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Old Jack
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Shot.
Aug 3rd, 2013 at 8:12am
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Gidday

I just mentioned this in passing on another thread a while ago and I was asked to tell about it so here goes.


The winter of ’70 had been cold.  We were in the second week of whore frosts and that is real cold for a rough country boy from the King Country.

Because of the cold I had plenty of clothes on and yep, a country boy uses woollen clothes.

I was on the Bunny Board in Tarras and my patch was the Bendigo Station, and the boss, foreman, phoned and said all of us on the Tarras Bunny Board would be working together because we had a new young joker joining our team and that way we would all get to know him.

Well when I saw him I reckoned he looked like a streak of weasels piss.  He was built like a leather bootlace and seemed to be as smart as one too.  He had been rejected from the Police Training Cadet School in the first term, and I have ever since that wondered what was wrong with the Police recruitment system to have let him get that far.

You know how when you meet some people you instantly like them and some people you instantly dislike them but this joker was different again.  He was the sort of under powering personality that I actually instantly forgot him.

Well after the first day out with our entire team, I had serious reservation about this new joker, mainly because he just didn’t seem to realise that guns are dangerous.

The second day and it was a bloody lot colder so I put on yet another layer of woollen clothes.

Just after daybreak our whole team were working in a line from a road out through a paddock that had scattered scrub, matagouri and rock outcrops, with guns and dogs.  I was on the road and bootlace was just inside the road fence. 

Because we came to an area where there was quite a lot of low broom on the road verge I decided to step up off the road, which was merely a rise of about eight to twelve inches above the road itself. 

Just then I saw that the dogs had over run a bunny and it was running back towards us on the road verge.  I heard a click of a safety catch being de-activated, yep he was that close, but then shit those things make a hellava load noise when in the hands of someone you don’t trust with a gun, I saw a flash and heard a gun discharge towards me, and heard the swish sound of the shot coming towards me through the broom, and what felt like a bloody great bull hitting me square in the chest, then my lights went out.

I don’t know how much later but slowly the black turned to red and I could hear shouting.  Me boss, the foreman’s voice was calling my name.  Slowly the red cleared and I could see him right over me, I was on my back, on the road.  Yep from up on the verge I woke up in the middle of the metal road.

I was too shocked to feel anything.  After a few minutes I was helped to me feet and stood very shakily for a while till they brought one of the vehicles and took me home cos I reckoned that I was O.K. and I am sure the boss didn’t want the explaining that would be needed at a doctors.

At home I got into a nice hot bath and started counting the pellet hits, 28 across my chest, just little very black bruises, two in my upper arm had gone into me flesh cos there was not as many layers of wool.  One pellet had run up between the two barrels of me over and under gun and had dug bloody deeply into the base of my thumb but the worst were two that were about half an inch deep into the flesh of me thigh.  Those two took several days before I could dig them out.

Sorta made me think what would I have been like had I not stepped up those few inches off the road, cos if I hadn’t I would have taken those 28 pellets right in me face, eyes? Mouth? Shit I often shudder to think about that.

Well, when you are thrown off a horse the best thing is to just get back on the bugger again and as soon as possible.  So the next day I rang the boss and said the one day off was enough and I would be back at work in the morning.

A new day a new patch to hunt in but still working the same, in a line with the dogs and guns but now it was more up in the hills.  Still patchy scrub, matagouri and rocks for the bunnies to be hiding in though.  But just like getting on a horse after being thrown, it sure wasn’t very nice knowing young bootlace was banging away amongst the scrub though.

A few days later we were working on some Terrace country by the Clutha River and the dogs headed right down the side of the terrace to some scrub at the edge of the river so four of us headed down towards them.  The four of us were spaced out a few yards apart in a line sorta diagonally down the slope about half way down.  I was on the left and bootlace a couple of paces to my right but also a few feet down, then the boss then another joker all in line.

After a while the dogs hunted out a bunny and they chased it along the river below us then is headed up the side of the terrace diagonally to my left.

Once again I heard that sound of the safety catch and I thought bugger the bunny, so I turned towards bootlace and saw his gun barrels swinging around towards my face so that I looked right down the bore.  I bloody froze and waited to meet me Maker.

Bootlace must have decided it was not prudent to fire just then but shit it took me a while before I could even think, let alone talk.

After that I told the boss that if I wasn’t allowed to go back to me own patch on me own where I could feel safe then I was looking for a new job.  No way would I ever go hunting with that bugger again.  So the next day I was up in the rocky hills of the Bendigo Station on me own.  What a bloody relief.

The next time I saw the boss he mention that bootlace no longer worked for the Bunny Board.

Ahh.
  
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boowacker
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Re: Shot.
Reply #1 - Aug 3rd, 2013 at 9:58am
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Wow. Shocked That's a lot of luck there. Im surprised you didn't smack him between the eyes next time you saw him!
  

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Re: Shot.
Reply #2 - Aug 3rd, 2013 at 10:52am
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great yarn mate
  
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Re: Shot.
Reply #3 - Aug 3rd, 2013 at 11:12am
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bad luck ol fella? and i was taught! dont go shootin with people you dont know! so perhaps not his problem and training for the job? you and others were the fools to be around an untrained shooter and just going with the flow!
glad you are still here and i hope wiser? Wink
  
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Re: Shot.
Reply #4 - Aug 3rd, 2013 at 11:21am
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not getting at ya in a bad way, Grin just ya cant trust anyone to be thinkin like yourself at any givin time!!
  
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Re: Shot.
Reply #5 - Aug 3rd, 2013 at 8:17pm
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wow, that's one heck of a story, cheers. Workers these days just have to think they are hurt and they get a week or two off.
thanks for the great read.
  
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Re: Shot.
Reply #6 - Aug 3rd, 2013 at 9:23pm
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wow! lucky escape there.

Thanks OJ
  
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Re: Shot.
Reply #7 - Aug 3rd, 2013 at 9:33pm
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Well written Jack . Some powerfull emotive stuff in there..

Im gobsmaked by your patience. I would have taken that gun of him the second time round and booted that prick to the bottom of the hill....  Shocked Grin
  

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Re: Shot.
Reply #8 - Aug 4th, 2013 at 12:20am
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Thank god he never made "The Force"
  
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Re: Shot.
Reply #9 - Aug 4th, 2013 at 9:43am
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Gidday

As for smacking him between the eyes, well, when you are hit at that range by a 12 guage with the heavey bunny board load, your thought patterns don't seem to work like usual.

And believe it or not it does make a man a bit gub shy too.

  
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Re: Shot.
Reply #10 - Apr 30th, 2014 at 9:32am
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had the exact same thing  happen to me as a birdshooter on one of centrals many cherry orchards but it was nowhere near as bad as your experience.  some joker shot at a bird on his side of the fence at a bit lower than head height obviously not following the rules about shooting lanes. i was sitting on my side of the fence in pissing rain wearing a big pvc slicker a swanny , hoody and tee shirt with my back to the fence, felt a bit of a whack like some one had shoved me  and heard a simultaneous ripping sound as the pellets went all over the show and my right arm and neck started to sting, i was lucky as there were only 6 holes in the slicker with only one getting through to the tee shirt giving me a good scratch on my neck near my collarbone. i must have been  at the outer limits of his range too. but im pretty sure he got the boot as well 
  
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Re: Shot.
Reply #11 - May 1st, 2014 at 3:15am
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Thanks jack, amazing the incidents that occur in various Kiwi work places, The pre safe ship management era of the inshore fishing industry has a few stories to tell.  Grin
  
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Re: Shot.
Reply #12 - May 2nd, 2014 at 12:59am
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How about one then Ice?
  

There are Hunters and fishermen and the rest of you SAD Bastards!!
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Re: Shot.
Reply #13 - May 2nd, 2014 at 3:22am
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gonebush wrote on May 2nd, 2014 at 12:59am:
How about one then Ice?


As a young green horn starting out on a fishing trawler  my education and growing balls started pretty damn quick.
I quickly learnt to ask permission to come aboard as I started to climb down from the N.P. breakwater wharf onto the  deck  of a rusty looking impersonation of a fishing  boat.
I don’t think my feet  moved  but  somehow I ended  back up on the wharf, jumping with fright probably.
The second fright arrived that night as the skipper chased me up the main mast with a boat hook forcing me  to change a blown bulb on our navigation lights, the empty trawler had a mind of its own as the mast I had in my death grip was swaying  in what to me seemed like 90 degrees  either side of perpendicular.
I actually thought I was too scared to vomit, but no, once again I was wrong, much to the consternation of those standing below , teach them for looking up at my fearful attempts.
Once the hold had a few fish packed away the boat took on a new mode of movement and i didn’t fall over anywhere near as much.
The one guy i was a bit nervous of was a powerfully built  chap nicknamed Black Arse, I could never  develop enough courage to call him anything  but Ivan. Well  that was until I went to grab my expensive,  brand new sea boots (gumboots that  pull up to the top of your thighs) to find the sole had been cut out of one.
Nobody said a word, but stupid smirks etc pointed to Black Arse,  I noticed  that his sharpening steel had a large piece of black rubber with a tread pattern similar to my new boots acting as a shield to prevent cutting yourself when sharpening  knives.
Ivan started asking if anyone had seen his two pairs of Levi jeans that had been trailing in the water astern (thats how we washed our fishy clothes), suddenly everyone was looking at me, Ivan had a face that would put any pit bull to shame as he quickly closed the distance,  I blurted out that I had seen some dolphins leaping about at the stern and maybe they had broken the line that was fed through the trouser legs, luckily that seemed to work, well it did until Ivan had sunk a few ales back at the breakwater,  the 3rd time my nose was broken.





  
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Re: Shot.
Reply #14 - May 9th, 2014 at 4:19am
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cheers for that Ice  Grin Grin Grin look forward to the next Cool
  

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