When I was 14 hunting pheasants in Kansas, one fall the season opened at noon on Saturday, so my older brother, his father-in-law, and his 15 year-old son, and me were going out. As we stood in front of the house kind of up on a hill, with all the women and us talking after an early lunch, we saw a beautiful big cock pheasant come walking across the green wheat toward the road about a hundred yards from the house. He walked into the ditch full of weeds and never came out. So! What a sweet set-up! As soon as it hit noon, with the adults and kids watching, Don and me walked to opposite ends of the section of ditch, then walked toward each other with our guns ready. What a chance to show off! We got closer and closer, and still that old cock sat tight. Finally, when we were about 50 feet apart, the weeds rattled and he came out in an that wonderful, awesome explosion of color and sound. He headed right directly away from us toward the maize field on the other side of the green wheat, flying in a straight line, as big and easy a target as you could get. Well, I raised my new 870 Wingmaster and Don his A5 Browning, and we commenced to show the onlookers up the slope what real shooting was. I fired 3 times, and missed 3 times. Don fired 3 times, and missed 3 times. The old cock sailed into the maize without so much as a ruffled feather! You talk about a couple of sick puppies! In our moment of show-off glory, we had been completely skunked! And, of course, to make it worse, we had to walk back up to the house and face the others. Later, when they got done joshing us, my brother said that what we did was shool over him. That as soon as he got airborne he was going down with the slope of the land, and we just simply aimed too high. I have popped a lot of caps since that season opening so long ago, and have had my share of kill shots, but I will never forget the one I missed that day!