The dogs feel the end of the day just as keenly, but theirs is a different response. While Dixon and I dawdle every chance we get, catching our breath, resting our knees, they’re ranging farther than ever, hunting harder, sensing the time tick away. We call them in, time and again, but they push the limits, knowing there’s little time to waste. The big pointer, Smokey, courses through fire-blackened pines. Boy, a setter, quarters through curtains of river cane, throwing caution to the wind. The falling sun only sharpens their senses and heightens the urgency. They pant with a cadence any hunter can interpret: Where are the birds, where are the birds, where are the birds?