A hunt is nothing if not a memory, a lasting image captured in your
It's the friendliness of Bill and Kathy Dillon's Big Spur Lodge
with its 14,000 acres of wild-bird habitat, and rooster pheasants in the hundreds made
cagey by the hunters who came before us.
It's Doug Parker's yellow Lab, Jasmine, working hard and then
refueling by eating our lunches in the back of the Suburban while we chatted away sort of
It was Bob Naleid's young dog, Romy, not leaving a bit of the
thick cover unexplored; and Bob Ripley's black Lab Sportscaster, an AKC Master Hunter,
getting his first taste of wild pheasants and finding out he liked it just fine.
It was Mike Lardy, the five-time National Retriever
Championship handler, snoozing in the warm sunshine with a sweet little Chesapeake named
Glory asleep across his chest. It was the guy who wrote all those wingshooting books
missing a two-barrel sucker shot in the wide open in front of witnesses and getting hooted
It was Jim English and Bob Drummond blocking the escape routes as
Doug's big male Lab, Poacher, chased the runners - and then not missing their chances.
Late-season roosters offer us more than a reason to be in the
field as winter bears down. They help us collect some memories as well.
Mike Lardy and Glory...
Steve Smith, RJ Editor and
shotgunner par average...
Bill Dillon and Doug Parker's
yellow Lab Jasmine...
Bob Ripley and Sport...