We have one week left of the upland season here in South Dakota, and as is the case every year I can’t believe it’s gone. I’ll get out a few more times before it’s over, but it will be more an exercise of getting out than honest-to-goodness hunting. This year will go down as my worst season on many fronts, at least in recent memory, yet I’m still sad to see it go.
In an effort to salvage the year I had planned to head to Texas in February, with a dog trainer friend, but as that trip gets closer it very likely isn’t going to happen. Then, with Maggie’s injury, I thought maybe a quick trip to Kansas in January to make up for lost time; however, that too likely will go by the wayside as she still hobbles on the injured leg from time-to-time and just isn’t ready for a return to the field. Very likely I’ll end up going on a couple of Canada goose hunts along the Missouri River sans my dogs. It is something I’ve wanted to do since moving out here and I’m thinking this year just might be the year. After a two-year hiatus from waterfowling, mainly due to Emma’s condition and passing, the itch is starting to return. It began to surface last spring during the snow goose season and has been building this fall. I’m looking forward to training this psychotic little white dog with the hopes of a return to waterfowling full-force next fall.
The 2008 hunting season will be one remembered for what could have been. We saw some of the best habitat conditions and bird numbers in a generation, but Mother Nature intervened with a wicked sense of irony. The crops were left in the fields much later than normal; heck we saw one farmer combining a field in the frozen snow just this weekend. The fall started with a lot of rain, which was followed much too early by snow, wind and cold weather. We were forced to watch as the birds grouped up much too early and played catch me if you can, reeking havoc on these poor pointing dogs.
We had some good times, the dogs got out and Lily has been started down the path of a hunting dog, but in the end this season won’t be one for the ages.