Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Montana 2010: Final Wrapup

Yes, I am alive.

I've received several notes wondering what the hell has happened to me over the past three weeks.  Unfortunately, my blogging about hunting and life in general has taken a backseat to, well, hunting and life in general.

After a week or so unpacking, refamiliarizing myself with family and office, and repacking, the kids and I are now in grouse camp in northern Minnesota, and I'm writing this post, fittingly, around a roaring campfire.

More on that later -- but first I've got to recap the Montana Odyssey.  Here goes.

The chukar hunt that started things was something of a harbinger for the entire trip.  We had a ton of fun, had (mostly) great dog work, met some kindred spirits, ate, drank, and generally lived it up.  I'm never one to measure the success of a hunting trip by body count, but this year was our most successful in terms of birds pointed and birds taken home.

We learned a lot about huns, and we're starting to think we might have them figured out.  Here's the secret. 

They're mostly found in sagebrush.

Or grass.

Or coulees.

Or wheat stubble.

Or near rattlesnakes.

But the nice thing is that when you finally do locate a covey, they always hold for the hunters to arrive, and they always fly together.  Unless they don't, which is typically the case.  But when they do, when it makes it all worthwhile.

The only complaint was that it was hot -- really hot.  Halfway through the trip, I called my family who was in Dallas with relatives.  She was lamenting how cool it was there -- a balmy 72 degrees.  In Lewistown that day, it broke 90.  Al Gore was right, apparently.

It wasn't all us, though.  We hunted a couple days with a local -- one of the finest, most knowledgeable bird hunters to walk the high plains.  And I'd tell that straight to Ben O. Williams, and I'll bet you he'd agree, too.  But no, I'm not gonna tell you who he is.

But the real talisman?

The moustache.  Behold the power.


  1. Beautiful pics SW. Except maybe that last one, not sure about it yet.

  2. Awesome journey. Thanks for taking me along! The skunk video was particularly amusing, although I really like the recap photos. The more I hunt, the more I discover we, as hunters, over think way too much. Basically game is pretty much where you find it, and it usually involves a significant amount of boot leather.

  3. Thanks guys... although I can't claim credit for all the photos. A few were taken by my cohorts. We pool them all together at the end of the hunt.

    I agree with your comment about overthinking things too much, SLRH... at least in a conventional sense. After a few days afield, I kind of develop an instinct on what looks "birdy," but I can't really explain it in rational terms. Maybe a huntin' man's sixth sense?