One of the things at which I marvel is the ability of NFL quarterbacks to throw into double coverage. There is the receiver, 10 or 20 or more yards downfield, running just as fast as he can, which is very fast, being chased by two defensive backs who are as quick as he is and coming from different directions, and the quarterback has to calculate his rate of speed, and their rate of speed, and the distance to the whole mess, and the speed at which he throws, and he must do this while being chased by at least one large, homicidal individual who lusts for the sight of his entrails. Is it any wonder that Payton Manning, Tom Brady, and Andrew Luck get all that money?
This all occurred to me because I missed my one chance at a whitetail doe in West (by God) Virginia last week, hunting with Melvin Forbes of New Ultra Light Arms. Melvin and I were in a skirmish line, maybe 20 yards apart, and the doe was walking quickly through heavy brush, growing more and more uneasy. Our problem was to pick a hole in the brush to shoot through at the precise instant so that the bullet would get her in the lungs and not the guts. The problem with this is that, like the quarterback, you have to envision something that is about to happen, not something that is happening.
There’s a series of holes you can shoot through. There she is. How fast is she walking? Do you swing with her and squeeze as with a shotgun, or do you pick a hole, wait till she gets there, and pull the trigger?
I did neither. My inaction was due to the fact that if I miscalculated, the doe would pay for it with a bullet in the guts. Melvin, however, was quicker on the trigger and did not miss. He’s faster than I am, and has done a lot more shooting in the hills and hollers of West Virginia.
A shot through the brush is one of the most difficult you can take; much harder, I think, than shooting at long range where timing does not have to be split second. And if you have any doubts about whether you can pull it off, don’t try. You won’t sign the check. The poor critter will. Nothing is worth that.