“More than the Mountain and the grouse, there were those setters… I see myself in each of them, what I gave them and how they shaped me, losing a piece of my heart as each was taken from me.”George Bird Evans
The dog, when he approaches the briars, looks around to make sure I am within gunshot. Reassured, he advances with stealthy caution, his wet nose screening a hundred scents for that one scent, the potential presence of which gives life and meaning to the whole landscape. He is the prospector of the air, perpetually searching its strata for olfactory gold. Partridge scent is the gold standard that relates his world to mine.”Aldo Leopold
He is my other eyes that can see above the clouds; my other ears that hear above the winds. He is the part of me that can reach out into the sea. He has told me a thousand times over that I am his reason for being; by the way he rests against my leg; by the way he thumps his tail at my smallest smile; by the way he shows his hurt when I leave without taking him. (I think it makes him sick with worry when he is not along to care for me.) When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive. When I am angry, he clowns to make me smile. When I am happy, he is joy unbounded. When I am a fool, he ignores it. When I succeed, he brags. Without him, I am only another man. With him, I am all-powerful. He is loyalty itself. He has taught me the meaning of devotion. With him, I know a secret comfort and a private peace. He has brought me understanding where before I was ignorant. His head on my knee can heal my human hurts. His presence by my side is protection against my fears of dark and unknown things. He has promised to wait for me… whenever… wherever–in case I need him. And I expect I will–as I always have. He is just my dog.Gene Hill
And what will we take from November? To some of us, the pheasants will seem smarter, the quail and grouse faster, the ducks a little higher than we remember. It is not important that we do especially well; it is important only that we went.”Gene Hill
A hunting camp is one of the few places left to us where we can dream of a near-perfect tomorrow. Where the harsh realities of lost riches and faded glories can be forgotten and the dreams of what might be come down to a delightful day with not too much wind, a crisp morning silvered with frost, and find us–at long last–with the right gun, shells, dogs, and friends who will be pleased forever to remember the day we “did it all.”Gene Hill
Have a blessed Sunday, and blessed days afield taking in and being grateful for everything–the crisp wind, the amazing colors and scents of Autumn, the sounds of a crackling camp fire, bells on the dogs, the crunch of the leaves under your feet, gunshots, Ruffed Grouse drumming, shouts of joy, the smell of gun powder, the taste of good drink, the memories made with true friends–all with your loyal bird dog by your side and our Maker as our guide to all that is true, right, and worthy of our time, attentions and affections.