Tod's Blog

Adventures with family & friends and other things I'm passionate about…

School Bus Shootings

Posted by todblog on November 4, 2011

November 3, 2011

No, it’s not what you think. It’s not another cheap shot from the anti-gun media trying to grab your attention by placing graphic images in your mind of innocent youth screaming in a big yellow bus with tears and horrified facial expressions. Nope not that at all. It’s just another Douglas County redneck hunting story.

This fall has been a super hunting season so far. Living outside of Roseburg city limits has its definite advantages. One real big one is the discharge of firearms. Can’t do that in town. For years Jacob would complain about living too far out-of-town and not having friends nearby that he could hook-up with and go bike riding or worse- skateboarding. That is plenty of reason enough to live in the country. However, as he got older, he began to appreciate our choice of living locale. Nobody complains about loud noises. Propane canons to haze birds away from vineyards and guns going off every now and then are normal events. So, an occasional loud boom is nothing to fret about. Launching potatoes from your potato gun would not be tolerated in town. Folks in the country get accustomed to those noises and think nothing of it. At times, the ground shakes and windows rattle, “Hmm, must be those kids again…”

These same kids need to get up earlier to catch a bus to school. Some of them are getting on the bus in the dark. Others at the crack of 8 o’clock.  Just so happens that’s about the same time the first flights of geese leave the river, clear the trees and set their wings for the breakfast fields in our neighborhood. It’s also about the same time deer are flirting with patches of fog and sunlight as they flick their tails and retreat for the safety of heavy cover.

I noticed this year that the goose hunting that I’ve had to “endure” by my home seems to be timed according to the Roseburg School District Bus Schedule. The geese have an uncanny way of showing up within minutes of the bus arriving in the neighborhood. On more than one occasion, air brakes have been heard as the bus stops to pick up some neighbor kids and the geese are on their final approach to the life-like decoy set. The 12 gauge shotguns point skyward, KA-RUMP, KA-RUMP, KA-RUMP, the smell of gunpowder wafts through the air as white smokey swirls rise from the end of the barrel and another goose is headed for the barbecue.

I experienced something similar last week when I filled my black-tailed deer doe tag during an early morning hunt on the banks of the South Umpqua River. I obtained permission from a farmer who was quite upset about the increase in deer numbers on his property. He noticed a significant reduction in alfalfa hay production due to foraging deer. I showed up early in the morning and found a pair of deer feeding in the alfalfa field. I leaned against an old oak tree and rested Jacob’s .260 Remington rifle on a pair of shooting sticks. I was attempting to steady my extremely dark-roasted espresso caffeinated body. I could see the coffee was having a negative effect on my ability to hold steady. I took several deep breaths, snuggled-in tighter with the oak tree and managed to reduce the shaking. Was it the caffeine, nerves or both? Whatever it was, the deep breathing was enough to calm me down where I felt confident enough to squeeze off a shot and saw the doe collapse in the alfalfa field she couldn’t stay away from.

I sat there for a moment to take it all in. The brilliant fall colors surrounding me. The cool moist air dancing across my face. The sound of the river beyond the trees and the distant sound of a diesel school bus making its early morning rounds picking up the next generation of hunters.

Geese landing just before the school bus arrives

Gloria retrieving a goose as the bus goes by...

Roseburg District School Bus- Right On Time


3 Responses to “School Bus Shootings”

  1. Leo Millan said

    I thought you were going to show us some dead geese next to the bus…


  2. Maile said

    Like your story Tod! Also a great reminder why I could never live out in the country! Hunter by the school bus – wow! Can’t believe we share the same DNA. 🙂


  3. todblog said

    Your DNA told you to marry someone with the same innate drive to help ducks/geese lose the battle with mean ole Mr. Gravity…


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