Well it's official, our 2008/09 Upland Hunting season is over. I was contemplating a last minute trip to Kansas for some action but with all things in life I just could not fit it in. Oh well, the past season was good one with plenty of adventures and even more memories.
I'm trying to think back to the dog days of last summer to reflect on my expectations with the upcoming season. I guess I had the same expectations of all good upland bird hunters: my dogs were going to be steady to flush, gun and retrieve.... I wasn't going to miss one bird....limits every time I went afield....I was going to hunt a record number times.... Enough with the bull shit, none of this happened the way I thought. But I did take some birds over a somewhat steady ESS.
The majority of my hunts were documented on this blog so I won't go into the details of each hunt. But as my upland hunting evolves I begin to slowly take in all that I encounter in the field. From the sleepless nights before the hunt or the groggy ride home everything in between seems to matter just a little bit more than before. I'm still "gun ho" as ever but it's not all about me. It's about the dog work, the sights, the friendships both old and new and it's about exposing a new hunter to your passion. You begin to wonder if this will ever get old. At this point I don't think so but let jump to far ahead of ourselves!
As a history major I'm always reflecting on the past. I'm always thinking about those who have walked a hedge grove before us or if anyone has ever hunted this remote stand of aspens. I'm sure someone has but at least it makes me think. But this season was the recent past were I still long to be walking behind Mia and Abby in search of game. We all know the saying "that all good things must come to an end" but as I write this I'm completely satisfied to begin thinking about next year.
The one thing that I personally can take away from this season is that all seems to be slowing down a bit. I'm beginning to see Mia hit the scent cone even faster than before. Although the birds aren't flying any slower I am seeing them with more regularity. This all helps as I progress with both Mia and Abby. Hunting behind a Field Bred English Springer Spaniel is not an exercise in futility but exercise in thoroughness, from start to finish.
I start the next step in Abby's training tomorrow so I hope September will come around even faster this year!!
til next time................