Wednesday, September 17, 2008

First Hunt of Season--First Blog--Accomplishments

For me this is a year of events. I'm working on a new book and I've signed with a new agent. After years of work I finally received my MA in English from the University of North Dakota and today I shot my first dove with my double-barreled muzzle loader shotgun. Now, to add to the mix, I'm entering the world of the blog. What's the connection between UND, a dove in the game vest, a new book, an agent, and a blog? They are all new and they are accomplishments.

I'll talk about the new book in later posts.

I've just finished my first hunt of the new hunting season but more important it is the first time my friend Chas been to my home here in North Dakota. We've spent the past four days trying to find some sharptail grouse. Unfortunately, after four days, the grouse are all safe. We did manage to shoot some dove so the dogs (Cookie and Jack) did get to retrieve something as a reward for all of their hard work. On the last day, using my muzzle stuffer shotgun, I shot a dove. It wasn't my first dove. Over my nearly five decades of being a hunter I've killed dove with all sorts and gauges of shotguns, including the problematic .410, but this was my first dove with the muzzle loader. I've now killed ducks, geese and dove with this gun and my confidence in using it is growing with every hunt. The gun is harder to handle, takes more time to fiddle around with and the learning curve is much greater than I expected, but with every day in the field with it and every shot fired, whether the shot connects or is a miss, I learn more about it. I also marvel that our ancestors managed to actually put game on the table using these guns. There is also, I have discovered, a deeper sense of accomplishment when the shot does connect and the bird falls. A single dove on a day-long hunt is not much of a bag but I'll take it and not voice a single complaint.

I hope to use my blog to discuss the world of hunting (and fishing) and how it is changing in the Twenty-first Century. Stick around, it will be interesting. glg

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