The gateway drug of the sporting life.

The world keeps a ledger Coach Mack said . Where you stand in life is nothing but a simple accounting of your decisions to that point. You gotta think about that bottom line before you make up your mind…

They called him Deadeye Dan, although that was before I came along. He was a great shot. Dropping whitetails on the run as they darted between cottonwoods, elk in the fog at three hundred yard. Always just one shot. By the time I was able to tag along on hunts those days were long, Read More

  Once, as a young boy, I asked my father to race me from his office to his car. The instant he said no, I was struck by a startling realization. Dad never ran, at least not spontaneously or without purpose. Nor for that matter did any of the grown-ups in my life. It, Read More

It’s a park now, mown green-space and graveled paths owned by the city of Williamsburg Virginia. But when I was a boy, not so much older than my son is now, “Government Property” was a tangle of tidewater forest and marshland where earthen battlements – remnants of the civil war – lay hidden in, Read More

Mark reached under his pillow and pulled back the hammer of his pistol. My eyes are heavy as I started to drift off to sleep. I barely hear the pickup rolling into camp. More shocked by the pistol than the pickup, I urge Mark to put away the gun. Throwing on a shirt I get up, Read More

The daydream has her in the backcountry, nose to the wind, quartering through the brush. The day’s work has her in the backyard, butt to the snow, holding through a sit stay. We’re laying a foundation and “making haste slowly”. I keep reminding myself of that as we build basic obedience inch-by-inch. The long days, Read More

How do you thank the animal that ignored your faults and saw in you, without exception, the person you wish you were?

Toeing the dirt reality set in. No one else was around. The ranch was deserted. For a thirteen year old with a short attention span that spelled trouble. A whitetail doe tag was burning a hole in my pocket and I had hunting on my mind. Four and a half miles of dirt, and a nonexistent driver’s, Read More

A picture of a young man hangs in my workspace. Four young men actually, but there’s one in particular looking directly into the camera and, as the frame’s orientation would have it, over my shoulder while I write. I knew this man to be, among many other things, a natural storyteller, so it’s a, Read More