The Most Wonderful Time


Are you kidding me?  In 2 days pheasant season opens.  It’s tough to believe it’s the middle of October and we’ll be running the dogs, yelling “ROOOOSSTERRR!”, and ending the day in the shed cleaning birds, drinking beer, and smoking some cigars.  People that know me know that I absolutely love Christmas and I mean LOVE Christmas.  The thing is that while many consider that the most wonderful time of the year, to me it’s pheasant season.

I just saw an article in a magazine from Benny Spies, a fellow South Dakotan, and it read, “Aside from the abuse I take at times for my shooting, pheasant hunting is not only a heck of a lot of fun, but also a precious tradition for me.  The people, the outdoors, the adventure, the fellowship, the celebration after the hunt and the verbal beating I get on account of my shooting- pheasant hunting is much more than the hunt itself.”

Wow.  I couldn’t have said it any better myself.  There is a movement of anti-hunting out there who’s goal it is to make things like the paragraph above much tougher and to be honest would love to just shut it down.  What these people don’t realize is that taking away hunting you take away moments like above.  You take away a a father and son hunting behind their young dog, seeing that son shoot his first bird. You take away the one opportunity each year that friends of 20 years get together to see each other, laugh at and pick on each other, and maybe shoot a few birds which is often the most unimportant part of the hunt.  Finally you take away the memory of one of our greatest days in the field when my cousin passed away from 8 guys who will cherish that memory forever.  We still talk about how amazing the pheasant hunting was that day.

That is what is more unbelievable is the fact that I’m entering the first season without John.  Pictures from the game cam are coming in and I won’t have him to send pictures to and get some smart ass comment back on how tiny a deer is.  We’ll be out hunting and he won’t be riding my ass after I miss a pheasant nor will he be around to have a Miller Lite with when we’re cleaning the birds still riding my ass about missing that pheasant or pheasants.  It’s going to be tough getting back out in the field, but to be honest it’s going to be refreshing.  The thing that I have grown up with since Uncle Jim first put his land into CRP many years ago has become such a huge part of me that I can’t live without it.  The camaraderie.  Your heart jumping out of your chest when a hen gets up 2 feet from you.  The sheer adrenaline rush when you hear the wings beating, that cackle, and guys yelling “ROOOSTERR!”  Most importantly the stories that will be told for years to come and will be remembered as if they were yesterday.

So while I wasn’t sure how I would be feeling once pheasant and deer season came, I know what I will feel.  Sadness I’m not hunting with John, but revitalization from the fact that hunting season is here. So you can bet your ass that this year I will still be getting out with my guys.  My dad, uncle Jim and Larry, brothers in law, Lipps, Korleski,  my chiro buddies, and whomever else wants to hunt.  You can bet your ass we’ll miss more birds than we hit and I will hear John in the back of my mind yelling “How’d you miss that dumbass!”  You can also bet your ass we’ll end the hunt picking on the guy who missed the most birds, drinking a few Miller Lites or glasses of Pendleton, smoking a Backwoods, still talking about past hunts with nothing but fond remembrance… And I’m going to love and cherish every second of it.  Happy hunting boys.

Till next time,

Christopher “TINY” Lane