“I am lost” “Going to shoot. Let me know if you can hear it.” “Hear it?” “I was 50 yards from the truck.” It’s my hunting buddy’s first foray into … Read more
Bird hunters seem to have an unhealthy fixation with placing birds on tailgates, bumpers, and hoods for photos. I honestly don’t get it. Upland hunters are blessed to pursue game … Read more
Spike camp was two miles from base — as the raven flies not really that far in this expansive National Forest. But as flatlanders taking on the thin air of … Read more
This upland season is fast approaching. The preparations of the past few seasons manifested in paper and piles. Maps stretched over more maps to cross-check terrain and access. Gear overflowing … Read more
Rio the setter suddenly hits the brakes, sliding to a stop on a steep grade beside an old logging road being reclaimed by the forest. We’ve spent a couple days … Read more
There seems no bottom to the depths of cold. It’s one of the few solace for hunting in frigid condition: could be colder, windier, at least it’s not…more miserable. I’m … Read more
The intricate dance between dog, bird and hunter is a choreography that few understand and even fewer master. So many mistakenly believe upland hunting consists of one or two species of bird that virtually jump into a game pouch at the crack of the nearest shotgun. There are actually no less than 27 different upland species (not counting numerous sub species) distributed throughout all 50 states. The bulk of these birds have no interest whatsoever in taking a ride in a game bag and will use tactics learned over centuries of being stalked to avoid it.
From arid desert to jagged peaks, gamebirds inhabit the full range of terra. Proven hunting strategies perfected on the open prairie may fall woefully short in other domains. If you’ve been a bird hunter your entire life chances are you still haven’t done it all. In the broad scheme of things few are more than an apprentice and there are plenty of variables to keep one entertained for a lifetime.
So let’s get hunting. There are lots of different shotguns to shoot with new shells to test, tons of different dogs to hunt over, mountains to scale, prairies to cross, forests to navigate, and dozens of birds to research and pursue. And that’s exciting.