It’s one thing to meet another bird hunter in October at a gas station, motel or greasy spoon diner. The frayed field pants, the whistle around the neck, the pick up with the Vari Kennel in the back, a blaze orange Purina hat – you don’t have to be The Amazing Friggin’ Kreskin to figure out you share a good deal of common ground.
But in the summer, whether it’s at the boat ramp, a wedding reception or just an evening stroll around the local rec field, crossing paths with another heretofore unknown bird hunter sends little jolts of contentment deep into the remaining Sulci of your brain.
The first step in the conversation begins when the other dude somehow establishes he’s a hunter or that he, too, owns a springer/setter/shorthair/pointer. From there, the discussion unfolds along a fairly predictable, but altogether pleasant, path. You talk dogs, birds, guns, favorite writers, trainers, a wicked cool little blog called Mouthful of Feathers, even local covers if he happens to be local.
Almost always, when the conversation closes, there’s the sense that you made – if not a friend – at least a new ally. Somebody who thrives on that smell that emanates from a just-fired shotgun, who enjoys those long hikes back to the truck, who’s made hero shots and missed the gimmes.
Somebody a lot like you.
- Matt Crawford