October 16, 2013
Take a Senior Hunting
By Phil Bourjaily
Monday I had the pleasure of playing dove guide to an older gentleman. Our mutual friend Springerman3 suggested I offer to take him out since he, Springerman, would be off in Wisconsin hunting grouse. Keith has permission to hunt a cornfield full of doves and I had a feeling my good deed might be rewarded if I said yes. We met at the field Monday. Keith is 78 and his knees don’t work as well as they used to. While he stays active he told me he hadn’t done any wingshooting since he gave up pheasant hunting 15 years ago. I ferried him out to a bale of corn stalks we could use as a blind, set up some decoys, then drove the truck back to the road and walked in to join him. Keith turned out to be excellent company in the field and we had a very pleasant afternoon. I spotted doves for him, hung out, visited, shot a few birds myself, then went and got the truck and drove it back out to pick him up at quitting time.
We both had such a good time we’re going again this week.
We talk a lot about taking kids out, and it’s important, because they’re the future, but it’s also good to get members of the generation before us out into the field. One of dove hunting’s many charms is that it’s a warm weather activity that’s not strenuous and it’s perfectly suited to taking an old sportsman back into the field. Keith kept saying “It’s nice to be out here,” and “I just like watching them fly.” He’s right, and I hope someone will take me when I can’t go alone anymore so I can enjoy this for as long as possible.