I had a bird claimed from me when I first started hunting and never forgot it. I started late, as a college senior, but I was still young enough to think of myself as a kid among adults when I went with my dad and his friends. An acquaintance of my dad's named Bill, a real grownup, but probably closer in age to me than to my dad, came with us one day. As we walked a creek bottom, the one rooster of the day flushed between us. Bill and I both shot, me from the left, Bill from the right. Having shot all of two pheasants thus far in my life, I was thrilled to see this one crash to Earth. The bird was still barely alive when I picked it up. Bill grabbed it from me and dispatched the pheasant by twisting its head all the way off. He said: "I got it, but you can have it." Then he handed me the headless pheasant. Gee, thanks, Bill.