“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

“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

“Look Dada a clue, a clue!” Live water is an hour away this time of year, and viable bird hunting is nearly as committing. With only a two hour window to spare, Everett and I had opted instead to creep around the sage and look for small game. Maybe the dog would kick up, Read More

Kindergarteners are loud. “Hey, Dad, hey! Look it, a prickly pear cactus!” They’re slow. “Can we take another candy break? Pleeeeease!” And they’re poorly suited to the brush. “Um, Dada… animals live in habitat, and that’s not habitat. That’s a pricker bush.” These aren’t qualities that’ll help you find game birds. But it’s not, Read More

Upon discovering my hunting pack, loaded and stashed for the morning, my 3 year old ignored the knife, the saw, the lighter, the rope, the Snickers, the Fritos, the laser range finder, the flagging tape, the camelback, the .30-06 cartridges and other tempting tools of mess and mayhem. He went instead, straight for the, Read More

It’s a rare kindergartener that wants to fish as often, as long or as hard as mom or dad. I’m sure they’re out there, but I also know that black-footed ferrets exist. I haven’t seen either in the wild. Which shouldn’t be surprising. It’s tough out there for little folks. The brush is higher,, Read More

In the three years since I became a father, I’ve had to redefine some terms.  “Sleeping in” does not mean what it used to for example, nor “big night out” for that matter. “Free time”… I seem to recall using that phrase as a younger man, but the concept is fuzzy now.  Most of, Read More

“Dada, can I um… can I go over to Al and Anne’s house… pleeease Dada?” asked my five year old. Al and Anne are our next-door neighbors. My son visits most days, but he’d missed them the day before. They’d been in the mountains, scouting for elk. They’re 81 and 75 years old, respectively., Read More

“Whoa, hey!” I said, voice rising as I backed involuntarily away from my five year old. He’d crept to my office door, not as stealthily as he may have thought, and paused there. I’d expected to surprise him when I yanked the door open, maybe give him a start. I hadn’t expected the coiled, mummified, Read More

Kids are born hunters. “Can I go catch a grasshopper?” asks my son at dawn. “Sure” we tell him, and off he goes through the dog-door, clad in cape and undies, to creep around the dewy lawn with his jar. The jar rarely comes home empty. “You have to be quiet.” he tells me, Read More