In 1992 my wife and I moved to California. I had spent 17 years pursuing ruffed grouse and woodcock in Minnesota preceded by a decade of pheasants and quail in Nebraska. California seemed right for us then; I'm not so sure now. More of that as the blog unfolds in the weeks to come.
I am back, sort of, in a "virtual" way. The blog is the vehicle. I never really got the Minnesota woods out of my system. I made several trips back for grouse/woodcock hunting during the 90s but eventually a series of severe problems with my eyes brought shooting to an end. Through the efforts of some super-skilled surgeons in Alabama during 2004-2006, I regained sharp vision once more. Three years ago a Marine pal took me to the skeet and trap field at Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, CA to try a few clay targets. I was hooked again. Now, with four shotguns, reloaders for three gauges, a passel of new hunting gear and a wonderful English Pointer bitch named Pride, I am back in business. The only thing lacking is a set of 30-something legs to make me go! Nearing 71, I don't roam the fields quite the way I did way back when. But, I persevere!
What can I bring to Minnesota bird hunters and shotgunners from the Left Coast? Remains to be seen, but maybe I can put a little perspective on bird hunting from my experience, sound a few alarm bells regarding the steady erosion of gun rights out here--they are coming after all of you too-don't be mistaken. And, share a little thinking about the beauty of our outdoor heritage.
Some of you may remember me from the skeet/trap clubs around the TC area, my early days on the board of Pheasants Forever--I was present at the start--and the early Ruffed Grouse Society banquets. I remember the first ever in the TC area at the Lafayette Club many moons ago. I also remember when clear-cutting and controlled burning to improve habitat weren't dirty words and there were really good populations of grouse and woodcock. We'll recall some of those days.
Stay tuned. I hope to hear from some of you as I toss out a few bones to gnaw on.
Thanks, Dennis, for the opportunity to be here.