Hunting Trip a Bust? Sue Your Guide.

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There is nothing like sitting on a lake's edge, communing with nature, that sanctified space that Thoreau said was "full of divinity," and then shooting the shit out of some ducks.

Some people pay good money for hunting trips, and by doing so, they expect the satisfaction of coming home to the li'l lady with a trophy of the feathered beast's corpse, showing that they faced this fierce, winged man-eater on its own turf -- and won.

Houston attorney Steven Engelhardt and two fellow campers paid $1,500 total for this experience last December -- and are now suing the Katy-based Eagle Lake and Katy Prairie Outfitters of "using false, misleading and deceptive acts to advertise and promote hunting trips," according to the Katy Times.

Filed in Harris County Court-at-Law No. 2, the suit accuses Eagle Lake and its owner, Larry Gore, of providing the men with an unskilled guide, resulting in what Englehardt has described as "a complete waste of time."

The three disgruntled customers want their money back, plus $2,000 for the mental anguish, apparently brought about by not being able to kill something.

The suit claims that Gore is deceiving the public by stating "that the duck hunts would be conducted over flooded fields, ponds, and/or reservoirs with box blinds, sinken pit blinds, and natural blinds with decoys," but that Englehardt and his duck-shooting companions "sat on a one-foot levee without any blind or cover." (Not having a cover, of course, left them completely vulnerable to an attack by angry mallards).

Gore denied the allegations and told the Times he offered the trio a free hunt since they were unsatisfied, but they refused. He also said that, in 33 years of business, he's never experienced anything like this.

Being expert trackers and slaughterers of many species of water fowl ourselves, Hair Balls has never had to rely on the kindness of guides for our bounty. But if we sat all day in the cold and weren't able to bag a duck, we'd bypass the guide company and sue the ones really responsible -- the ducks themselves. We hope those elusive vermin are next on Englehardt's to-sue list. And we hope that, through the healing powers of time and therapy, he and his buddies will overcome their mental anguish.  

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