The Five Types of Bird Hunters
I bet someone you know fits into one of these categories.
October 23, 2009
There's a humorous post over at SayUncle's blog regarding stereotypes of shooters you might encounter at the rifle range. The descriptions are highly exaggerated, politically incorrect and therefore funny. I enjoyed them so much that I copied expanded upon the idea by creating a list of five types of bird hunters. See if you or any of your friends fit into one of these categories, and feel free to add one of your own in the comments section.
As his name implies, Dr. Tweedy can be found dressed head to toe in tweed, looking like he just stepped out of an Aiden Lassell Ripley painting. When he isn't hunting grouse or woodcock, he is a doctor, lawyer or tenured professor. His gun of choice is an early American or English best side-by-side; he considers the boxlock an abomination. His dog is a blue belton English setter named William that runs with a proud, head-high gait as if competing in Westminster. Dr. Tweedy is far more interested in the romanticized version of upland hunting than filling his limit. Should he kill a grouse, by the time his dog completes the retrieve he'll already be quietly puffing his pipe, his shotgun draped over an elbow.
Like Dr. Tweedy, Jack is an upland hunter, but that's where the similarities end. Jack doesn't hunt the thin rows of aspen and white birch that look good in paintings but rarely harbor grouse. You'll find him in real bird cover—coverts of multi-flora rose and other plants hungry for human flesh that have left Jack's Carhartt overalls torn and tattered. Jack's shotgun is a Remington 870 or Mossberg 500. The wood is worn and scratched, and the barrel is white from use. He gives little thought to the breed or pedigree of his dog (when he owns one at all). He's a meat hunter and doesn't much care about the ethics of shooting a bird from the ground or a tree, so long as he's able to put food on the table. He rarely returns empty handed.
The City Slicker
The home of the City Slicker is adorned with blue ribbons and trophies from his fleet of field trial dogs. Things are not as they appear, however; the City Slicker is merely his dogs' financial backer. He sends all of them away for professional training and handling. He'll hunt just a few times per year, always with a guide and never without his BlackBerry. His clothing and boots are perpetually brand new. He drives a Honda CR-V and has an extensive knowledge of single malts.
The Cross Country Runner
You will often hear the XC Runner shouting at his dog and blowing his whistle before you see him. Despite (or maybe because) his dog has a host of champions in its pedigree, it's always on the verge of running out of control or already ascending the ridge two mountains over. The XC Runner carries a whistle that resembles a milk jug and that carries a thunderous boom audible to passing aircraft. Most of the XC Runner's shots on game are at birds well out of range. Once in a while he'll kill a bird that he lucked into while searching for his dog. He carries a lightweight automatic, wears sneakers and is well versed in profanity.
Stan the Man
If Stan wasn't such a nice guy, you would envy him. Unlike you, he never forgets a flashlight or knife; his dogs are perfectly mannered in the duck blind and never run too big hunting pheasants; and he's a pure instinctive shooter who rarely misses. He's the type of guy everyone wants to hunt with. An expert in shotgun science, he's there to help should you ask but never overbearing with the advice. He's on time, pays for his share of the gas and carries an extra Thermos of coffee. Despite his modest income, he has a safe full of old Spanish side-by-sides, Belgian automatics and the best Italy has to offer; you're welcome to borrow them any time. Should you have a bad day shooting clays, he'll quietly tell the spectators, "He ain't much into sporting clays, but you should see that boy shoot anything with feathers!"