The Mossberg 500 had never seen field duty. It serves as one of the local security tools since having the "turkey" (20-inch) barrel installed for purposes of launching magic cones of certain death at intruders, along with, of course, the fearsome Clickety-Clack Chorus. (by Anton Dvorak, I think, or maybe Bill Haley.) On a lark I took it to the game farm near Avon, Minnesota this weekend for a morning of shooting at ringnecks. It turns out that the cone of death is real when the gun is loaded with lead No. 6s and properly pointed. Modesty be damned, I estimated the range at 40 yards. My hunting buddy called it 40 to 50, but he is an extremely generous fellow. (The 3-inch double ought-buck in the stock band was set aside for the duration of the hunt.)
The breast is preserved for an evening when I am absolutely certain to be dining alone. It will soak in salt water -- perhaps with a pinch of cumin? -- and be severely seared before hitting the oven. The legs will become part of a slow-cook stew, company welcome. And anyone who isn't jealous gets a lot more pheasants than I do. Or has never tasted one.