Author: Ryan Busse

  • Gunfight In Our Birdcamp

    Gunfight In Our Birdcamp

    His hat lies on the floor of the old house. A narrow ray of sunlight crawls through a hole in the roof and illuminates the tattered carpet a few inches away. The hat once was sharp and bold; black with big gold letters and those striking wings on the bill that us kids called “scrambled […]

  • Growing up rich

    Growing up rich

    In 1981 my dad ordered a Chevy truck from a small town dealer, stripped bare of any amenities to keep the cost down. Not even the truck bed was included. He welded up a simple flatbed for it so that it could easily haul hay and pull cattle trailers. Years later, when it was not […]

  • Getting high on the border

    February would arrive as it always did in Montana.  Cold and wet and miserably grey.  With the sort of damp despair one feels in a Dickens novel.  Two weeks after bird season, I was a Cratchit kid.  A coal-smeared orphan. My dog Ruark was a stray mutt in a land with 8 months to opener […]

  • Birds with an attitude

    Birds with an attitude

    “We are not that different you and I.” He caught me off guard with those words.  The dogs slipped by the little male Hun without catching his wind and he stuck his head out of the rabbit brush and started his speech. Strutting and proud at 10 yards in front of me.  I shouldered my […]

  • Born of a random barstool

    Born of a random barstool

    “What do you know about pheasants?” That’s how it started.  A challenge I lobbed at a guy in a bar. My target had folded his 6’5” frame onto a barstool at the local watering hole. From there he was pontificating about bird hunting. James had a particular way of speaking. Not quite southern drawl. More […]

  • The Sharptail Caucus

    The Sharptail Caucus

    As a young man I once stood on a mountain ridge so beautiful that I now find it impossible to describe. It was summer and a bird dog was at my side when I first discovered the place that would change my life. It came to be part of my very being.  Like a military […]

  • OMG I’m A GMO

    OMG I’m A GMO

    In bird dog circles I sometimes hear the chatter about god and magic and unexplained phenomena. But a wider perspective tells me that what I feel with my dogs is not magic or divine.

  • In defense of Alexander Supertramp

    In defense of Alexander Supertramp

    I began to incorporate Chris’s purposeful ignorance into my adventures in the broad landscape once visited by Lewis and Clark. Year after year I explored Montana. Much of it without aid of map or guide book of any sort.