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Showing posts with the label wingshooting

First Day Blues

Another year.  Another first day of September.  The traditional opening day of mountain grouse season in Montana.  Older dogs.  Older humans too.  And a pup just to round things out.

Typically, it's warm.  No exception this day. Fortunately a breeze and a few clouds early on  would make for pleasant walking.

Birds?  Not many.  Addie pointed a couple of blue grouse around mid-day.  They gave us the slip.

No shots fired.







For the pup, just another day of adventure........











For the older dogs, another day at the "office".  But it sure beats work!










I later bumped and flushed a single.  A big male blue.  Of course he lit in a tree and peered down at us defiantly.  Treed birds aren't fair game.  When they fly, ok.  He flew.






Shots fired.  He's probably still flying.  At least Katie got a whiff of bird.

One final mid afternoon walk and we were played out.  Katie found part of a deer leg.  She proudly carried it back to the truck.  In her mind the day was a resounding succe…

Mr. Foster

I started this post this winter, while sitting and listening to the pop and crackle of a wood stove.  I was leafing through some magazines, occasionally looking out at the mountains, waiting out the wind. While thumbing through one issue, I paused and took note of the editors piece.  I remembered some old correspondence with this particular magazine editor.  Sometimes a brief distant collaboration will leave a lasting memory. His did.
Now, most folks tend to ignore the editors piece, but it's the first thing that I've always read when a new issue comes to print. Some years back I'd established a relationship of sorts with a few magazine editors.  That was back when they all required film.  I was just starting to get a handle on the medium, and was beginning to get a feel for what they wanted as regards photocopy.  But I digress.  David Foster, then editor of Gray's Sporting Journal and I had exchanged a few emails. I'd sent a few basic timid inquiries as to any in…

Annual Report

This is the infamous year end summary, sort of along the lines of the Christmas card with the letter stuffed inside.  I'll omit the photo of the dogs with fake antlers.  Some of you may remember Gene Hill . He was a well known outdoor writer,  and, I'd wager that he's still popular with the wingshooting crowd.  He occasionally wrote a piece for the sporting magazines titled "The Annual Report". I'll credit him with the title of this piece and absolve him of any responsibility as regards the content that follows.
Well, let's see, I still fish with a camera slung over my shoulder, and rarely hike without it either. Admittedly, packing an SLR is a pain, but I still think it's worth the hassle.  When I look back over the year or years, I can pinpoint dates that an event occurred.  Aha, fish that day, bugs that one, a seventy degree March day and so on. So, I can plan out my annual fishing trapline based on my meager experience with hatches, water conditi…

And The Point Is...

An afternoon afield, in black and white.

Bird dogs. 
An expanse of grass
It's big country. 
Huns. 
Wife too. 
Well, they are her dogs.






















Burning the Wick

I've been busy.  Not with work.  I've left that to the beavers.   September. October.  Does it get any better?  Yes, that's a cliche.
Most folks vacation in summer.  Not me.  
There's too many great days.  The mantra.....up early, in late.  Don't miss a day.
Cooler weather.  Fall color.  Chasing fish.  Chasing dogs, that are chasing birds.
Camping.  Starlit skies.  The last of the summer night sounds.
So you see, I've been busy.  As for the beaver, he left his job undone. Obviously, a lack of focus. The aspen isn't quite chewed through.  Maybe he went fishing.

March Pheasant

A day of chasing dogs and pheasants. Todays cast of dogs: Addie, Emma and Maggie, aka the twisted sisters.  Each dog had its turn.  Old lady Lucy stayed home.  Someone had to guard the yard from marauding rabbits.



The day started out cool, which, as it would turn out was a blessing.  Hot dogs don't hunt too good, hot humans either.  We didn't have to worry.  No sweat today.  The wind blew through us most of the day.  Thankfully it was from the south.



A skiff of snow lingered.  Handy for tracking the wily running rooster. 








The usual gig.  The birds were out there, just had to find them.  You get some, others get away, unscathed.  Once they get up and get wind under their wings, away they go.  And the ones you see first?  They've probably already seen you.  Can you say adios?







It's amazing how cagy a pen reared bird can be.  They can be strutting around, eating grain in the morning.  A few hours later, out in the field, they seem to realize....what do they realize?  Hell…