As you may recall, Part 3 left you cringing in disgust and debating whether or not to ever return to my blog. I know. I get it. It’s been hard for me to come back too. I feel gross. BUT! If ever there was a time to rebuild, the time is now! Let’s finish this Poopocalypse story and never look back.
So there we were, packing up after an eventful, yet fruitless, morning hunt. As we are walking back to the truck, you better bet your bottom dollar we saw TWO CRANES flying off. Oh, yes. Would you expect anything less, with how my morning was already going? But don’t worry, they were in the field next to the one we were hunting… and I’m sure they weren’t thinking about coming over to hang out with us. (At least, that’s what I’m telling myself to make me feel better.)
We went and checked in with the drug dealers and told them our sob story. (NO! NOT THAT SOB STORY. I did NOT tell them about the Poopocalypse!! I only told them that we hadn’t found any cranes!) So we are told to check their other property down by the river. We are sent on our way with vague directions and a promise of “pheasants, deer, and cranes.”
Down the road we go. We get distracted by two cranes in a corn field and start chuckling at our epidemic of bad luck. We drive miles and miles down the road without ever so much as looking for the turn to the other property. Eventually, Jared asks how far we were supposed to drive, and we check the map app on his phone. Done did passed it five miles ago.
We finally find the place but are unable to determine which gate to use and exactly where to go. I’m not sure why this was so difficult. I mean, it’s a rectangle piece of property, with only one entrance off the road, but apparently that was too much for us to handle in our fragile, post-poopocalypse state. A quick phone call to the drug dealer’s other son, Baron* and we got it sorted out.
*Names have been changed to protect the innocent.
One thing I would like to point out is that by now, I was basically an expert in the happenings of The Fowl Life. As we were walking, I told Jared that I thought I should be in a magazine. (He asks why.) “Because I’m totally living The Fowl Life! I mean, look at me! I even have my muck boots on!” I was really feeling the part! Profuse school girl giggling. (I had learned the day before that one’s feet get exceptionally cold when sitting on one’s bottom for hours on end and hoping a specific bird flies by your particular patch of sky, and was more prepared today.) (Also, I think Wyoming crane hunting is about like ice fishing, except with worse odds. At least in the middle of winter, the fish are hungry, and they probably want whatever you’ve got. Cranes? Not so much. I had nothing to offer them that they didn’t already have- except a few YouTube videos of crane sounds, which they apparently don’t like. AT ALL.)
We had to cross a small drainage off the old river channel, and there was no dry way around it. Of course, I took this opportunity to march right across it, because as any good waterfowl folk would know, you should be wearing muck boots for any and all adventures near the water. Meanwhile, Jared had worn his hiking boots, and was tippy-toeing his way across, reminding me of a boy scout sneaking past a sleeping bear. Then, we saw one!
No, not a bear. A rooster pheasant! You weren’t expecting a crane, were you?
We wandered down to the river, and saw nothing else. No additional pheasants. No deer. And definitely no cranes. We did hear some yodeling from afar and saw bucket loads of crane prints along the river banks, but nothing else. Not even a glimpse.
It started snowing shortly after we got down to the river. With nothing promising to keep us there, we left that there river bottom in our rear-view mirror and never looked back.
Jared had an idea of somewhere new to look. After about an hour of driving, we arrived at a corn field that makes other corn fields jealous. (That’s how big it was!) The corn stalks were at least seven feet tall. Probably more. (I just asked Jared if they were ten feet tall, and was immediately shut down. Apparently things look taller when you’re fun sized, like me.)
So we went trampling up and down the corn rows, left and right, up and down, a little zig-zag here and there for good measure. Every time we turned a corner, I was expecting to find a dead body. It just seemed like a good place to hide one, if ever someone was needing such a place.
We didn’t find any dead bodies, nor cranes, but there were a lot of raccoon tracks and a fair number of ducks and antelope. I made a mental note to buy a duck tag. I think Jared wanted to wander this corn field until the cows came home, but I didn’t even see a single crane track, and it is now after lunch on CLOSING DAY! If we don’t get a crane today, I’m going to have to wait until next fall to try again! Oh, the agony!!
The wind is relentless, and the sky won’t stop snowing. So we head down the road to look at the other end of “The Unit,” as Jared calls it. Then, if you recall, we saw allll these cranes directly on the wrong side of the road.
We decide to head back to Riverton for food and to re-group. On the way into town, we saw a field with no less than 200 cranes. We checked the map app and were unable to pinpoint the landowner’s house in the surrounding area to ask for permission to hunt.
At this point, I will admit, I was fed up with the cranes. Every time we found them, they seemed to know exactly where the private land started and the public ended. I was not expecting an easy hunt, but it would have been nice to have at least one shot at one!!
Anyway, Jared took me out to a late lunch to cheer me up. I didn’t get a crane this year, but we did have quite the adventure. Anyone that hunts knows that it’s not really about the animal anyways; it’s about the time outdoors, weathering the storms, and about the time spent with loved ones, laughing and creating memories we will never forget.
As we were leaving the restaurant, I looked at Jared and told him he had food in his teeth. He replied, “At least I don’t have poop on my pants.”