As I sit here, deeply saddened by the fact that waterfowl season is over for Roux and I for a while, I have to pause and think about what a GREAT season it has been.
It's easy to get hung up on bird numbers, and those were great for us this year. I know my hunting parties took more birds than we have in several years, and my personal numbers were an all time high. More importantly, Roux had his best season ever, topping 300 retrieves for the year, nearly doubling his career numbers in one season. Not too shabby for a Brown Dog and a weekend warrior.
Those numbers are fine, but they are not the ones that really matter. Roux and I got the opportunity to hunt 5 states this year, but even that pales in comparison to my favorite figure. In reviewing our journal from this past season, I learned that Roux and I got to hunt with 52 different friends, old and new, this season! Sure, most of our hunts were with a core group of close friends, as it should be. However, we also got the opportunity to hunt with a large number of kids getting started in this great sport of ours, and that makes me very proud. We also got to hunt with some friends we don't get to see nearly often enough, and many of those have enough experience to fill volumes of duck hunting journals. We even got the chance to hunt with two international hunters from Malta (see "The Southern Swing" entry). I was honored to be able to spend time with them and hear their amazing stories from around the globe.
When it comes down to it, THESE are the numbers that really matter. Expanding our experiences, making new friends, rekindling old ones, strengthening the bonds between close friends, and especially spending time with a great dog...THAT is what it is all about.
|Brown Dog and I bringing in the last birds of the season.|
Now, let's start thinking about Argentina!