Looking back at my last entry, the latest news was that I would not need surgery on my left shoulder, just a cortisone shot. I got the latter which worked for a grand total of three days. I will now need the former in order to eliminate an impingement that leaves my left arm with limited motion, weakness and a bicep that feels like it is slowly tearing apart. As was the case last year, the orthopedic surgeon and I have agreed to wait until after the hunting season next January. The current season began on the first of September and I plan no major interruptions, medical or otherwise.
It was threatening enough that in mid-August, a baseball sized lypoma attached to the muscles around my spine had to be removed, but that was a piece of cake. That of course is a euphemism for how easy it all went. It was actually a growing glob of fatty tissue unfit for candles or a plate, and except for the incision which needed a week to heal, I could have played golf two days after it was removed.
In other personal medical news you are not likely interested in, and given my advanced and ever-advancing age, the delay in my last surgery for a cardiac clearance, and the pesky risk factors of heredity, weight, diet and drink – my primary care physician decided to give me a referral so that I would have a cardiologist of record. I don’t blame her for not wanting to be responsible for me – I’m not much good at it myself.
So, I met a few days ago with the cardiologist and after reviewing all of the tests and other materials he pretty much indicated he likes my heart better than his own. That is a good thing, but kind of ominous considering he is in charge or the hospital’s transplant program. He tinkered slightly with a blood pressure medication and sent me on my way for a year without the standard reminder to get more regular exercise, and consume less food and alcohol. I like this guy, but not enough to exchange tickers.
With all of that out of the way, I am now free to talk about something that is very important to me – my hunting season. Depending on the state, the seasons for the various game (pheasant, quail, dove and duck) I pursue begin in September (doves) or October (ducks quail and pheasant – except in California where the latter begins in November) and end in December or January.
As a result, I have less time outdoors with my shotguns in a year than the time spent with my flyrods or golf clubs. The months in which my shotguns are confined to their safe represent a very anxious and difficult period of gestation for me.
Long days give way to long weeks and longer months. My attitude becomes prickly, I am impatient, I have broad mood swings and strange cravings. I binge on food and drink that would gag most other Homo sapiens (for reference see earler posts referring to coot tacos and Hotel Nelson Specials). Finally, late in my third trimester there is a stirring. The opening to my gun safe begins to widen in labor with each passing hour until finally, on the first day of September of every year a cute little shotgun (love my 28 gauge) emerges to the dawn of yet another dove season.
Four trips have produced a decent number of doves that when married with some mushrooms, sweet onion and marsala wine in a pan translate into a state of savorable succulence that is unimaginable to the ignorance of those who might ask why anyone would ever want to hunt and eat doves.
Soon, we will be just out of sniffing distance from the Salton Sea, putting water on the four ponds at our Whistling Wings Duck Club in preparation for the opener on October 18th. A few days after that I’ll load my truck with guns and dogs and gear and for the third year in a row embark for Montana and North Dakota with their pheasants, sharptail grouse and Hungarian partridge in my sights.
The hunting season has arrived, and it is high among the best of my times.