A Good Hunting Spot Offers More Than Shot Opportunities

March 17, 2014

I love this place. If I’m lucky, I start and end my bird seasons here. There could be chukars, valley quail, even mountain quail. But the reason I return year after year has little to do with the potential for a full, mixed bag. It’s everything else.

You, too, might consider the whole experience next time you’re loading dogs and guns into the truck. Need some inspiration?

I’ve found wild apple and pear trees here. I don’t each much fruit, but I savor those, tart, juicy, wild. There are elk, and ancient sheepherder camps. All manner of raptors patrol the skies.

There are steelhead in the stream that harbors quail along its banks. The rocky palisades remind me of mythical dragon’s teeth right out of a Tolkien novel. Indians hunkered in the draws behind stone blinds, waiting for mule deer to pass within bow range. I walk the same paths.

Then there’s the quiet. A soft rush in the juniper trees when the wind blows, but always, the wild sounds prevail. Small birds, the clink of deer hoof on basalt. Gurgling stream, hawk calls. All possible because cars, planes, and thoughts are distant.

Think about your favorite hunting spot. Make your own list. Share the list and the place with someone special. Maybe I’ll see you there.

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