Bird Hunters Measure Their Lives Through Their Dogs
Cherish the Dog Days of Hunting Season
The pursuit of a bird is no small feat, but at its core, surrounds one of the most simplistic and pure bonds to ever exist—that between a hunter and their dog. A bond built over many years and opening days, highs and lows of the pursuit, and successes and failures experienced season after season. A relationship that circles around expectations, playfulness, obedience, and a shared passion of the hunt.
Bird hunters measure their lives through their dogs. You will remember what dog was your companion during the phases of life and family, careers and children. You remember what dog was by your side on those special hunts, firsts and lasts, a banded bird retrieve, a solo limit, or a hunt in a fresh snow. Hunting dogs become cherished hunting partners, partners who never complain about early mornings, or cold winds. They are partners who always try and always wear their heart for the hunt like a badge of honor for everyone to see. Fearless and focused, eyes and ears ever vigilant, it’s arrogant to think you deserve such devotion to your hunt.
In the end, life goes on, and as all hunting seasons must close, there is always a last retrieve. Every hunter whose four-legged hunting partner has seen their share of falls and frosts, knows that each hunt and each retrieve is magic. There is a sense of reverence and pride, and perhaps a sense of unearned fortune to witness something so special, especially in its fleeting years. You work to summon one more hunt, to chance both birds and mild weather, easier on an old dog’s bones, but the fact is there will be one final bird brought to your hand eventually.
It’s been said before that dogs should live as long as people. There is a sort of a sense of cruel fate to love something so much and to know at the same time that it is fleeting. When the duck blind or upland days are done, some faithful companions will find their peace and rest at the end of a recliner, or in the front of a crackling fireplace. It’s fair to assume that those long naps are filled with dreams of birds in the spread and days on the hunt with you.