Cabal Saves the Day:

While emwolfilie​ and I were cruising around the desert looking for dead stuff, I took a turn down another unmarked dirt road that lead to nowhere. While trying to turn us around, so we didn’t have to back all the way up the half-mile trail, my trusty truck got high-centered, and we quickly realized that we weren’t going anywhere until we dug ourselves out.

Jude, growing bored in the truck bed, let himself (and Cabal) out and promptly flopped down in the dirt on the shady side of the truck to take a nap like a typical lazy Jude-bum.

Cabal, however, wanted to come over and see what we were up to. I remembered then, “Oh yeah! I taught this pup how to dig on command!” so I pointed at the mound of earth pinned against my truck frame, said, “Dig dig dig!” and Cabal enthusiastically started digging away, throwing dust and rocks behind him in his effort.

Emwolf and I stood back and watched, encouraging the pup as he worked, until I could see that the dirt mound was no longer hard-pressed against the truck frame. I loaded the pups back into the truck, stuck us in reverse, and hit the gas. We rolled effortlessly back to safe ground and continued on our adventure. Cabal saved us hours of arduous digging in the afternoon heat, and got himself an excellent workout in the process. He was absolutely ready for a full night’s sleep, and didn’t even budge when the coyotes started howling. 

Dove Meat

The City of Bones is a desert wonderland of wildlife, and plays home to a strange assortment of critters. Among them, nonnative collared doves - an invasive Eurasian species, for which Oregon instates a year-round hunting season, with no bag limit.

Aside from the fact that collared doves are a nonnative invasive species, I was also pretty curious as to how their meat tastes. Being so prevalent, and available year-round, I figured these animals could be a good source of food if I ever found myself in dire straights again.

So emwolfilie and I went hunting.

It took us less than thirty minutes to spot a pair of doves on an old dirt service road as we searched for bones. I put my truck in park and made to reach for my .22, but Emwolf was one step ahead of me and practically shoved the rifle into my hands.

I loaded a round and deftly stepped out of the truck, trying not to startle our quarry away. I switched off the safety with a flick of my finger and took aim at the male. He was evidently quite confident in his camouflage, because he didn’t make a move, even when I raised my rifle to line up my sights.

With a pang and a flurry of feathers, the female took off, leaving the male behind. He fluttered uselessly on the ground as I rushed up to him, about ten yards away.

I scooped the dove up and made sure he was dead by easily dislocating his spine with a pinch of my fingers, but realized a second later that he was already dead - and had been from the moment I’d pulled the trigger.

My bullet had gone right through his head. A better shot couldn’t possibly have been placed. He was out like a light and going through his death throes within seconds. His flapping was merely nerves, and they ceased within moments.

I was impressed by the dove’s heft; About as large as a pigeon, though with a longer tail and neck, his breast meat was a deep ruby red color and had a rich flavor to it that is hard to describe. I cooked it, along with some store-bought chicken, in a pot of tomato basil soup over a campfire. Emwolf and I shared bites and both agreed that the dove meat was superior in flavor to the domestic fowl by far.

Collared dove is officially on the menu.