It's an hour in the truck each way. Leaving home with tempered expectations, the season a disappointment so far, a new spot not being any more of a risk than the old ones.
It's the game warden telling you there really aren't many birds on this property. Then again, he might be a bird hunter. Dismissed with a polite "Thanks."
It's borrowing your wife's nice camera, figuring that at the very least it would be a good day to take some pictures. And when you power up the camera (an hour from home) you get a message about a memory card not being installed.
It's realizing that three hours with no one around can be time well spent.
It is looking down and finding you're covered with beggar's lice.
It's one bird flushing wild off to your right, then two more, then the whole covey blows up. Normally you only shoot pointed birds, but it's been a long season.
It's killing a bird and coming home empty-handed. Karma.
It's looking at your watch and realizing these birds need time to covey up before dark.
This is the price of admission.