Natural Born Retriever

watercolor, watercolour, pen and ink, golden retriever, pheasant, hunting

Blitz follows her nose to the prize.

Blitz took me pheasant hunting last week.  I think she would drive herself if she had thumbs.  Luckily, she needs a gunner tagging along.  It’s my joy to watch this girl living her bliss.  I captured this hunting moment in watercolor, and pen and ink.

Blitz, pheasants, hunting, pheasant hunting

Blitz with her bag.

Pheasants And The Meaning Of Life

This painting for me is more than a picture of a beautiful rooster pheasant. It is me trying to express the essence of something in my life that is significant.

Pheasant, ring-neck pheasant, watercolor, watercolour, art, , pThis painting has been on the board a long time. It is destined for my office. Oddly, I’ve never hung any of my art in my office. I guess it is about time.

Blitz joyfully returns with a bird.

Blitz joyfully returns with a bird.

Pheasant season ended a few weeks ago. It is a time when our dogs get to live their bliss, as Mary is so fond of putting it, living-bliss. I’ve re-blogged her post, because it is also about the dogs doing what they are born to do. They are working dogs and hunting is their work. They are happiest when they are working. What they do is written in their DNA.

golden retriever, hunting, photography

Teka can’t wait for her turn. She stakes out my truck.

I suppose the same is true for me. If I was plopped down in the American West 200 years ago I think I would have been perfectly happy. Engaging in hunting with dogs, friends and family keeps me connected to my roots and more primitive self.

golden retriever, hunting, photography

Teka was born to hunt birds.

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Teka delivers a pheasant to her person, Doug.

Dogs are pack animals and pheasant hunting helps them live their pack experience. The difference is that we are now their pack, but the satisfaction to them is the same.

golden retriever, hunting, photography, pheasant

Teka relishes bringing the bird to Doug and receiving his appreciation.

If I didn’t have bird dogs I probably wouldn’t bird hunt. The pleasure they bring to it is what makes it complete. These dogs have such heart in what they do. Hunting without them would be like dancing alone.

golden retriever, hunting, photography, pheasant

Blitz on a water retrieve.

Procuring food is such a basic human activity. By acquiring food myself, I appreciate the meal much more. To spend the time hunting and experiencing the joy of success with my partners makes me think about what our hunter gatherer ancestors did on a daily basis. Then to have to go through the process of cleaning and preparing this food, it puts me very in touch with the reality of what was given.

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Blitz is happiest while doing her work.

When I hold the pheasant in my hand that I just killed and Blitz just fetched, I experience a blend of feelings. There is joy in the success and satisfaction of providing this meal to my family. There is appreciation for the beauty and for what this creature lost, it’s life. That leaves me with some sadness, but it is the reality of life. It causes me to not take meat in the grocery store for granted.

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Blitz has a lively pheasant.

The time out in the field away from the day to day activities is a welcome break to go enjoy a more primal experience. There are things all around to be noticed that add to the richness of this time spent.

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Canadian Geese hiding in the grass.

This time means so much when spent with family.

golden retriever, hunting, photography, Pheasant

My oldest son, Chris with his girl Nellie. This will be her last pheasant season.

family, sons, golden retriever, hunting, pheasant

My sons and Nellie.

This is also a time for me to remember my old loyal hunting partners from years past. The ones that gave me so many fond memories. Last year was Hawk’s last season only we didn’t know it at the time. He should have had many more pheasants to retrieve. We miss him very much. Mary posted about him a while back, Her Papa’s Eyes.

golden retriever, hunting, photography

Hawk during his last pheasant season. An old hunting partner remembered.

Popping By The Pole Yard

We never know who might just pop by the Pole Yard.  While driving through the yard the other day this rooster pheasant was strutting down the road.  Unconcerned, he took his sweet time.  I stopped, not wanting to run over His Excellency, and took some pictures to record this auspicious occasion.  He finally moved out of the road, but seemed somewhat perturbed by the inconvenience.

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His Excellency on parade.

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He finally allows us to pass.

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Even I have to admit, he is a handsome fellow.

Teka and Blitz were busy plotting against His Excellency!

Teka and Blitz were busy plotting against His Excellency!