A new friend just shared this poem by Edgar A. Guest. It was a favorite of her husband’s who had a long career with the US Fish and Wildlife Service trying to protect birds from the evils of DDT. He was an avid bird hunter and stamp collector. I never knew him but we all owe him for his scientific work several decades ago. Be safe out there and enjoy the season.
With Dog and Gun
Out in the woods with a dog an’ gun
Is my idea of a real day’s fun.
‘Tain’t the birds that I’m out to kill
That furnish me with the finest thrill,
‘Cause I never worry or fret a lot,
Or curse my luck if I miss a shot.
There’s many a time, an’ I don’t know why,
That I shoot too low or I aim too high,
An’ all I can see is the distant whirr
Of a bird that’s gittin’ back home to her-
Yep, gittin’ back home at the end o’ day,
An’ I’m just as glad that he got away.
There’s a whole lot more in the woods o’ fall
Than the birds you bag- if you think at all.
There’s colors o’ gold an’ red an’ brown
As never were known in the busy town;
There’s room to breathe in the purest air
An’ something worth looking at everywhere;
There’s the dog who’s leadin’ you on an’ on
To a patch o’ cover where birds have gone,
An’ standin’ there, without move or change,
Till you give the sign that you’ve got the range.
That’s thrill enough for my blood, I say,
So why should I care if they get away?
Fact is, there are times that I’d ruther miss
Than to bring ’em down, ’cause I feel like this:
There’s a heap more joy in a living thing
Than a breast crushed in or a broken wing,
An’ I can’t feel right, an’ I never will,
When I look at a bird that I’ve dared to kill.
Oh, I’m jus’ plumb happy to tramp about
An’ follow my dog as he hunts ’em out,
Jus’ watchin’ him point in his silent way
Where the Bob Whites are an’ the partridge stay;
For the joy o’ the great outdoors I’ve had,
So why should I care if my aim is bad?
Here is a link for some background on Mr. Guest: