Saturday, June 7, 2014

After coffee.

Some days life is out to get you. Some days it isn't. Today was going to be a day of steady work on book type things. I have to wrestle with Createspace for paper copies of Stardogs to be available. And last time I fought Createspace it won. I did appeal to the referee and fight judges but they said it was an unassailable unanimous point decision, and a knockout, and it had chopped off all my limbs. I did try yelling "come back, I'll bite you to death" but to no avail. I think it is deaf. But as the blue slug is at the workshop, and it has my strong spotlight in it, and I needed some more wallaby I'd gone out at dusk on Friday, and got one, and need two... Now Friday plainly WAS my day. I was hunting my favorite fence-line (between two fields. It has broken sections of windbreak along it, meaning I can get quite close. I'm a mean man, and hate wasting bullets, or missing. The chance of my causing injury rather than an immediate dead wallaby are very slim, as I only do head shots. If I miss, its as good as a mile most of the time.) There were very few out, but I had shot one. Now I could walk a long back and cross into the other field via the gate, or hop the fence. The problem with walking back is finding the wallaby. It's an electric fence. I found the perfect crossing place - a log on one side and a stump on the other, just about in front of me, with a pole to steady me. I stepped over. Great. Tippie-toes I've got about three inches between my crotch and the fence. So I transfer my weight onto the foot I have over, on the stump...

Which was in terminal decay. It didn't so much crumble as just... descend. So did I. You know what they say about sitting on the fence? Not a good thing to find yourself doing. Now, why I say it was my lucky day, as I didn't just win the world high-jump prize. I did get over pretty smartly, but not with electrical assistance, just fear of the same. So the wallaby and I came home, walking back to the gate. I thought, well, I really had had to work hard and had a little... fright, so I'd get a second in the morning. Mistake number one. Never put off to morning what you can put off to the next evening.

I don't struggle to wake up early. It's the getting up when it is plainly cold and wet out there. It wasn't raining but had been. Now dawn and dusk shooting have this small problem. Like there isn't a lot of either time in which you can see well enough to shoot and not be seen. I was a little late, dragging my sorry posterior out of bed, so no coffee, just go. I blame the no coffee. Trundling back to the same fence-line I went, in the faint grey of pre-dawn. And I didn't have to walk too far, and there was a nice big suspicious buck-wallaby (as it gets lighter they get wary) and so I lay down on my belly in the long wet grass and went through the important process of keeping your rifle dry and getting yourself good and wet. Only I just couldn't quite get a clear shot, so I edged forward putting the rifle barrel between the wires. They weren't live. I knew that from last night. And when you are looking down the scope... you aren't looking at the angle of the barrel. I was good and wet, holding a metal rifle...

Anyway, the poor wallaby got such a fright he probably drowned in the sea ten miles away, still running. I think I terrorized the sheep in about a square mile with my yowl and delicate ladylike comments about the fence not being live. And I was awake, coffee or not. Not that I'd find a wallaby for about a mile, after that, so I went back to the ute to drive on to another good spot. As I was driving I saw a suitable wallaby in the paddock near Norm's gate. So I drove on to gate, which is on a low rise, the wallaby now below the rise. Climb over and I'll get very close, and be shooting at 90 degrees to the house - about half a km away (a bullet can go a long way. You never shoot even vaguely towards a house, and shooting down is good. Earth stops bullets well.). Now the only time I'm going to be within skyline sight or easy hearing of the wallaby is getting over the fence and into the paddock. Must be done quickly and stealthily... There's a sort of ornamental wooden thingy, NOT electrical. Safe... hah. I caught my foot in the rail and took a real purler, trying to protect the rifle, instead of catching myself. One of those rattling falls that leaves you shaken and thinking about a little lie down somewhere. This was a good thing because I was lying down. The wet grass was not my first choice... and needless to say - so much for stealth, the wallaby had not laughed its self into immobility, although it was probably chortling as it went off to bed, as the the sky was now decidedly pink. Must have been embarrassed at the grate dirty-brown-and-grass-color hunter. I went home before I hurt myself. I did cut two loads of firewood, and not do any damage (except to the stupid bit of plastic on the chainsaw) but that was after coffee. There's a lesson in this: AFTER COFFEE. I didn't get far with the Creatspace stuff though :-(


  1. Hey, welcome back!

    Lisa S. in Seattle

    1. I've decide to keep it to every few days when I have something worth saying and no terminal exhaustion :-)

  2. It's one of those fences that only send pulses every few seconds, isn't it?

    There's usually a control box around somewhere with a red diode that goes on when sending the pulse. Which leads to "hilarious" farmboy pranks.

    May the rest of the day go far, far better than the morning!

    1. Yes, that kind, but the pulses are close enough to make getting away with (I obviously did the first time) pretty unlikely. The rest of the day went fine. I even got that second wallaby.