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…
Very few times.
Mornings so still and clear you can hear the dogs running and sniffing through the field ahead of you.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. As the morning wears on, the birds move out of the easy cover and become harder to find. The dogs get tired. I get tired. But there are always more field to explore. 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. 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. 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.
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.