Myth: A Day Afield Always Tops a Day in the Office

by
posted on September 20, 2012
dogs_ah2015_fs.jpg (26)

The life of a freelance outdoor writer is not one of glamour. The hours are terrible. Pay is inconsistent. And when you aren't chained to your keyboard, you're busy reminding editors that you think they're super smart.

However, you're also your own boss. You can live where you want, work when you want and, best of all, hunt when you want.

And so last Friday afternoon, as a cold front rolled into central Pennsylvania, I made a spur of the moment decision to go dove hunting. Not much was flying lately, but I figured the weather change may trigger some activity, and a bad day afield always trumps a good day in the office. Or so they say.

My springer, Freedom, and I set forth into the state land, the cool breeze putting us both in a good mood—Fall has arrived. Beyond a brushy hedgerow lay a stand of corn about 40 yards in breadth. It's been a decent spot to pick off doves as they rocket in for a meal.

Unfortunately as I round the bend I discover that the corn was harvested the day prior and replaced by a layer of manure—Freedom's favorite, especially on days such as this when he's freshly bathed. He completely disregards my exasperated shouts and charges off into the manure, perhaps intending to put some distance between us for his next act: rolling around in the manure with a great deal of enthusiasm.

After Freedom and I have a "discussion" about his behavior, I set up my hunting chair and hunker into some cover. There is still plenty of corn scattered in the field and, despite my smelly mutt, I hope for a few shots. Freedom is beside himself. He's upset about his talking to and tries to nestle against my leg. This doesn't achieve the result he's looking for.

By now he's covered in flies—I mean covered—and he makes several attempts to catch them as they buzz about his head. I ask him whether he's ever met a more disgusting dog, but he doesn't answer.

My refusal to pet him only increases his guilt, leading him to seek solace beneath my chair. In doing so, he causes the swarm of flies to hover all around me. They buzz my ears. They land annoyingly on my arms and my shotgun.

And after an hour of enduring this stinky, dove-free, fly-infested hell, I can't take it anymore. I leash my filthy dog and head for the truck. After my shotgun is unloaded, a few doves fly over, no doubt taunting us. As we reach the vehicle, I realize I picked a bad day to allow Freedom to ride uncrated on the front seat. A week later, my truck still smells like a cow pasture.

So, sure, a bad day of hunting is usually better than a good day at work. But not always.

Latest

MAIN 2022 Oregon Waterfowl Stamp Winner
MAIN 2022 Oregon Waterfowl Stamp Winner

Oregon: ODFW announces 2023 annual wildlife art contest

The winning artist in each contest receives a $2,000 award and winning artwork is used to produce collector's stamps and other promotional items with sale proceeds benefitting Oregon's fish, wildlife and their habitats.

Primos Releases New Trigger Stick Gun Mounted Bipods

Primos hunting has announced its new line of Trigger Stick Gun Mounted Bipods, which come in short, medium and tall heights.

New for 2022: Browning X-Bolt Speed Ovix SR

The latest X-Bolt’s new Ovix camo pattern is suitable for a variety of environments, and its shortened, threaded barrel allows users to mount a suppressor while maintaining a reasonable overall length.

First Look: Franchi Instinct Sideplate

The new Instinct Sideplate sets itself apart with an elegantly engraved, color-case-hardened sideplate-style steel receiver, providing classical accents to its gold-plated trigger and complementing its rich AA-grade satin-finish walnut stock.

Savage Arms Announces Sponsorship of NRL Hunter Series Matches

Savage Arms is pleased to announce its sponsorship of the National Rifle League (NRL) Hunter Series—an evolving rifle competition that challenges participants with exciting ways to practice shooting skills in hunting-like conditions.

NSSF Retailer Surveys Indicate 5.4 Million First-Time Gun Buyers in 2021

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the firearm industry trade association, revealed that at least 5.4 million people purchased a firearm for the first time in 2021.

Interests



Get the best of American Hunter delivered to your inbox.