American Consequences - December 2020


PJ: I’m told there are places where there’s open season on politicians, but it’s illegal to use cash as bait, so they still have a chance. Bird hunting with a good dog is the best sport there is. I loved your column. – Eric B. P.J. O’Rourke Response: Eric, I could have used a dog in that canoe! (We were able to paddle over and pick up the teal all right, but the dog could have swum to shore and retrieved a much-needed bottle of Chivas.) I don’t think baiting politicians is very sporting. Hunting them with packs of hounds would be more fun. As to bird hunting with a good dog, I think I’ve used up my allotted space for hunting stories so don’t get me started on my Brittany spaniel, Clio. She’s mostly a woodcock and grouse dog and just got her first pheasant hunting this year. I wasn’t sure how she’d do but she pointed sharp as a Buck knife and pinned them like a Backstreet Boys poster on a ‘90s teen girl’s bedroom wall.

small and fast and a notoriously difficult wing shot.) A buddy and I were in a canoe on a wild rice marsh, and rather than set up a blind, we had put our decoys on open water and paddled the canoe back into the reeds. It was a bluebird day – sunny and warm with nothing flying. In fact it was so warm that I took my coat off and unfastened the safety belt on my waders and rolled them down to my waist. We sat there in the reeds for hours with absolutely nothing happening. Then, all of a sudden, a pair of teal came straight in on our decoy layout. I’d been sitting there for so long that I had completely forgotten I was in a canoe. I stood up, shot both teal, and blew myself backwards right out of the boat. My waders filled with water and I would have drowned except the marsh was only about four feet deep. It took my buddy most of an hour to get me back into the canoe. And the weather didn’t seem so warm, sitting there soaking wet. But I got my double!



December 2020

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