My Mama, when it comes to shooting is quite deadly and is naturally good at shooting a firearm. She can go months without shooting and then pick one up, and put us all to shame. This circulates in my brain whenever I piss her off. But one very cold fall day, way back into the mountains of the Bitterroots we were driving through fresh snow when we came to a stop to find 3 grouse in the road. Yes, grouse being one of the easiest animals to hunt, they stood there and watched us. My Mom hopped out of the passenger seat and rested the barrel of the 10- 22 in between the door and the cab of the truck. The grouse of course stayed right where they were in the middle of the road 50 feet away and my Mom took a deep breath, aimed and then fired.
Without taking her head off the stalk she kept shooting because the grouse were like those games at the fair, no matter what you did you can never knock over the pins. The radio would turn to static and then come back but being this far back into the mountains none of us really noticed. My Dad, knowing quite well how accurate she is was puzzled. Finally my he looked more closely out the front windshield and noticed the antenna whipping around every time my mom shot. The vertical line of the cross hires were lining up with the antenna and she had no idea that the bullets were hitting the antenna and being flung out of trajectory.
My Dad yelled “STOP STOP!” and my Mom yelled back “No, I got em!”. “Jesus Christ Suz, you’re hitting the antenna!” he replied. She looked up from the stalk of the gun and readjusted and kept on plinking. With luck the birds were blankly still standing there and within 3 shots 3 birds were down.
We giggled as we walked through the snow to fetch the birds. As my dad bent down to grab one he said “I think they died of laughter”.
- Pictures of my mom with her grouse were taken but here is a picture of mine from that same day. Fall 2008