The first time I hunted pheasants with Jorge Vicuna, we were alongside the James River, just south of Huron, S.D. My dog and I walked along the edge of a cornfield at the top of the riverbank. Jorge and his dog sloshed through the mud at the river’s edge. As we approached a dogleg in the river, a rooster pheasant flushed. I fired two shots from my over-under 12-gauge shotgun, and missed both times.
Then I watched as Jorge slipped and fell into the mud, rose to his knees, shouldered his gun and dropped the bird with one shot at more than 50 yards. I knew then that I was in the presence of an great hunter. Fortunately for me, Jorge has become an even better friend. But when I first set out to write about Jorge, I thought I’d be putting down a remembrance of yet another friend felled by cancer — when I visited him last summer at the Mayo Clinic I did not think that we would hunt together again.
Read the rest at the Star Tribune.