Monday, May 21, 2012
One of the first things you learned about bird hunting,
if you grew up in the South, was that you don't criticize another
"Son," they'd tell you,"You might be in the field with some old boy who spends
the whole day cussing his dog for busting coveys,
running off, and just generally being sorry.
But what you need to understand is, probably he loves that dog.
And no matter how bad that dog behaves, he don't want to hear about it from anyone else. That dog is like family.
Someday you'll understand the thing between a hunter and his dog. For now, just keep your mouth shut."
There is a jewel of truth embedded in that advice.
Hunters feel about their dogs the way the father in the parable felt about the Prodigal Son.
It is always "Come on home, son. All is forgiven."
In the view of a true hunter, all gun dogs are special and a few are legends.
Hunters will sing the songs of those dogs' deeds like the ancient sang the epics of Homer. If it weren't for dogs, conversations between bird hunters wouldn't be anywhere near so long, interesting, or funny as they are.
Sometime in your hunting career you understand that it is the dogs that are the stars of this movie. When you start out, you just want to shoot birds. As you mature, you want to hunt with style.
When you attain wisdom, you want to be out with dogs because you understand that they have the gifts and the heart. You are just along to witness their deeds and to tell the tales.