Wednesday, October 3, 2012

harley is on it...

I love the hunt, the whole thing of it. Yesterday morning I walked at least four miles through wild trails, thick brush, and tall trees. There was no one else out but myself in the entire acreage of State Game Land, just 4 miles from my house. It is a beautiful place to hunt and one of the things I love most about our resource policies. Here in America wildlife is a public resource, owned by all taxpayers. You need to apply for a license to hunt (even on your own land) and record what you take to your state's game authority, but it is a system that works. For someone with not enough land to really hunt on, having a public park I am welcome to shine my blaze orange in is a gift.

I walked for a while, hours at least. I didn't see a single pheasant but I was also dogless. A good hunting dog is almost necessary for a decent pheasant hunt. Without one I am hoping my clumsy walk through the forest with my shotgun will shock a cock bird into flying off in front of me. So you walk loaded as your gun, intense and alive. You notice things you would never notice on a casual hike. The way mud sounds when you step heavier into it. How a songbird lands in thatch. How your breath seems to scream compared to the rest of the world. It is poetry, and necessity. The economy of movement is frugal.

I watched a Great Horned Owl swoop just over my head and it reminded me of my father. He used to go deer hunting and once a Snowy Owl flew over him and I never forgot him telling me that story, and how quiet the great bird was.

It was just us predators that day. Besides the owl I ran across redtail hawks and saw the flash of a fox take cover. We were all out hunting. I was hoping for a pheasant, a grouping of doves, turkeys, grouse...anything really. So many critters are in season and fresh game is a journey on foot and in the kitchen. I'm hoping for better luck today. Patty and her dog Harley are going with us, and Harley sure does love to hunt. He's a Large Munsterlander, a German bird dog breed that looks like something out of an oil painting. I'm hoping he flushes out a mess of pheasants, and Patty and I both leave with the promise of dinner. It's wet out there, and warmer than I would like, but I'm as game as the fowl. So here's to good dogs, good friends, and willing birds!

P.S. thank you for all your support in that last post! A flood of positive and encouraging comments and emails came through, as well as folks interested in last-minute tickets to Antlerstock, workshops, and even my Google AdSense report came in from last month! Thanks to my readership I have a jump in morale and next month's bills. I am so thankful! Now come to the farm and celebrate!


Blogger Becca at Rabbit Moon Farm said...

I agree. For birds, a good hunting dog is essential. I hope you have the best of luck today with Patty. Good hunting!

October 3, 2012 at 8:13 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

I have a few questions about the ads on your blog. Do you earn money every time I click on an add and is there a limit to how many times I can visit a page? I visit your blog daily and if you can earn a few cents off of my clicking on ads, I will gladly click daily.

Happy Hunting!!!

October 3, 2012 at 8:24 AM  
Blogger Alison said...

Beautiful picture. Is that Harley, and who's the photographer.

Is there a special "good luck" wish for hunting? (Like "break a leg" for the stage.) Anyway, best wishes for clean shots. Gonna use your bow and arrow for the hunt anytime soon?

October 3, 2012 at 9:00 AM  
Blogger Melanie J. said...

I'm in love with that dog! And wishing I lived near state park territory...spent my teen years traipsing thru state park woods that bordered my house. Good stuff!

October 3, 2012 at 9:00 AM  
Blogger Lilac Hill said...

Here in central PA we have a large hunting culture.In conversation with hunters, I find they have an appreciation for the creatures, trees and weather that they spend so much time observing in the course of a hunt.What a wonderful way to spend your morning.Good luck today.

October 3, 2012 at 9:13 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

Good luck today and we're counting down the days till Antlerstock! Breathing the crust air of Washington County is a gift in itself. Making cheese is just a bonus. :)
Our love and support to you,
Jason and Katr

October 3, 2012 at 9:25 AM  
Blogger Tina said...

Definetly need a dog for the hunt.
Hmmm...makes me remember making "Pheasant Hash" for the family...cube up some pheasant into small pieces, salt pepper fry. In another pan fry up some cubed taters. Toss in withphesant when they are done and scramble up some eggs. When they are not quite set, fold in pheasant and taters, cook eggs to your liking. Eat. Enjoy.

Oh, and this unicorn likes ketchup on it :)

October 3, 2012 at 9:33 AM  
Blogger Melanie J. said...

P.S. Just ordered my first decent herb garden from Annie's (with a thank you to them for supporting you) and took advantage of the free ax guide, b/c my wise-guy husband just made a crack about how if we got a wood stove, he'd be the one stuck handling the wood. As if! Those Google Ads help everybody. I can't wait to spend a little mad money at that beeswax candle place! Maybe after the holidays... :)

October 3, 2012 at 9:38 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

No luck again today, but a beautiful walk and Harley did flush one, it was just too tight a shot for us.

October 3, 2012 at 10:24 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

The photograph is from

October 3, 2012 at 10:24 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I do get a few cents when folks click on ads. Some days people click a lot, others not so much!

October 3, 2012 at 10:25 AM  
Blogger Kris said...

Good luck on the hunt! I hope you get something. And I am not able to get anything when I click on the ads. It says something about Windows Internet Explorer. I'm sure it's just my wonky computer. But I tried anyway.

October 3, 2012 at 10:36 AM  
Blogger Kris said...

And by the way, thank you so much for taking off the robot thing!!!! It was getting harder every time. And this is just the 2nd day right? I'm sure there will be more as the season goes on. They are just being lazy right now.

October 3, 2012 at 11:36 AM  
Blogger mdoe37 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

October 3, 2012 at 4:24 PM  
Anonymous Dani said...

Oh that dog is beautiful. I eat vegetarian but intend to one day become a hunter when the time is right. This seems to confuse people but makes perfect sense to me. I've known many different kind of hunters. Many love it for that vibrant connection they feel to the land that can only come from completely absorbing yourself in it and really listening. What could be more amazing than to share that directly with another animal? If you do get yourself a pheasant or turkey, send the feathers my way! I'll make you a dream catcher in exchange.

October 3, 2012 at 9:06 PM  
Blogger for alvin said...

can you recommend a book, books on sheep herding with a dog?

October 4, 2012 at 8:16 AM  
Blogger for alvin said...

if you could email me with book titles for sheep herding w/ dogs that would be great!
thank you in advance

October 4, 2012 at 9:42 AM  

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