Yeah, rain! Had a great weekend hunting in Hell’s Canyon. Lots of birds, lots of greenup, gorgeous fall colors, plenty of dog action, good friends, warm-ish weather. Yes.
The first point I’d seen from Angus in weeks and weeks yielded a nice covey of chukar rising from bunch grass, just 30 minutes into the first hunt. And, wowee, I knocked down a bird with my first shot. Angus quickly retrieved it but Peat stole it from him, ran off with it, and ate it. Despite seeing at least eight more coveys that weekend, on great points by Angus (and backing by Peat), I went 0 for 14. Or something like that. Here’s a little clip…
But who cares? What I like best about this activity is watching dogs get birdy and point. The rest is falling action, so to speak (not literally, at least with my atrocious shooting; I recently discovered I was left-eye dominant and since I shoot righty I might have an excuse, but then how do you explain going three-for-three on a single covey, twice – long ago, though…).
Another thing I really like about chukar hunting is getting with friends who understand it, have the patience – with themselves, with me, with their dogs, and with the difficulty of the endeavor – to enjoy it with sincerity.
And the other thing I love about it is having my wife come along, even though she doesn’t pull the trigger, except on the camera. More than her great photos and video, her company, her sensibility, her appreciation for the venture and adventure of it, her advice which is almost always much better than my ideas, and her patience with me, are all more than I deserve.
Oh, and did I mention that I fall deeper in love with the landscape every time I go out?