© 2013 Aaron Atkinson

Pheasant Season

Pumpkins are carved, leaves are turning, cider simmers on the stove and frost flickers on the morning grass. Fall is here. And while fall is my favorite season for a number of reasons, foremost among them is the annual onset of bird hunting.

This weekend marks the opener of the Kansas pheasant hunting season. While the ongoing drought has taken its toll on our quarry, we’ll once again venture to the open prairies to hunt birds behind our loyal hounds. And while it’s always more fun to head west knowing that flocks of pheasants await, there’s something nice about knowing that although we’ll bring fewer birds to hand this season, we’ll earn every one of them with miles trod and boot leather burned.

As I was organizing my gear, it struck me that finding fewer birds does have a slight upside – instead of lugging a heavy box of shells into every field in the hopes of hitting the mother-load, I’ll instead be able to trim a couple of pounds by only carrying the handful I’ll realistically need.

If that isn’t seeing the ever-so-faint silver lining of optimism, I don’t know what is.

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