Monday, August 17, 2009

Hunting birds with darts on a fishing rod… not a great idea.

My dad had shown me years ago how to use a lead weight to practice fishing casts, whipping the pole over your head and releasing at the right time. I though, was never much of a fisherman. For one, I don’t like to eat fish, long story. But once an idea gets into my head, my mind will chew on it till one day I’ll find a new way of using it.
We had a dart board in our basement, and I’ve sometimes been good at playing the game. Sometimes. It occurred to me one day, to combine the two, the darts and the fishing rod and reel. I unscrewed the metal end of the dart just a little from the plastic fins to tie the fishing line onto it. I went out into our back yard which was rather large. We had 3 quarters of an acre that backed up to a gas line right of way, so it added up to a long way to try the idea on.
Holding the pole in the direction I was going to cast, which was just open area, I pulled back then let fly with the dart. It went fast, straight into the ground about 10 feet from me. I should have realized the inherit problem and danger when I couldn’t just pull it out of its hole. I had to practically dig it the dart out. I did a few more casts and not only got more distance, but I could aim it pretty well. I was soon slinging the dart a good 200 feet. Then I saw a bird in a tree and the thousands of years of human instinct kicked in to try and hit it with the dart. My first cast missed, I hadn’t practiced aiming high. My second cast missed again, missing about 15 feet to the right, the line dropping over a branch. I reeled it in smoothly till it hit the branch, but a tug got it over that and soon I had it ready again. The next time I hit very close to the bird, sticking it into the branch it was sitting on. The bird, hearing the sound of the impact, flew off. As it flapped away I watched it and started reeling in the line. The line went taunt as the dart refused to come free from the branch. Without thinking, I pulled back on the pole really hard to pull it out. The next part seemed to happen in slow motion… As I looked back to where the dart had hit, I saw it coming straight back at me! I ducked just in time to see it zip right past where my head had just been! Dam I thought, that was close. Most people would quit the project at that point, but me, I’m stubborn. I thought I had found a new way of hunting, a new sport combining two older sports in a new way. I saw another bird in yet another tree. I thought that if it got stuck this time, I’d be more alert to its return. I made a powerful cast at the crow, hitting the main trunk instead. Disappointed, I held the pole out to the side and yanked hard on the pole. The dart didn’t budge. I had to try three more times, each time I let my guard down. When the dart came screaming back at me this time, I almost got it in the gut!
Ok… that’s when I gave up on my latest bad idea. Kids, don’t try this at home, or at all! Like I’ve said before, I think I used up all my good luck when I was a kid.

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