Negligence can have disastrous consequences, especially when hunting. Guns can get ruined; people or dogs can get left behind, stuck or lost. Decoys, bullets or even the game itself can be forgotten or misplaced.
Like one time when my yellow Labrador made an unpleasant and unexpected discovery in my husband’s closet. She came in the house one afternoon and made a bee line for his closet and started sniffing around. I couldn’t understand her sudden intense interest in his clothes and other miscellany in there. Normally obedient, she wouldn’t come out when I called her. Instead she became even more agitated and focused on her mission. Finally, she snuffled down into a canvas game bag that was crumpled in the corner under some dirty jeans and work boots.
When I went in there to investigate, I found a dead dove that had been inadvertently left behind the week before. I was shocked and upset but couldn’t keep a straight face when I confronted my husband with the smelly evidence of his negligence. We both burst out laughing at the disgusting find and my dog’s triumphant glee.
My friend Adrianne had a similar discovery the other day. Her brother and his buddies had borrowed her four-wheeler for a duck hunt. She and her husband were out of town attending a stock show for several days with the high school ag mechanics team. She was more than willing for the guys to use the vehicle and enjoyed hearing stories of their successful hunt.
Two weeks later, Adrianne and her husband got in the four-wheeler to go check on some cows in the back of their pasture. Immediately, they noticed a foul odor. Even though the vehicle wasn’t immaculate when they got in, it didn’t seem to be overly filthy, either. Ellie, their Rottweiler, refused to get in the vehicle with them. She took one whiff, turned her head and sat down. If it was too stinky for a dog, Adrianne thought to herself, that’s pretty bad.
She started rummaging through the back seat and in the floor. She looked under old jackets, tools and empty feed bags. When she bent down and peered under the back seat, she made a grim discovery. Apparently, the hunters had accidentally left one of their ducks behind. It had gotten pushed up under the seat and had been left to putrefy for 14 days. She got a long stick and dragged it out, trying not to gag. Upon closer inspection, she saw that the carcass was crawling with hundreds of maggots. Adrianne’s no sissy, but she shrieked and drew back in horror. She made her husband come and pick it up and dispose of it while Ellie looked on curiously.
When Adrianne called to fuss at her brother for his negligence, he laughed and shrugged it off. “Yeah, I knew we were missing a duck,” he said. “I thought maybe it had gotten left in the game bag.” She wondered how that would have been any better; the decomposition would have been just as bad. However, she wouldn’t have had to deal with it. She made her brother promise to be more careful next time, if he ever wanted to borrow any of her stuff ever again. ❖