Almost shot
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Photo by Alexander Nazarov.

Photo by Alexander Nazarov.

In the morning I went to the river, and together with a decoy we tricked three drakes.

There, on the big water, free suitors were still hanging out, which we took advantage of.
Woodcock evening thrust.

So much has been written and said on this topic that it is no longer possible to make out where your personal thoughts are, and what is acquired from the rich pantry of hunting literature.

I love this poetic hunt for beautiful sunsets, a special evening atmosphere, spring birdsong, for the intense expectation of the beginning of traction.

And when, as always unexpectedly, you hear the male’s incomparable call, you freeze, your heart beats, you look with your eyes where it is flying from, throw up your gun, a shot – and …

For the sake of this moment, I am ready to go to the favorite meadow in the rain and snow, to stand and absorb all this in order to have enough of these experiences for a whole year until next spring. When you get a good shot, you rejoice and at the same time grieve. It is a mixture of feelings of a goal and pity for a beautiful bird.

Three woodcocks came up this evening. I took the first cleanly. He fell not far, but I still did not walk, but ran to the place of the fall. Until it got dark, you need to find a downed bird. Try to make out on last year's grass and foliage of the same motley sandpick.

I propudyol following, and he tricked to the ground and for the bushes did not give the possibility of a second shot.

The third went from right to left. I raised my gun, overtook it with my trunks and pulled the trigger. Apparently, I took the trunks too far forward, the woodcock turned away from me after the shot, and I fired into the hijacking.

From the shot, he was slightly thrown over, he pulled over the forest and smoothly went down. Likewise … Bad … No need to shoot over the forest. It is difficult to find in the woods, in the twilight, a small motley bird.

It was useless to go looking for a fallen woodcock in an uncertain place. I rescheduled this event in the morning. Moreover, the next day was an Orthodox holiday – Easter.

On such a day, I do not hunt. Not because I'm such a strong believer. I have an ambiguous attitude towards religion. It was just a warning.

Me and my comrade from our hunting brigade were almost shot dead on a driven moose hunt. Trofimych, that is the name of my comrade, stood on the room and, so that the snow did not crunch under his feet, put a spruce under his feet.

Then the huntsman gave the command to all move to two numbers, and I stood in his place. Trofimich has a smooth-bore gun, and I have a carbine. Therefore, for me his place was not entirely suitable. I moved about ten meters to a cleaner place where I could control more space.

When the beast stepped on the shooting line, a hunter with a carbine loaded with an enveloped bullet hit the elk’s foot, and she ricocheted off and cut down a birch tree with a lapnik on it.

At the level of the abdomen and precisely through the spruce. If we stayed there …

It was one of the Twenty Great (main) Orthodox holidays. Since then, Trofimych and I have considered this day the second day of our birth, and I try not to hunt on big church holidays.

In the morning, having slept, having breakfast Easter with Easter cake, I went around all the grandmothers in the village, exchanged chicken colored eggs and, giving each a small Easter cake, went to look for a woodcock.

The ethics of the hunter obliges, if you shot at a beast or a bird, make every effort to get a wounded animal or find a dead game.

Having got to the place where I last shot, I visually restored yesterday's shot and determined the place where the wounded animal fell. It was a square meter fifty fifty eighty. So I, based on the experience of past hunts, determined the possible place of the fall. Methodically, meter by meter, bypassed the square I defined.

For about twenty minutes I ironed the forest, and, as always, when hope was already dying, I saw him.
There was a woodcock a meter from my feet, and after he realized that he had been discovered, he took off and, cheerfully tacking between the trees, disappeared from his eyes. Thank god, I thought. So, the wound is light, and he will live.

When I turned my eyes back to where he was sitting, I was stupefied. In the same place was my fool, slightly spreading his wings.

The fact that this was mutual assistance is immediately understandable. The second woodcock was sitting on top and warming it with his body. But not only. I was convinced of this a little later.

It was Easter, the celebration of the celebration of life, and I could not stop the torment of the bird. Although on ordinary days, while hunting for a woodcock, this has to be done often.

I picked it up. He did not flutter, but only turned his head. I brought it home, put it in a box and put it in a warm place by the stove. When I looked into the box in about forty minutes, he was already numb.

It means that not only his fellow tribesman supported him with warmth, but also somehow transferred life force to him.

A lot of thoughts come to mind after such cases. How little we know about nature. How easily we treat it from the height of our place on earth.

No, I won’t give up the hunt. This is my chosen way of communicating with nature, and I don’t yet see the other. Unless these thoughts would reach me, do not be this wounded. You cannot survive such deep feelings with a camera.

But I will sell off part of my weapons arsenal.

Vasily Ognev
                     July 8, 2019 at 13:59

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