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Steve Birdsall

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Time With Cody

Eight First's

As the days unfolded we did a lot of different activities, it seemed like I got to go fishing almost every day, not really, but close enough together to make it a great 10 days for me. There were so many first times for me during my stay there, it’s hard to imagine I’ve been missing out on so many things. Some things are simple; like one of our fishing trips we fished out of what’s called a John boat. I’ve never fished out of one, they have a flat bottom whereas the boats I’ve been in have more of a v shaped bottom. I caught my first largemouth bass while fishing with Cody, I think it was at the first lake we fished at. A few days later we got to fish in a different lake out of a pontoon boat. I caught my first northern pike there, I caught four, we released three and kept the biggest one. I got a few more largemouth bass at that lake. It was a lot of fun learning to fish with different techniques for several types of fish that I’m not used to.

As I expected some of this stuff is out of sequence. One Saturday we got to go shoot clay pigeons with a group of men from another church. The chance to go shoot clay pigeons was exactly why I brought my shotgun along.

We also got to shoot an AR15. I was worried that I would do as badly with the AR15 as I did with the shotgun, apparently 35 years of not shooting my shotgun has an impact on my ability to hit a clay pigeon. But with the AR15, to my happy surprise, out of the 10 guys there I was the only one that hit three for three on my shots at a target 85 yards away. The target was about the size of a small dinner plate.

There is a disappointment here in myself. I had a perfect opportunity to talk about the importance of early prostate cancer detection. My whole purpose of my trip was to talk with men and I missed it. I am not sure why, but I know I must improve.

We had a second chance to go shooting a few days later so I would get a feel for shooting the handguns that I have. That was also fun but I’m pretty sure I suck at shooting handguns. There is an indoor gun range at home in Federal Way and I plan to spend some time improving my skills with a handgun.

So, shooting the AR 15 and shooting my three different handguns were all first experiences. If you add the john boat, the pontoon boat, catching Pike and largemouth bass we are up to six new experiences all of that was in about my first six or seven days there. But wait, there’s more. Later I got to go help Cody with spreading out corn on the ground near his deer stands. In Wisconsin you’re allowed to bait for deer. I also got to sit in a tree stand with Cody one evening when he was hunting with his crossbow. Apparently, I’m a little bit afraid of heights; climbing up onto the tree stand was easy but then when I looked down I didn’t think climbing down was going to be so fun. I was a little nervous the entire time we were sitting up in the tree.

Sitting in the tree you could’ve heard a pin drop the first 10 minutes or so. Then; little by little different birds began to chirp, leaves would rustle and as time went by you could hear things walking through the woods, although nothing within sight. So now it’s time to get down off the tree stand and lo and behold it was super easy to just turn around and climb right back down the ladder, easier than going up.

So now were up to eight firsts, I think clearly a great 10 days. I can’t thank Cody enough for all the adventures we went on.  I think that’s about it for Cody and I doing our own adventures. It’s time to get back to the family side of the story.


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