Every time one of these birds comes to hand, it’s an affirmation of the core elements that can make life grand — hope, effort, skill, experience, cooperation and even a little luck.
It feels easy for me to bring those pieces together into something that makes perfect sense in the uplands. The real challenge is finding the bird in hand when we’re not hunting. And that challenge has been fairly pointed for our family this fall.
All things that feel good, just or vindicating hold the same magic — maybe in smaller doses, but it’s there. I just have to be better at recognizing them when there’s not a shotgun in my hand and bird dogs at my side.
I’m grateful for the flush of a covey that disappears over the next ridge. Struggles and misery are fleeting.