I always found that one of the most difficult tasks for a reporter was trying to come up with something original to say when assigned to do a story about an event that happens every year. You know, like the craziness of early morning shoppers on the day after Thanksgiving..now called “Black Friday.” Then there’s the “Parade of Lights” and “St Patrick’s Day” parade. Plus, we must not forget the yearly trek to the airport on the Friday before pheasant season starts to cover the arrival of out of state hunters. Perry Groten got that assignment again this year and always manages to round up a few guys with Southern accents to give entertaining answers to his questions. Perry tends to fly under the radar at Keloland but he’s just a wonderfully clever writer, a master of puns and a fine anchorman. Oh, and don’t ever get into a sports bar trivia contest with Perry because…well, you’ll lose.
I used to look forward to hunting pheasants in the fall but that was when I had cousins who lived on farms that were loaded with birds.
Getting permission to hunt wasn’t an issue and you didn’t have to pay for the privilege.
You could sometimes get your limit by road hunting and not have to worry about being shot yourself by an angry farmer if you crossed his fence to retrieve a kill.
Speaking of getting shot, my cousin Robert once came close to blasting me into oblivion on a hunting expedition.
Pheasants don’t like to fly if they don’t have to and will often just run on the ground of an unpicked cornfield ahead of the hunters walking behind.
They’ll only take flight when they reach the clearing at the end and that’s where I..as the self-appointed blocker..would be waiting to nail them with my dad’s 16 gauge Remington pump action shotgun.
Robert wasn’t too thrilled about doing all the hard work of walking the fields without ever getting a shot off so, in frustration, he forgot or disregarded all the hunter safety rules..lowered his 4-10 and opened fire at a rooster running just ahead of him.
A split second later I could feel bb’s whizzing around my head and making a “tick-tick-tick” sound as they sprayed into the dry corn stalks all around me.
When he emerged from the field and saw me standing there white with fear..he apologized and that’s when I believe I actually said, “ you idiot, you coulda shot my eye out!”
Aside from covering the annual arrival of hunters, you could always count on another Keloland tradition at the close of the Big News at 6 when weatherman, Dave Dedrick, would remind everyone heading to the fields to “Remember, only shoot the pretty ones guys.”