Tuesday, August 19, 2014

What's a clock?

This happens several times a week, proving that instant gratification is not purely a human weakness. He doesn't seem bothered by the reality that opening day is still 3 months away.


I've heard that dogs have no concept of time, at least in certain context. None I've seen need a clock to know it's feeding time.  When it comes to elapsed time or relative time, however, I'd be inclined to agree. How else to explain the same surge of joy whether you've been gone two hours or two weeks?

It must be nice to spend your time not burdened by regrets and fears or wishing you could re-create the glory days. Now is all there is and if something not so good is happening now, well, every second is a new now.

Time only matters when you're getting paid by the hour anyway.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Home sweet home

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Longpine Plantation in south GA finally sold after five years on the market. At roughly 6000 acres, Longpine is neither the biggest nor the smallest place in the area but its sale was considered newsworthy nonetheless, possibly because the previous owner was a Ford.

Longpine Plantation roadway

The initial listing price was $40 million, later reduced to $34 million and ultimately let go for $27 million and change, which just goes to show that lowballing really works. In some worlds.

I'd be lying a big fat one if I said I wasn't a tiny bit jealous of a guy with the coin to make such a purchase. Of course that's just the cover charge, the yearly upkeep running about what a mediocre NFL player makes. The mere thought of feeding the string of 35 Longpine-bred bird dogs is enough to make me cringe. Not likely a problem for the new owner who, according to the Journal, collects ranches and plantations like I collect chigger bites.

If it's true, their claim of a peak count of 6.7 wild coveys per hour since 1998 is astounding even in the best of years. At that rate a limit is not only possible, it's embarrassing if you're not done by lunch. I'd love to give my dog just one day of that olfactory heaven.

Longpine Plantation burning

Thursday, July 31, 2014

The results are in..

Earlier this week the results from the first ever national dove hunters survey were released. A collaborative effort between the USFWS, the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies and the National Flyway Council, the study appears to be a stab at taking the temperature of the dove hunting community. You may have received one of the questionnaires (I did, and yes, I did fill it out). Approximately 30,000 were mailed and about 12,600 were returned.  Those targeted were selected at random from state HIP databases.

Most of the reported results fell short of anything shocking, not that there was a reason to expect otherwise. There were a few interesting bits, though. The average age of respondents was 45, which could mean that teens and early twenties hunters didn't get the survey or didn't have time to fill it out (kids lead such busy lives these days), or it could mean that there just aren't many younger dove hunters. One of those would be bad.

More than half filling out the survey travel at least 50 miles to hunt. That's either a lot of dedication or a way to stretch the time out of the house a bit longer.

And to quote from the FAQ, "More than 85% of respondents “mostly” or “always” use lead shot to hunt doves, and the majority believe that lead shot substitutes are too expensive." If you don't think lead substitutes are expensive, you're probably hunting in Argentina anyway. The switch to non-toxic shot for dove is out there on the horizon somewhere and in the meantime I'll either become a better shot or figure out which day of the week I won't eat.

You can read the full results here.