A breeder I used to know was a blunt SOB. Within 30 minutes of our first meeting he cut me off mid sentence and said this: “Someday you’ll grow up and be done with that.”
We had been talking about pheasant hunting in South Dakota, and I had mentioned the numbers of birds we were killing out there. This was back in ’03, when we were seeing 4-500 pheasants a day on the ground we hunted. Limiting out wasn’t the problem. Limiting out before noon was.
But this arrogant breeder wasn’t impressed. He looked down on anyone who gauged success by the number of bird killed — especially if the birds were wild.
Back then, his attitude pissed me off. I get it now, though.
These days, even though I love to upland hunt, killing birds is far from my top priority. Feathers in hand are nice, and a dead bird every now and then does a lot to keep a bird dog interested in the game. but there’s a lot more that