I should have ordered those eye glasses the doctor thinks I need. Oh well, too late now. Looking down the barrel the rat seemed so much smaller and I kept losing him in the sights. After several checks I had him. Exhaling, I held my breath and slowly squeezed off. Pling….I heard the pellet whip through the underbrush and both rats disappeared – Dang!
Not to be a quitter I sat there most of the day taking a total of nine shots. At the end of the day I could only conclude I was a horrible shot or I had a horrible gun. I did not have a single dead rat to show for my efforts. Darkness was beginning to close in on me and shooting became an impossibility. Putting my gun back into its corner I felt frustrated and the old saying, ‘a machine is only as good as its operator’ haunted me.
Not wanting to accept I am a horrible operator. Straight away I was on my computer searching for a real pellet gun. I soon found out why I had this stupid gun with sights that moved every time you bumped it. The good guns seemed to start at around $250.00. Wow! That’s a lot of money just to shoot a couple of rats. After a brief education and not discouraged, I headed to Craig’s List to see if possibly a used gun was for sale. Sure as shooting I found a Gamo Whisper. Retail price $345.00. The pellet leaves the barrel of this baby at 1100 feet per second, and to top it off it had a scope. That would be perfect to help my stigmatism. My email was soon constructed and off it went to the seller. I waited. I have often wondered why one would put something on line to sell if they weren’t committed to getting back to a prospective buyer? The long and the short of my search three days later I successful acquired the almost new Gamo Whisper for a fraction of the retail price.  
Wednesday, as quitting time drew close. I found myself watching the clock. The feeling was reminiscent of a time that reached back to a 10 year old with his first BB gun. What havoc a young Grayquill could have done with a Gamo Whisper pellet gun instead of that wimpy lever action Daisy BB gun that you could see the BB leave the barrel. It was probably a good thing young Grayquill only had the Daisy because one day he decided he would shoot his brother in the butt. That night my dad took that gun away from me and I never saw it again. That still seems like an overreaction by my father. I will admit I did hit that left butt check dead center and that I am still a bit proud about.
Oh how I digress… The time finally came for work to be over for the day and I rushed to my car. Twenty minutes later with maybe two hours of daylight left the hunt was back on! I felt it, tonight would be awesome. If that furry critter came back into view….well I think you get the idea.
The slider was slid open about eight inches. My view under the bird feeder was unobstructed. My new Gamo was loaded and ready. My wife was working late and I had the house to myself. Distractions always get in the way for this type for work. My dinner sat in front of me and I settled in. I was getting worried as the sun set behind the Olympic Mountains and evening began its journey toward darkness. The beauty of a scope, it seems to make objects lighten up at dusk. It was maybe fate or just luck but with the ability to still see, an unlucky rat came out for an evening snack.  
Yip I was right – it was a great night.


Sylvia K said...

I love your new header! Beautiful colors for the season! And you did face the rat challenge as I would have expected! Hope you enjoy a lovely rat free weekend!!

Hilary said...

Oh dear. You're an amusing writer GQ, but we tend to think differently about our furry visitors. When I discovered that we had mice skulking around the back yard feeders, we put out extra seed for them. ;)

Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

When I've suggested putting up bird feeders, my hubby's objection is that it might attract unwanted rodents. It looks as if he might have a valid point.

Brig said... I'm looking for one of those sweet guns...
Glad your back...loved your hunting tale!

Grayquill said...

Sylvia: If you only knew the truth about my blog’s new look. I was playing around one day – just trying to get an idea and suddenly everything was messed up. It took me hours just to get something that wasn’t too painful to look at. What you see is a pure accident. But, thanks for liking it. I hope all is well with you!

Hilary: I have two things to say. First I hope you’ve had your rabbis shot. Second, does Frank own a pellet gun and if so, has he seen these furry critters? Frank is no girrly man and he would not be part of this feeding rats thing unless of course he was getting something much more out of it than the satisfaction of shooting a rat or two. Hmmmm….I wonder what the pay off could be?

Linda: Oh Linda, Linda, Linda….don’t buy into that weak argument. Surely my one experience doesn’t make that a fact. Even if it is a fact, think of the fun you and hubby could have whacking rats.

Brighid: Keep me posted if you find a bargin. Then maybe we can start a new blog together. Maybe we could call it Out West Shooting with Brighid and Grayquill. That has a pretty nice ring to it.

Anita Jeyan said...

wow thats a lovely hunting tale :D I am scared of rats so I mostly expect others to do that job for me. ;-)

Grayquill said...

Anita: Hey I'm terrified of rats. Taking a rat out of a rat trap is not a task for the weak of heart. You should see the garb I cover myself with before disposing of a dead rat. You never know it could just be pretending to be dead :-O

Pat said...

'bout time you got back to blogging!
I cannot tell you how much I hate rats, and mice, and snakes, and most all slithery things. I could try to tell you, but that would be a waste of time, and boring. I don't even like them in cartoons.
OK, enough of what I don't like. I do like this post, and that your back, and most of all, that you maned up and got rid of the rodents. Whatever you spent on the new gun was worth it!

Debra said...

I've been somewhat of a slow to blog myself as of excuse as well. Your whole post made me think of the movie "The Christmas Story" with the little guy hoping for a BB gun for Christmas, ha ha. Going to have to go watch it now!

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

Can he BB gun do racoons? They have taken over our feeders! We have decided not to feed birds till we find a solution. Our cat keeps the mice away bur coons are not her thing. She does not harm birds as they are out of her reach.
Still I doubt with my vision I could do what you achieved.
Love how yo put this together,

troutbirder said...

House sparrows are my errr enemy. My 12 gauge seemed overkill so the went to a small box trapped. No Daniel Boone here either...:)

Brig said...

Sounds like a winner to me...
Let's light'm up!