Duck hunters are known to be a hearty bunch of fools, me included. We sit for hours in extreme cold with snotcicles hanging from our noses and lay in the mud for hours.
All of us have a story about filling our waders with water so cold for hours our voices sound like we are on helium.
But there aren’t many as tough as Rick Tomlinson, of Great Bend. At least I’m not.Rick Tomlinson said it really hurt when his knee popped out of socket in the mud at Cheyenne Bottoms. It hurt even more when he pushed it back into place so he could continue hunting.On Sept. 26, he and three buddies were teal hunting at Cheyenne Bottoms, a place as legendary for its boot-sucking muck as great hunting. Tomlinson swung his shotgun on a blue-winged speedster and fired.
That’s when his twisted knee popped out of socket since his leg hadn’t twisted along with the rest of his body.
(I’ll give you a few seconds to wince and squirm……….OK, there’s more.)
He knew what had happened and that time was not on his side.
“My foot was pointing in the wrong direction so I knew it was out,” he said. “The pain was really bad but I knew it would be a lot worse in ten minutes as those muscles and tendons started to tighten.”
So, he sat there in the water, resting on a small platform he’d brought for his dog, and pushed his knee back into socket.
(Take a few more seconds to groan and squirm if you need to. Me, I’d have been crying like a little girl with her finger caught in a closed door.)
But the story has a happy ending. He’s on the mend and his doctor said he did the right thing.
More importantly, he got the teal and more.
“I stuck around, sat on the stand and shot the other two teal I needed to limit-out,” Tomlinson said. “I had to or that would have been the only time all teal season I didn’t shoot a limit. A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.”