It occurred on a Sunday afternoon nearly ten years ago. I was a freshman in high school, and we resided in Ogden, a suburban north area of Utah– not exactly the most favorable location for a teenager who was really into the outdoors.
Nevertheless, I discovered an area where I can get away from city traffic and take my 2 of my hunting dogs to chase bunnies … and if I were feeling particularly daring, I ‘d slip my BB pistol along, tucked into the waistband of my denim under my sweatshirt, to plink at cans, bottles and possibly the periodic field sparrow or redwing blackbird. I ‘d have been busted, big time, if the cops had ever seen me– remember, this happened in the middle of a residential area in Utah– but fortunately, none ever did.
The area I was talking about 10 or 12 blocks from our house, and everybody in the neighborhood called it “the train lawn” because the Utah Northwestern commuter trains were parked there overnight after they finished their daily tasks from the city. The rail lawn was surrounded by perhaps 20 or 30 acres of weedy fields and a few spots of woods.
My dogs and I spent many hours out there, rattling on around after school and on the weekends. They liked to go after bunnies, but they were both dependable about coming when called, so I never had to worry about them invading trouble on any of the train tracks that laced the location.
One Sunday afternoon, in spring we were out there after lunch, going through one of the fields and toward a stand of willow trees in a swampy area at the far end. My two pet dogs, Lassie (speak about an original name for a pet dog with collie blood) began yipping excitedly. She ‘d do this occasionally if she were on a particularly hot rabbit path. However, there was something even sharper about her pitch this time, and I rushed to keep up with her.
We had only gone a couple of more backyards when a rooster pheasant came up babbling in front of Lassie. Glorious … stunning … to this day those words hardly seem sufficient to describe that bird, outlined so clearly against the clear, blue sky.
I ‘d seen pheasants before, naturally, however, this was the very first one I ‘d ever blushed, and I stood rooted in my tracks. I viewed from afar and the only way I can describe the experience, is to say that it touched my soul. From that moment, a BIRD hunter was born.
After a minute or so I recovered enough to call the dogs in and begin to head home. I knew– knew– that something remarkable had just taken place. Discovering a pheasant in the middle of a Utah suburban area (I would consequently find there was a little flock of them living in those fields surrounding the train lawn) was impressive enough, but this exceeded that.
I decided i was going to end up being a bird hunter. And I require a guardian to accompany me afield.
Hence started a year-long campaign to encourage my parents to let me add a third canine to our home. I quickly decided on a Drahthaar as the kind of hunting dog I desired. I read everything I might discover about the type, plus every book on gun dog training I could lay my hands on. While my friends were focused on buying their first car, I was concentrating on getting my first guardian.
Read more Article: Hunting Dogs Make A Better Outdoor Experience
After a year, my folks finally agreed on the idea. I found an advertisement in the Utah Tribune for a one-year-old male Utah-Drahthaar named Shannon, and he was quickly accompanying me on my excursions to the train lawn, where we started exercising the resident pheasants on a regular basis.
It was another year approximately before I killed my very first pheasant. However, the one that still stands out most in my mind is the rooster that flushed that Sunday afternoon. It has marked me for life as a bird hunter.
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thank you all for reading!