The last time we went hunting was the 2005 Elk hunt. Apparently the collared elk (or Jamie, out of fairness I think we have to blame him) had managed to jinx our chances of drawing a successful hunt... By the time 2008 rolled around, the only thing certain is that I needed to be shooting at something, and said something needed to die. After not getting drawn for the 3rd straight year, Dwaine mentioned going Pheasant hunting. I'd never been and thought it would be a pretty cool time. The community of Arch, NM has a fundraiser around a pheasant hunt so we headed up there, picking Richard up along the way. Richard wasn't going to hunt, but it was cool having him out either way.

This wound up being one of the most fun hunting experiences I have ever had. First, let's be honest here. This wasn't "wild" hunting. They put birds out every night and in the morning when you'd swing by the community center they had maps of where they had dropped them off, so we kind of knew at least the area to be in. Second, these birds were stoooopid. They'd run around the road and generally speaking act in such a manner that it was probably a good thing to just take them out of the gene pool. Even then it was a blast. You were constantly looking around while driving around hoping to see something, if you did there was this mad dash to get out of the truck, get loaded and take a shot before the birds took off. You also had to walk the fields trying to flush the birds up, which wasn't very easy. You could walk right on them and they wouldn't move. If they did, the chase was on, trying to get them to flush, all that good stuff. After 2 days I came to a few realizations:

1) One of the most fun hunting experiences you can have.
2) When someone had a good dog, you really knew it. We got to watch a few folks with dogs and I mean to tell you, they were impressive. There's something to be said for a good hunting dog.
3) Richard is a great guide, but he pretty much sucks as a hunting dog. :-)
4) After 2 days in a hotel room with Richard and Dwaine, if Obama wants to know how to fix the gas shortage he should talk to me.

I'm glad we went and I'm looking forward to going again now.

Me with 3 birds

All the birds from the first day

Dwaine and me with the birds

It wouldn't be hunting without a picture of Dwaine holding a pecker...