Friday, November 26, 2010

Things that make you go hmmmm..

Been driving past this on and off for the last nine years and still haven't figured it out.

I suppose it's some kind of art, and given the broad definition of art these days who could argue?  Or maybe it's a memorial, some sort of "they don't make 'em like they used to" statement.  Either way it begs a few questions:
  • Where do you get this many red with a white top 2 door LTD Broughams?
  • What's with the one way out back?  Some sort of missing man formation?
  • Are there Druids in the midwest?
This lies on the outskirts of Clark, SD, if you're ever in the neighborhood.  It doesn't have a damn thing to do with wingshooting but it's on the way to a place I hunt and for obvious reasons it's just hard to ignore.

    Tuesday, November 2, 2010

    Election Day Special

    Seriously, I walk into the polls today and am handed the usual list of proposed amendments to our state constitution.  Right there, Amendment No 1, is a proposal to make it the right of every citizen of our state to hunt and fish:

    Amendment 1
    Must Article I of the Constitution of this State, relating to the declaration of rights under the state's constitution, be amended by adding Section 25 so as to provide that hunting and fishing are valuable parts of the state's heritage, important for conservation, and a protected means of managing nonthreatened wildlife; to provide that the citizens of South Carolina shall have the right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife traditionally pursued, subject to laws and regulations promoting sound wildlife conservation and management as prescribed by the General Assembly; and to specify that this section must not be construed to abrogate any private property rights, existing state laws or regulations, or the state's sovereignty over its natural resources?
    A ‘Yes' vote will make it a constitutional right for citizens to hunt and fish and will permit the State to legally provide for proper wildlife management and the protection of private property rights.

    Talk about an eye-opener.  I don't know why I thought for all of these years that I already had that right.  Goes to show that nothing you enjoy should be taken for granted.  From what I've read, this was more a measure to ensure that neither Congress nor PETA would be able to take away this right down the road.  An ounce of prevention I suppose.  Arizona, Arkansas and Tennessee have similar measures on the ballot today, and this isn't a new idea.  Vermont passed right to hunt legislation in 1777. 

    I'm not sure whether this is a good thing in that my right to hunt and fish will be enjoyed by my descendants or a bad thing in that it implies that this right might not exist some day.  But that possibility does exist, however remote it may seem.  Change is one constant in this world.  My great-grandfather never would have thought that gay marriage would go mainstream or that I would make phone calls from anywhere using a device the size of my wallet.

    (I voted Yes).

    UPDATE: The amendment passed by a nearly 9 to 1 margin with 1.23 million people (roughly 27% of the state's population) voting.

    Monday, November 1, 2010

    Progress report

    For the last several weeks my new dog has been with the trainer working out the bugs before the season starts.  Those who read the post know that I took a chance when I picked up this dog in July but it seemed like the odds were slightly in my favor and this dog needed a good home anyway, which was enough for me.

    On Saturday my son and I went over to check on him and watch a few other dogs.  I confess I'm more than a little excited that at just shy of 3 yrs old he's very interested in bird dogs.  Hope I can stretch that into, oh, maybe a lifetime or so.

    Wyatt's doing fairly well in his training but needs a little more polishing than I'd anticipated.  While initially crowding his birds he seems to be backing off of them a bit, a big relief given that wild quail don't usually condone the up close and personal stuff. He still has a lot of chase in him and that will consume a good bit of time to reign in.  As a result he may be staying a few weeks longer than I'd planned to get it all sorted out.

    This week could be a bellwether as Maurice plans to shoot a few birds over him and take him to a larger field to see how he handles off of the check cord.  We'll be back over on Saturday morning and with a little luck we'll get a good report.

    Not being a field trialer, I really only need a few things in a bird dog.  Pointing is non-negotiable; guys who hunt bobwhites with flushers get a bag full of frustration, not birds.  And since I don't hunt with other dogs very often, backing isn't a deal-breaker.  It's a nice plus, though.  Same with retrieving.  I'd place it slightly above backing, but as long as he'll find a dead bird I'm perfectly capable of picking it up.  So if we can get Wyatt steady to wing and shot I'll hunt him this year and leave the rest til the offseason.

    All in all I'm feeling pretty good about this dog.  He has a lot of desire to hunt and is biddable enough that desire can be sculpted into something I can hunt with.  And he's quickly turned into a great dog to have around the house and office.  I'm looking forward to that first day in the field.