Monday, November 21, 2011
I-DA-HOpe I can go back!
Right from the get go the scenery was absolutely breathtaking. the first day met us with a snowstorm and icy roads. we had tried to hunt the area just on the border or Oregon, and the famous "Hells Canyon."
It didn't take long for us cut a Chukar track, but as usual, the terrain was just ridiculous that these hell chickens dwell in. The rock,shoals, and 80 degree incline combined with a layer of ice and snow, made it nearly impossible for this flat lander to keep his feet and become a member of the under forty hip fracture club. I knew I would have to save some energy and didn't want to burn out within the first hour of the hunt, so i urged Ryan who had been chasing big game through these mountains for the past couple of months to continue on a brief quest to track them down.
We thought we would drop a little lower and try for what was usually a sizable Hun population at a little flatter and less snow accumulated hillside.
It looked perfect, offering enough rock for hiding spots, and plenty of what we call cheat grass here in the Midwest.
We worked the fabulous looking draws and rock outcroppings for a couple of hours, but it just didn't seem in the cards today. On the bright side, I think I'm evolving as a hunter. I flew halfway across the US, it was 11 o clock, I hadn't flushed a bird , but I could stop gazing at what I was surrounded by. I can honestly say I had never felt so minute, so alive, and so aware of my surroundings. It was a cathartic feeling, that few to many city dwellers every get the chance to experience.
Tired from the previous two days, to much 44north vodka, (which is fabulous and made from Idaho potatoes) and my well worn body that has been at it hard since mid September, we decided to chase some roosters and quail around his house. we had a few chances at both, but were to busy jaw japing, watching sunsets, or capturing the shots of the trip with my camera. Oddly enough, I didn't care. I hadn't harvested one upland bird on this entire trip, but I did shoot something that knew would be much more important. I managed to have the perfect light, the perfect backdrop, and capture the perfect moment between two partners that Ryan will cherish for the rest of his life. I was lucky enough for someone to catch a shot similar last year, right before I lost Kwik. the bond between a man and his first real bird dog is like steel. It's the strongest, hardest, and one day coldest thing there ever is, BUT shots like this will always bring a smile, and admiration for the owner, forever. A toast To DECOY!
Posted by Jackson at 8:00 PM