The process of hunting, much like our everyday lives, has become so numbingly overcomplicated – bogged down with many snake oil products and guarantees of higher success rates – that people lose sight of the basic nature of the pursuit. They’re too busy checking the rut progress on an app or applying $100 bottles of scent kill to every facet of their bodies to look around and see how far away from the foundation we have come.
I’m guilty too. I recently caught myself spending more time looking at my dogs GPS position than actually looking around, so I turned it off. And now fortunately for me it’s broken and I don’t miss it. It’s nice to keep the dog close and work together, further building that mutual trust and relationship of cues and signals that will keep the freezer busy for years to come. I can still send her off if I wish, and that pleases both of us sometimes, but working the dog close has been more fun for both of us. I bought the collar more for my own piece of mind running a hyper bird beast in a vast empty country, but now I don’t think I’ll be repairing it.
Chukar hunting, and upland in general, really hasn’t been diluted too much with gear heads, because who wants to carry anything other than just what you need up these mountains all day? The ATV hunters are as close as it gets to cheating, but some of those guys are old as dirt and have been at this longer than I’ve been breathing. They also tend to go to the easier access low chukar territory and leave the barren leg burning peaks to the young and foolish, which I count myself as a card holding member of.
I have a 40 year old 12 gauge, a game bag that will last longer than me, a bird dog that I wish would do the same, and a good pair of boots. What else do you need aside from luck and determination?
Rant over, here are some photos from yesterday.
Climb and climb some more. Repeat.
Pointing birds we’ll never find that could be miles away in the ferocious head wind.. or maybe pointing Jesse.
Trying to fly.
“Dead bird, fetch.” = My favorite sentence.
Roids. This dude was on ’em.