What? I was drinking. On a Tuesday. With Excel open. How do YOU procrastinate during tax season?

Her ancestors, training, years of experience all lead to this moment.  Muscles ripple down her sides as she hones in on the target…

Bucking in circles like a rodeo bull, her enthusiasm belied her age. I was scrambling around the cold garage looking for duck hunting gear that hasn’t been used much lately. The temps started to drop, from a high of 20 F, as soon as the sun dipped below the mountains. Waterfowl was our game when, Read More

Before its hollow bottle baritone – “H’hoohoohoo… hoo… hoo” – interrupted the predawn stillness of a snow-draped January morning, I’d done most of my “bird watching” down the barrel of a 12-gauge shotgun. In fact, I was only in the backyard at four a.m. as a potty-break escort for our weeks-old Labrador, my new bird dog in training.

“Dada, Dada, look! Is that chukar poop?” asked the kindergartener. “Not sure son. It’s bird poop, for sure, but probably not chukar poop. Hard to say.” “Well if it is, than we’re in a goooood hunting spot, cause there’s LOTS of it!” The cards were stacked against us. We knew that much going in., Read More

By Kirk Billings I finished up bird season last year with a bad knee, a mile and a half march across obscenely muddy flats, and a single chukar in my vest. I’d had to scrounge shells for my 20 gauge to eke out the day and a broken strap on my gaiters flailed along, Read More

There can be no light without darkness, no life without death, no joy without despair. I can make peace with the inescapable truths. But, as the days grow longer, and chukar season grows shorter, how the hell do I explain these facts of life to my dog? Maybe it’s for the best that she, Read More

“We don’t eat the feathers, cause see that would be silly, right Dada?” “Right.” “Yeah, cause we only eat the meat, and feathers aren’t meat and… and… um… cause see the meat’s on the inside!” The duck we were plucking had only hung for a couple days. I’d planned on waiting longer to breast, Read More

There are tears in your eyes. Or maybe it’s sweat. In either case your vision is a salt-stung mess. The watery glimpses of black dog that you catch – cresting the ridge directly above you and birdier by the stride – quiver and bounce like a glass of water in Jurassic Park. There is, Read More

She must have heard me talking about a new puppy. Or maybe it was just her day. In any case, the old lady was in rare form, even by her high standards. Our hunt started conventionally enough, but by mid morning it was clear she meant business. Her nose led us from covey to covey. The gentle breeze and fresh snow, Read More