Hardasses

Kyle Smith is a MOF reader, (it continues to baffle me that we have readers) spey caster and upland hunter who blogs at This Long Haul. He kindly offered the following response to Posers.

By Kyle Smith

Maybe sometimes my hat’s brim tends towards the flatter side of the spectrum. My Tacoma has an obnoxious hood scoop. I’ve worn out a few Patagonia puffy jackets. I’d take an IPA over a Banquet beer on most occasions. And I’d love a well-coiffed beard if I wasn’t such a damned babyface.

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I’ve made my fair share of mistakes in the gear I’ve bought and the shots I’ve taken and the birds I’ve flushed. But I love my time in the field as much as the next guy and wild birds on public lands are just as much my birthright as they are yours.

Admittedly, choosing a Pudelpointer is something I’d think twice about if I had it to do over again. While she’s the best animal I know, I’m beyond sick of hearing “that’s a cute/cool mix,” every time Joe Public asks me about the breed of my dog. Amongst the educated she’s still a Pudelpointer but to everyone else she’s now a German Wirehair.

I didn’t grow up in a hunting family. In fact, I came to upland hunting in my late-20s after a friend sent me a link to Smithhammer’s elegant, moving, hipster foodie fodder, “The Words We Use.” That post stuck with me and put into words some thoughts and emotions that had been banging around in my cosmopolitan brain for a long time. Not soon thereafter, I used my student loan check to buy the first 12 gauge over under I could find at the local gun shop. A couple years later and I had a gun dog.

Guess what I’m saying is that you should think a little more about the judgments you make and the words you use on this blog. There’s a bunch of us noobies out here that respect and dare say admire the writing on MOF and aspire to appreciate and understand upland bird hunting and our relationships with the natural world the way you so often capture with your posts. While we might be Posers now, I figure if we keep at it long enough maybe someday it’ll all come together and we’ll end up as Wrangler-clad, cowboy hat wearing, C-10 driving, Setter hunting hard-asses like you guys.

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15 thoughts on “Hardasses

  1. Kimball Leighton

    Kyle, we were all posers at one time or another. Don’t waste time on such things. Enjoy your dog and hunt your ass off.

  2. andrew

    Really enjoy the writing here. Thought some folks might get a kick out of this video I ran across the other day, which might be the kind of stuff I think “Posers” was really shootin’ at:

  3. Kyle, well said, well written, and knowing you and Greg I couldn’t help but laugh the whole time. Greg makes a number of good points in his original piece, but having a Setter certainly never qualified anyone as a hardass. Hell, I’ve mothballed my Wranglers and started wearing a flatter brimmed hat as well, makes me feel young and cool (you should see what Smithhammer is wearing these days). My dogs don’t care what my pants or hat looks like, as long as we’re in the field. Keep it up bro.

  4. Tom

    Well said, all and welcome Kyle. The video posted by Andrew is a hoot. It should be (but sadly isn’t) a parody skit on an outdoor version of Saturday Night Live.

  5. Jenn

    Kyle, I may be the ultimate poser – I look the part and love to get out, but I haven’t hit a bird yet. I like to say “I’m taking my gun and the dogs for a walk”. Fortunately my husband can shoot, so the dogs still speak to me.

  6. Barry

    The biggest posers in the world of bird hunting can be found at http://www.uplandjournal.com . Never in the world of the internet has a gathering of pretenders come together then on good ole’ UJ. The site adminstrator urges poems, thoughts and essays and frowns up hardass hunters who follow badass dogs. Your favorite color is a more welcomed top there than “what is the best breed for sharptails?”

  7. Pingback: Don’t be a penguin* | Mouthful of Feathers

  8. the poser post was a low point here. i took a break after reading it. in a place i thought was free of such nonsense, here was some douche trying to define what was cool, how to think and how to do things. telling people who was in and who was out. a club. i fucking hate clubs. there were a lot of things i would have said if we were face to face but we weren’t and internet fights are as pointless as walking around with snap caps in your barrels.

    regardless of a retreat behind things said in “jest”, something was revealed and if nothing else maybe it’s just that all of us suffer an occasional lack of judgement.

    being a pretentious DB has nothing to do with what you wear, what type of dog you hunt behind or where you shop… yes you told us the cool places to shop… let that sink in… it’s in how you live and what you put out into the world. sadly you added to the nonsense for a moment and hopefully it felt wrong.

    posting kyle’s response might prove there aren’t douche’s at the helm after all. admitting a misstep is harder than most things.

    … and hey kyle, hat’s off for being more articulate and civil than an idiot like myself can ever be. and for fuck’s sake for the rest of your life only hunt with Pudelpointers because the moment you let someone else define the path for you, you know you are off of it.

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