Last year, our guide called to say that the bird counts were down and the hunting might not be so good. We went anyway and had a terrific hunt! This year the guide called again and said “hey, seriously, this year is going to suck” and advised that we skip again but we still went. After all, these bird hunts are much more than hunting birds. . . right? You know . . . camaraderie, communing with nature, getting away from accountability for a while, riding in pickup trucks with shotguns, hunting-camp cuisine, etc. We were pushing our luck! This year, we were rewarded with a dastardly cold hunt and the lowest bird count in our 20 years of chasing roosters. All part of the game though. The great hunts are appreciated because of the tough times endured. This was definitely not the worst and we are glad we went. Everyone is looking forward to a future of more birds and less frostbite! Of course, bird dog Tex has no idea what I am whining about. He had a terrific time!
Cold and lonely in downtown Regent, ND
Cold, Cold, Cold! Heavy farm equipment parked for the winter. The wind whips up snow by the old barn.
The cover was good and thick.
Getting ready for the next field.
A promising stretch of good ground.
Our intrepid guide, Curt.
Farm dog feet. Ouch!
Dick and Buck blocking.
An International Harvester Thingamajig.
Light snow falling on a stalwart hunter.
Tex strikes a stylish point.
Peder bids his beloved bird dog, Inca, a final goodbye. He loved that dog!
The Garbi 101 on a limit of roosters (that open eye is a little creepy). The hunting was tough and no bird was taken for granted. After all was said and done, we did OK. I don’t remember the count but, out of a possible 45, I think we took 35 or so.
This is the Peace Valley Evangelical United Brethren (EUB) church on highway 79 in South Dakota. Established in 1919, the year Theodore Roosevelt died. It no longer hosts a congregation of the faithful, though some are resting just outside in the adjoining cemetery.
Here is a wonderful scripture for the outdoorsman in us all, Job 12:7-10:
But now ask the beasts, and let them teach you;
And the birds of the heavens, and let them tell you.
Or speak to the earth, and let it teach you;
And let the fish of the sea declare to you.
Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this,
In whose hand is the life of every living thing,
And the breath of all mankind?