Monday, June 18, 2018

Expectations vs Reality

June 1st just passed us by. Which in Montana, means bird eggs are cracking, the rain is going to dry up and ranchers are haying like it is going out of style.  Usually.  Not this year, where the countryside is green and Minnesota-lush. We have had nice, consistent rains which keep watersheds awash with wash and keep the ranchers in the coffee shops instead of in tractors putting chicks in peril. So, it should be a heckuva bird year, right? Too soon to tell. A lot can happen between our nation's birthday and the Upland Bird Holiday of September 1. But, expectations are fairly high. About a 7 out of 10.

The pup is 4 months old today.  With two months of training, plenty of trail runs in the mountains and access to wild birds out the back door and front, Letti should be a setter puppy prodigy. Her pedigree was worthy of a drive home from Kansas and the best dog food one can find in an Uber-free village this size. She seems to be a quick-learner and her Ryman genes appear to be less spastic than my previous Llewellyns. Expectations are about an 8 out of 10.

The little guy in the house that shares my surname and shiny dome will be one-year-old September 30th. Mom has to nearly fight for custody with our two grandmas that live in town, competing to change his diapers.  My Dad hunted more than most bachelors when I was a toddler, so that trait needs to be passed down to the next generation, I believe.  And, work will be slow, with no conflicts with travel from Montana blue grouse season through Hun and sharptail season to Minnesota ruffed grouse season to Montana pheasant opener through Idaho chukar season in January. I will be able to get away at least 45 days this fall because I deserve it.

Expectations, about 3 out of ten.

Bring on September!


  1. Great Post! Pretty much sums up my current reality: 3.5 month old setter (not your type though -- he comes from zippy field trial stock); crossing my fingers that we have a strong hatch (we're getting pounded by rain here in Missoula, which could make things go either way); overall prospects for this coming season (dog potential, bird numbers, free-time/open schedule) seem to be about an 8 out of 10 and I'll keep expectations at about 3 out of 10.
    I'm sure you already have your (far) western Montana contacts, but if not shoot me an email sometime and I'd be happy to take you out to a few unique hun spots around Missoula this season that more closely resemble chukar country than hun country. (Of course you'll be forced to wear a blindfold for the drive!)

    1. Thanks for the offer Joey---I understand the blindfold scenario. Huns in chukar country is hard to beat.

  2. Nice blog. I'm looking forward to reading more. Love the picture. My son and I hit the fields a lot when he was growing up. A lot of great time were had. You will have fun with both of them.