The Essence of Life

The Essence of Life

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A Bad Day of Hunting...

...is better than a good day at work!

Once upon a time, during our first trip to Uruguay when everything was new and we were learning how it all worked, we met the Artigas brothers, Luiz Fernando and Marcelo. If there was one carachteristic that stood them apart was their sense of humor.

As usual after an excellent morning hunt we came back to the lodge for a rather large lunch, which as in most properly civilized cultures or countries was accompanied by good local wine, and for whatever reason we left for the afternoon hunt rather late, probably around 3:30 PM.

We drove in two pretty bit up cars all around town, including the mandatory daily stop at the gas station for a couple gallons of fuel, and then took a dirt road to our intended location where we were supposed to be able to shoot ducks, doves and hunt perdiz. It was the same  place that we had hunted the first afternoon and where all my American friends had gone duck shooting while I had a wonderful time with Popó, the accomplished Epagneul-Breton, which delivered thirteen perdiz to hand in not much more than half an hour.

But from that great afternoon something had changed! The caretakers for whatever reason did not allow us to enter the property and told Rafael, the head guide, that we were no longer welcome to hunt there.

After much one sided argument we got back into the less than comfortable cars and I followed Rafael lead frantic speeding on the back roads that crisscrossed the Uruguayan pampas. It looked that we were in a real hurry to get somewhere as we all expected to soon get to another field where at least some of us would hunt perdiz while those less fortunate would shoot at the never ending hordes of doves.

And then, suddenly and to our surprise and disappointment we found ourselves back at the lodge, even if we got the longest and most tortuous way to get there. Nobody understood what was going on, and sensing that by that hour the afternoon was all but lost, I found quick remedy for our (or at least my) sorrows in a generous serving of good old single malt Scotch.

In order to preserve the occasion for posterity, Luiz Fernando, Marcelo and I posed for the photo above, and the careful reader will notice that we are proudly and happily holding all he birds we did not shoot that unforgettable afternoon.

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