She missed her only chance to drop a bird during the hunt at Old Vermilion, but she's ready for her next chance in the field.
"Now I have the taste of it," she said. "I know what to expect."
The day was warming rapidly, and Kouffeld retired Meine, her pointer, from the hunt. She replaced her with Aix, another Deutsch Drahthaar. It wasn't long before he had a pheasant located in the grassy cover.
Kouffeld moved up on Aix, and Neustel took her place nearby. Her gun was already up. She was ready. A little earlier in the day, she had expressed her hopes for the hunt.
"If I get to shoot," she said, "I really want to get one."
The rooster burst out of the grass and began climbing. That's all Neustel needed to see.
"It was getting up into the sky," she would say later.
She squeezed her trigger, and the resplendent rooster tumbled to the grass.
"Wow," Neustel said softly. "Wow."
Aix delivered the prize, and Neustel slipped it into her vest with a smile on her face.
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