There is nothing like hunting season; when brisk air bites at bare skin and the challenge of the hunt begins.
Every hunt has its challenges, which evens the score for the quarry and keeps the hunter in pursuit.
Hunting isn’t about the kill or bag limits, or it shouldn’t be, but is a personal quest, a way to touch nature, view it and be a part of it.
While walking fields of bluestem and stubble during the Pheasants Forever Rooster Road Trip last week I wasn’t a hunter with a gun but with a camera, which was just as exciting. The hunters stalking alongside their dogs trying to outwit the sly rooster was a sight and as I took photos I felt in sync with the outdoors, taking in every cold breath of the north wind and loving every minute of it.
The dogs were working the field side-by-side, each one knowing their role and each just as excited to be in the field.
When a point or flush came, rushing heartbeats were in each hunter and canine until a bird either hit the ground or flew off narrowly escaping the gunshot – either way that is the exciting part of the hunt.
Looking at the beauty of each bird taken; iridescent feathers in intricate patterns all perfectly designed and knowing that the bird will make a delicious meal for the table is all part of the experience.
Goose hunting is no different than walking a field for pheasants – it’s about the experience and touching nature that brings hunters back every time.
There is nothing like seeing a flock of Canadas coming into a decoy spread; the hunter calling to the flock, enticing and luring the large birds close enough for the shot all while the dog shakes with anticipation for a retrieve. Once in range the shots begin with skill, then the dog gets his time to shine for the retrieve. One of the best things in the field is to have a trusty four-legged friend along to share the experience with, to work together with for downed quarry and to enjoy a morsel or two off the plate at home.
Deer hunters also experience the best of nature when walking canyons or sitting silently in a stand trying to outwit a deer with seemingly extrasensory perception, sometimes in the most extreme conditions.
This is the love of the hunt; it’s what keeps hunters coming back to the field each and every time – sharing their passion with others whether family or friends. It’s a tradition long held in Nebraska and around our great country. Harvesting an animal is only a fraction of the hunt – experiencing nature in many ways and being with those we like to be around to share experiences with is what hunting is all about.