Monday, April 26, 2010

I think they call this the doldrums

Springtime can be a mixed blessing.  As nice as it is to see a world emerge from hibernation, the front edge of the space between hunting seasons can leave a person of the gun feeling a bit deflated.  I know I've been a bit vanilla and judging from the dearth of new posts on hunting blogs lately, I'm not alone.

Nautical people are familiar with a term for the central latitudes where winds are fickle and often flat-out nonexistent for days on end.  It's called the Doldrums, a place where an iron sail can test the patience and sanity of most any mariner.  Stuck in the mud with nothing to do but sit and wait until help arrives.

photo courtesy of David Maxey

I've never personally skimmed the central latitudes in a sailboat but I have a pretty good feeling for what it's like.  From August through the end of February there's always something to look forward to, always tomorrow or next weekend or the trip coming up next month.  In between outings there's gear to clean and repair, new gear to buy, packing and re-packing the truck.  And then on March 1 it all vanishes.  The wind dies and in its place apathy pulls up a chair and makes itself at home.  Next season is just too far away to care a lick about. 

It happens every year and I've yet to find a cure, so if anybody knows of one feel free to chime in.  Not really motivated to shoot clays even thought it would work wonders for my success rate.  Don't have a farm to plow and plant.  Certain years I get a hankerin' to shoot a turkey but not being one of those psycho gobbler groupies the impulse waxes and wanes.  The whole scene is reminiscent of the feeling I get the day after Christmas.  And like that feeling it doesn't last forever.

Usually in July things start to stir on the horizon.  I'm determined to not go through another season without a bird dog, so there's that to remedy.  Never can have enough places to hunt, either, and the good ones don't exactly land in your lap.  Eventually the wind starts to stir and the boat picks up speed.

Incidentally, the Doldrums are also where hurricanes are born.


  1. I'm usually pretty jacked up on fishing in the spring and early summer, but by August I'm longing for fall.

    But I know what you mean, and here's my cure for the doldrums: a puppy. I'm picking up a new setter pup next month. Very excited, even though the wife doesn't know it yet...

    In a sublime bit of serendipity, the guy I'm buying my setter pup from is the manager of the WMA where the field trial I watched this weekend was being held. So I got to see the pups (very nice looking pups out of two Grouse Ridge dogs) and watch the trial.

    So I guess I'll be spending my doldrums chasing a pup around. Eh, could be worse ways to kill time...

  2. Man I'm glad to hear you're taking the plunge. Can't wait to see the pics.