As usual, chukar hunting, like some of the best things in life, continues not to make much sense to me. What does make sense to me is that the fact that it doesn’t make sense is probably the reason I keep doing it, not necessarily so I can find some sense in it, but because it’s not subject to the rules of things that should make sense. Things that should make sense are problematic because when they don’t make sense, which always eventually happens, then you get all warped up and try to force something that can’t be forced. Something breaks, or needs to. There are things about chukar hunting that make sense, such as — duh — you need to remember to bring your gun, and your dogs, and all that other crap to make it happen. But that’s not the hunting. I’m talking about hunting. It makes no sense. I love it. That I’m able to do it and not feel obliged to understand it makes it my favorite blessing. I guess that’s why I’m writing about it on Christmas instead of doing it; I’d rather be out there, but there are things that need to make sense today that got in the way. Writing about it is a way of trying to have it make sense, but I’m not afraid I’ll turn it into an understood thing because it’s hunting. Hunting can’t make any sense. When it does, I’ll stop.
So I’m glad I’m not yet sleeping in an alabaster chamber, partly because I’m not really sure about my level of meekness, but I’m happy to report that I’ve been touched by morning and by noon, several times, in the past week of hiking the chukar hills with our family. It’s been a particularly blessed week.
Partly because we’ve made a more devout effort this season to hunt areas we’ve never hunted before. Surprise: it’s paid off. Everyone has his or her go-to spots, and ours seemed to have dried up this season, which is good and bad but overall a blessing I think. If the familiar spots had contained the numbers of birds we’d been accustomed to, we wouldn’t have expanded the repertoire and would have missed what’s been there all along but untouched by our feet. I hope there’s a lesson in this we can remember.
Another blessed thing is that, as the season winds down, I’m amazed that each season we seem to lap more miles, elevation gain, and bagged game. This sounds like bragging (maybe it is), but it’s notable to me because it speaks of a growing desire for something: maybe it’s time with the dogs, especially one whose season itself is a miracle but also the other one who’s getting better each hunt (miraculous in itself when considering our beginning together). Maybe it’s a proof thing: can we do more even though our bodies don’t look or feel as fit and young as only a few seasons ago? Maybe we’re just dumber. Who knows? It makes no sense.
I’ll take it. I feel blessed. I wish you all the same.