Soon Bird season will open. For the upland hunter, it is the most anticipated day of the year. Here at Camp Grouse, even the dogs know it is coming.
Maybe it is changes in the weather, or that we’ve been going out to run with their bells on. I guess that is a dead giveaway. Perhaps they see the hints of colors on the hillsides too, just like we do.
Whenever two or more bird hunters get together the conversation always comes around to how many birds they have been seeing. Birds in the roads are mentioned and maybe a woodcock seen flying at dusk. Of course, everybody is delightfully vague about where they’ve been seeing birds. It is fun to see the enthusiasm of new hunters.
The trap is out to throw clay targets, set up on the side deck. We’ve thrown a few to refresh muscle memory. The gun comes up like it always did. It would be fun to shoot at a skeet or sporting clays range if one were nearby, but we’ll settle for targets thrown out beyond the drop-off beyond the house. If a target is missed, the dogs disappear down into the tall weeds to bring it back, sort of sticking the lousy shot in my face.
New boots are broken in. The bird hunting pants will get a new treatment of wax. The vest will be dug out and hung by the back door. There isn’t much more to get ready, which is one of the beauties of upland hunting.
Tomorrow we’ll be out scouting for birds and running the dogs. There’s a ridge we want to explore. We have to get in shape too.