Blogging is a strange thing. I made a career of shooting photos and writing, first as a reporter and editor and later in the more technical and mundane aspects of the written word. But a blog, particularly one about something so obscure as bird dogs and shotguns and galliformes, strikes even me as strange some days.
Occasionally, word will get out to non-bird hunting acquaintances that I co-write a blog. “Oh,” they say. “You write a blog… about bird hunting? Currently?” Almost always, there is a long pause, followed by an unspoken, “How quaint.”
I can see it in their smirk and even I know how ridiculous it is to write a blog about birds and dogs and guns and rambling.
These are things that can’t be explained to non-initiates.
A dog, using it’s nose and brain and our shared relationship to work such magic as bird-to-hand cannot be described with something so simple as the written word. A bird, capable of flight, who chooses to walk until it is absolutely required that it fly, cannot be explained to someone reading text in the artificial glow of a computer screen. But here we are.
In addition, the subject matter is obscure. Only 6 percent of the U.S. population hunts. Less than half of those hunt small game, and that includes rabbits and squirrels. If you sift out the rodent killers, then separate out the folks who like dogs, double guns, beer in cans and long walks in the desert; you have the MOF audience. By my math, that’s around 11 people. Statistically, writing a blog about upland hunting is like writing a blog about blogging. In 2017.
Strange as it may seem, not only do people read MOF, some of them take it seriously. Sometimes people even go so far as to be offended by something they have read on MOF. (see; Giffy Butte, Posers, Mexican Beer, Waste Loss and Legs, Target Clientele, On Monuments and Fish … actually, just see all of it.)
So, if you’re perusing MOF and read something that gets your hackles up, feel free to drop us an angry line. Or, just imagine that you’re reading a blog about blogging, and that people don’t really do that anymore.
If you are one of the kindred spirits who send us emails and exchanges ideas and passes the word on conservation issues, thank you. Thank you for the inside jokes and invitations to hunt birds that stretch across vast swaths of the country, based on little more than an appreciation for a few lines of prose or the look of a dog on point.
If you are here, and not by accident, thanks for reading.
34 thoughts on “On blogging”
Somebody said there’d be free pizza?
There was, but the dogs ate it.
I shoot all my birds at giffy butte, drink cholo beer, and love pointing dogs….ive found Valhalla…
I was introduced to Mouthful of Feathers by my nephew. I’m not sure he really expected me to keep reading it. But I look forward to every email with a new blog posting. It is a window for me into an experience I will never have but which reminds me of experiences I have had. I am my most deeply happy and alive out in a wilder place, alone, usually exploring. I wish I’d had a dog with me. I do understand that connection. Many of the blogs strike me as more poetry than narrration, poetry more like music than story-telling. Short sentences, often. So pauses between. An entry into the silence and focus of the moment. And the vastness. And the dog. So, thank you.
Thanks Sara, glad you’re here
I live in the east but grew up out west. Your Blog reminds me of the outlook and landscape I miss and will go back to upon retirement. When you break down the numbers of actual hunters it is depressing .
And to be grumpy about it – still too many people around my hunting spots!
Well, so much for all eleven followers. Looks like an opinionated bunch….lol.
I’m the guy running behind two frantic bird chasing Chocolate Labs with my old Parker 16 in hand, but I love reading about dogs that point. I look forward to every post and I know that if we don’t care about the places we hunt and wild birds certainly no one else will, keep up the great work!!!
Thanks Jeff, tell us more about the parker!
We few, we happy few…
Let’s see – double guns, check. Couch covered in dog hair, check. Desert quail getting the last laugh, check. Guess I’m one of the 11.
At this point, our couches and truck seats might as well be made of dog hair.
We few, we happy few…
Let’s see – double guns, check. Truck interior covered with dog hair, check. Desert quail getting the last laugh, check. Guess I’m one of the 11.
I generally find MOF to be a good read. You guys aren’t adorned in the latest Cabelas Republic of China garb…you keep it real and seem to have respect for the land, dogs and the game. I imagine that the MOF gang savors the scenery and missed shots as well as the productive “point” and sticking a feathered critter into the game bag.
With the very few remaining upland forums getting soft and infiltrated by Massachusetts Holiday Inn “experts” freely doling out advice on how to pursuit Chukar in the western reaches of our country, I find MOF is a welcome retreat from these retreads.
See ya on Giffy Butte 🙂
Happy to be one of the 11, one of the largest groups I’m allowed in.
Our parole officers prefer smaller groups as well…
I seem to remember someone else who had 11 followers or maybe twelve. But my math is suspect also. Was introduced to your blog through Chukar Culture. Enjoy reading your blog. Keep it up.
I am one of those kindred spirits that so enjoys reading MOF. Just getting home from my shift and saw that something new had popped up on MOF, before going to bed. I enjoy reading the blogs of upland hunters that I follow. I enjoy reading about their adventures or misadventures, ideas, thoughts, reviews, etc… I learn quite a bit from those that love the uplands and dogs as I do.
Thanks, we are reading you as well!
I read your blog… sometimes I take it seriously.
A few people read my blog: Living with Bird Dogs. I appreciate the dozen or so people who do drop in from time to time. A limited audience, but I also have my limitations, so it’s OK.
I DO like my beer in bottles, though.
Mike, we are reading! I like beer in bottles too, I just got tired of broken glass in the cooler, though that may have more to do with my driving and the simple volume of beer.
Some of us have cheesy (by double gun shooters standards) semi-automatics and read this religiously. I love the blog….maybe, just maybe one day I’ll have a double gun…….
Jose, all the MoF crew likes doubles, but more than half of us carry semi autos the majority of the time.
The best thing about blogs is the fact that you are the boss. The worst thing is the lack of a 401K. I do find it cool that both my Mom and a college buddy read most of my posts.
I am gravitating toward the blogs these days that are written by real bird hunters. Waxing poetic about Filson and Scotch is getting tiresome. Sporting literature needs some middle-ground between Covey Rise and Outdoor Life, I guess and you are finding it.
We only drink scotch on giffy butte.
My life is built around sharptail grouse hunting. I live in eastern Montana, worked for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks in Region 7, own english setters and shoot F. Beesley english boxlocks. MOF is my favorite western bird/dog site.
Best to you and yours,
Proud to be one of the few. To chasing quail up and down mountains, to missing as often as connecting, to the irritation of seeing people in “secret” spots, to Giffy Butte, CHEERS!
Hello, thought this might be the place to post this request. I’m planning a 3 day hunting trip to Wyoming next fall to pursue Chukkers. I’m currently dogless so would like to inquire to where I could rent a hunting dog for that weekend. I prefer a Pointing Lab but would consider a Bracco Italiano. Due to the inherent dangers that are presented to hunting dogs in Wyoming by snakes, lions, bears and badgers, the vendor would have to also provide a tracking system. I will consider a dog without tracking system but I won’t be held responsible if dog gets maimed, injured or lost. If you don’t want to give any provider free internet advertising, please feel free to send me a private email. Kudos in advance!~
BTW, I forgot to ask, where in Wyoming would be a good place to hunt Chukkers? Hoping for areas that are easily driven to.