•March 25, 2013 • 5 Comments
Hike over, more waiting
Six more months. Spring is such a tease. Angus and his new little buddy, Ava (I wish I could say it was our new puppy, but it’s a friend’s) got into some Huns today in some nearby BLM land. Ava watched Angus hog the points and got snoutfuls of bird scent. She’s going to be great come September. Angus missed some birds that we flushed, but finally seemed to dial it in near the end of our walk.
Still, the waiting.
Angus points in the distance while Ava takes notes
•January 27, 2013 • 4 Comments
Our last day to hunt this season got fog-shortened. But at least we got out. Walking was hard, we couldn’t find many birds despite plenty of sign, and got lost a couple of times because of the blowing pea soup and its disorienting properties. I kind of like those properties. So that’s it for this year. I’m grateful my wife could join us so many times this year and for her nice camera eye.
Trudging around in the sloshy conditions for 3-1/2 hours today gave me some good time, with suitable environmentals, to think about the lament I was to play at Burns Night later that evening. The soundtrack to the video (below) is called “Lament” (by Paul Motian). I think it sounds like sad fog. But cathartic sad fog.
•January 20, 2013 • 2 Comments
Angus’s Snow Huns
Well, after last week’s mystery, we learned today that we must not have worked hard enough. Today we did. My ankles feel like shattered glass but my spirit and psyche are hovering well above the butte. Angus, as is his wont, is largely responsible.
What a partner
Sun, rocks, and greenup. And ibuprofen, Balvenie, and Lulu’s. As good a Saturday as I can ask for. Leslie was on call so couldn’t come along, so it actually could have been better. Not that I’m complaining. Just sayin’.
Strategically speaking, conditions last week were very similar, and we hunted the same areas that we did today, but just not as hard or thoroughly. We also focused today only on the sunny slopes, which gave us a great view of the inversion layer in the valley. Arg. Gotta take the good with the carcinogenic. But The Balvenie certainly can help. In moderation, of course.
Greater Boise’s inverted winter sky
•January 16, 2013 • 3 Comments
Where’d they go?
Went out last weekend after the big snow ’round these parts. Had a tough time finding birds. In fact, we only found quail. Not that I’m complaining but it’s not what we were looking for (but it didn’t stop us from availing ourselves of them on occasion).
We did find something we were not looking for…
Your typical snow zebra
Anyway, Leslie took some nice video and photos, so here’s the evidence. Enjoy. We did, despite the dearth of partridges where we looked.
•January 9, 2013 • 2 Comments
Gun as guitar?
Bill Frisell: guitar as gun?
It hit me like a D-minor 7th substituted for an F major chord: when Angus points, I hold the gun in the ready position like a guitar. I don’t play the guitar, but my favorite musician does, and I’ve been wondering for years why, on a good day in the hills, I feel like I’m living some of his more haunting tunes, like “Throughout” or “Strange Meeting.”
I imagine most people supply their own soundtracks to whatever they do. Maybe not. But I got conscious of my doing this one day while elk hunting during muzzleloader season. I spent over five hours chasing this damned herd of cows through two feet of snow up and down hills I chukar hunt in better weather. Bill Frisell’s “Throughout” looped in my head the whole time, up until I missed the climactic shot, resulting in a nightmare experience related in another post.
Driving home, pissed off, exhilarated, confused, I wondered about the soundtrack. WTF? I gave up thinking about it. Until the next time I went hunting. Every time I went out I got an unsolicited soundtrack, usually supplied unwittingly by Bill Frisell. His stuff, some of it, is my “desert island” music, and has been my friend for more than 25 years, so I guess it’s actually not too mysterious why I hear it when I’m out there. But why do I hear it when I’m out there, as opposed to while driving long distances or taking a shower or mowing the lawn? Is it because of the similarity of the two “instruments” and how they’re held? Am I subconsciously trying to channel Frisell, or Scofield or Abercrombie or Hendrix or Pastorius or Metheny or Django freakin’ Reinhardt?
I should just let it go because this can get silly in a hurry, if it wasn’t before I even began. And maybe, if I stopped thinking about this stuff and learned to focus, I’d hit more birds. But maybe Frisell wouldn’t like that, so he’s sub-intentionally mind-stalking me so I continue my bad shooting. Or maybe I should just go do the danged dishes and go to bed.
•January 6, 2013 • Leave a Comment
A cold December day, walking for pheasant in western Idaho. We hunted three spots. The only real action came in the second spot, when the videographer was sitting in the truck trying to thaw out from the first spot. Like many of my other videos, this one hopes to show what the bulk of bird hunting involves, which isn’t killing birds but working with dogs trying to find them.
Leslie (the photographer) again chose the music for this video, from “The Harry Smith Project.” Although the song, “House Carpenter” sung by Todd Rundgren and Robin Holcomb, has nothing to do with what you’re seeing, we think the mood matches the weather and the dilapidation of pheasant habitat in the west.