The small army is gone. The skirmish line and the blockers have packed their bags and headed across the horizon, leaving a mile-long cloud of dust.
This time there is no, “how should we hit this one” conversation. No waiting on slowpokes or getting into position only to watch the line dissolve into a grupetto.
Now, it’s just the dog and I and a simple plan. Head up wind, as quickly and quietly as possible.
No whistle, no yelling, just a quiet “easy,” then we’re moving. A few dozen yards in, she sniffs hard, inhales something bigger than bird scent and snorts a bit before working two hens into the air. Their flight sends a jumpy rooster up, just out of range.
We round a corner and two roosters get up. I whack the first one and when the second one drops, I’m momentarily disappointed that there is no one to witness my shooting, then Roxy drops a bird in my hand and returns to complete the double and I recall how many birds we have watched flush from 500 yards away on this trip. I snap back to reality and think about how often this game of wild birds and dogs comes down to chance.
Sometimes, for a few brief moments, the dog is flawless, the birds hold and my shooting is clean.
It’s just us and it’s perfect.
9 thoughts on “Just us”
You know, Greg, I’m beginning to get the distinct impression you didn’t miss me when I left…
It hurts, man. Hurts real bad.
love it. there’s nothing like a good springer on pheasants and a perfect solo hunt
Man, there’s a lot of great season wrap up savoring going on. It sounds as though there will be many, myself included, that will struggle to get through to next fall.
It’s days like those that keep you coming back to this pursuit, and make all the off-days worthwhile.
I like the new layout. Very nicely done. As always a very nice post. Thanks for sharing.
I felt like I was there. I think all of us have those solitary moments where it all comes together. I like your blog and like you style of telling a story. I’ll be back.
Great read! there is nothing like watching a dog work and then having a rooster flush. The cackle of the bird breaks the silence and then as the bird rises the boom of the gun completes the symphony of sounds. Beautiful write-up.
Just found this link in a New West article that was originally published here. I feel like I just found a gold nugget.
Welcome, and thanks for stopping by, Jerry. More to come…