It’s True

The rumors are true. We went bird hunting in North Dakota for our tenth anniversary.

I know there are a fair amount of you reading this who think that’s grand- you’re probably related to me. I also know that there are a fair amount of you reading this who think I’m nuts. I know this because I’d been telling all sorts of people about our plans before we left.  And while only a few were so bold enough to say such things as “Do you hunt?” and “Why?” the rest of them had it in their eyes.

The first question is an easy yes.

As for why we chose North Dakota over some place with sand and drinks with little umbrellas, well…

There are few times that I will willing get up before the sun rises just for fun. DSCN5481-(sm)

Very few times.

But if you don’t get up early enough to get some breakfast, get the dogs ready to go and get to the field, you just don’t make it in time to see mornings like these.DSCN5482-(sm)

Mornings in a field of grass that stretches as far as you can see, where you are just as likely to flush an owl or a deer as the pheasant the dogs are searching for. DSCN5486-(sm)

Mornings so still and clear you can hear the dogs running and sniffing through the field ahead of you.DSCN5492-(2sm)Or the cold mornings where the frost on the grass bursts off as the dogs run through it, leaving streaming trails of glitter in the sunlight as they hunt for birds. DSCN5597-(sm) As the morning wears on, the birds move out of the easy cover and become harder to find. The dogs get tired.DSCN5670-(sm) I get tired.DSCN5513-(sm) But there are always more field to explore.DSCN5506-(2sm) And you can’t stop yet, because there are probably birds, just over the next hill.  And yes the hill might be a mile away but the dogs are looking birdy so you can’t stop now.  And when you think about it, you find you no longer even want to. DSCN5431-(2sm) Suddenly the birds will be coming back into the heavy cover for the night, the dogs will be pointing left and right and when it seems far to early to be done for the day, the sun will go down.DSCN5680-(2sm) Invariably I will be astonished that the day’s hunt is over, exhausted, yet still filled with plans of places we can go, fields we can try and combinations of dogs we can run – tomorrow.DSCN5684-(sm)

And, if it’s been an exceptionally good day, there just might be a bit of extra weight on my back.

A bit of weight in a bundle of feathers that holds both the promise of a delicious dinner and the story of following a dog through a sea of grass to see what happens next.

8 comments on “It’s True

  1. Beautiful photo’s, nice feeling!

  2. I want to go to North Dakota! Fantastic photos and great story!

  3. Pecora Nera says:

    Great photos, the dog looks like it is having a great time.

  4. mrslanik says:

    Your photos look like home here in Nebraska! Love it!

  5. bluebrightly says:

    I’m one of those ambivalent ones regarding hunting; I tend towards thinking it only makes sense of you need to do it. But I’m open minded, and so, good for you. It sounds like you had a great day – the photos are wonderful – and I know the dogs were in heaven! And I realize that most hunters have more respect and understanding for nature than your average person, and you clearly do!

  6. Becky says:

    I have never been to North Dakota – but these pictures make me want to go! Beautiful! And Happy Anniversary #10! Doing what you love and being together, that’s what it’s all about in a marriage relationship! 🙂

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