Good bird season

Good bird season

Winter’s first serious snowfall  brought out the curmudgeon in me. I’ve been grumbling the past two days that this might be the beginning of a series of storms that will bring bird season to an end.

National Weather Service predicts warm and sunny days are coming next week to the North Country, which should melt the accumulation of snow and ice, but NWS has deceived and disappointed me before. I can tolerate the cold, but when the snow gets deep my bird season is over.

After this morning’s plodding walk around the farm with Sasha and Abbey, I holed up in my clubhouse to do some editing and rewriting on a soon-to-be published book while the French ladies slept on the couch. Looking at a few photos scattered across the tabletop I was cheered by the realization that, coming to an end or not, this has been a damned good bird season for the three of us, in company with the Over the Hill Gang.

Here are snapshots of a few of the best days. All credit to good dog work.


Abbey – at the end of the only day we came back from the Fort Pierre National Grassland in South Dakota with a limit of grouse. Despite low numbers of birds, we had four great days of hunting in beautiful country.



Sasha, my best woodcock dog ever, with three she found for me on our mid-October hunt in northeast Minnesota.



Abbey – with the four birds shot over her points one day on our early November pheasant hunt in northern South Dakota.


Quimby hunt 2015

Double-teaming ’em. Abbey, left, and Sasha with the bounty taken from the steep hillsides of a restored native grass prairie in western Iowa.


Abbey Elma Birds 2

Back in the clubhouse after a cold and windy day’s hunt in northeast Iowa last week. I forgot the camera, so Abbey had to suffer through an indoor photo shoot. As you can see, she thinks this is ridiculous.



Now, on a nasty weather day in winter, I get to write about it! After December 15, look for the publication of “Coot Stews,” the third collection of essays in the Old Coot series of books.


Okay, I’ll stop grumbling. It’s been a good bird season, and we may have opportunities to go afield a few more days before it’s over.

Hope your fall has been equally good and that your Christmas season is filled with happy and rewarding days.


About Jerry Johnson

Curmudgeon. Bird hunter and dog trainer. Retired journalist and college public relations director. Former teacher, coach, mentor. Novelist and short story writer. Husband, father, grandfather.
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5 Responses to Good bird season

  1. Jessie says:

    Great dog, nice gun, good hat!

    Looking forward to Coot Stews! 🙂

  2. MSK says:

    Great picture of you and Abbey. And “Coot Stews.” Love it. Let me know when you’ll be signing.

  3. Will do. Probably won’t be until January.

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