Sunday, January 8, 2012

It's the 'other' season

The woods are a lot more quiet than they were a week ago.  Deer season is over.  Sunday through Saturday is now fair game for me and the dog on dozens of properties that previously required scheduling, coordinating, or were just plain off-limits.

There's a piece of private land, extremely convenient in that it's only twenty minutes from the house, that I only have access to after the deer lease ends.  I was there at daylight yesterday and put about four or five miles on my boots before lunchtime, finding one covey in the process. Beautiful, mild morning, easy walking on comfortable roads.  I should have felt fortunate given the relative scarcity of birds this close to home.  But noooooo, I wanted more.  More birds, more points, more shots, more in the bag.  That seems like an awful way to start a new year. When did I become such a greedy, ungrateful wretch?

It's not the first time I've found myself wishing every day could be an eight or ten covey day with plenty of shooting, plenty of contact for the dog, and maybe even a chance at a limit of quail, something that's been a pipe dream as far as wild birds go in these parts.  Granted wishes have a curious habit of never being enough, though.  If every day was a ten covey day, I'd wish the dog worked better.  Or worse, I'd pick out the one covey he didn't handle so well and dwell on it, brooding for hours at the lack of perfection. As if I never miss a shot. Hey, there's something else to be pissed about.  Give me an Elhew pointer and a brand new shotgun and then I'd be happy.

Or I could complain about not having a wider variety of birds in our state.  I'd sure like to have pheasant or huns or sharptails to shoot and not have to drive so far to get into the grouse woods.  New England and South Dakota have it so much better.

I read once that happiness is not having what you want, it's wanting what you have.  That's an odd proposal, odd in that we'd all like to be happier but where would we be as a civilization if somebody at some point hadn't wanted more?  Still living in caves, building fires for light and warmth, and.....yep, going hunting every day.  Man, those cavemen had it so much better.

So I guess it's human nature for satisfaction to be a temporary thing.  What would happen if every day were the perfect day?  What if I could never, ever find something wrong with a day in the field?  I'd bitch about being rained out, like today.


  1. As I don't-remember-who-exactly said, the only reason happiness makes sence is because it is categorically opposed to unhappiness... It's human. Let's enjoy it :)

  2. Being content is nice, but seeking better is motivation. Thanks for a great read.

  3. You're both correct. Hemingway once said "Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know." This whole situation doesn't leave me feeling very intelligent.