Upland West by Scott Winston

A Flushing Retriever’s First Boomer

While hunting prairie chickens with Brian Fawcett and his two retrievers, Corky and Tuesday, under the wide expanse of the Rosebud prairie sky, we took pause. Thick, ashen clouds hung low overhead, when suddenly a single golden sunbeam engulfed us in a heavenly spot light. A surreal quiet over took us. I imagined the sounds of thunderous buffalo herds, wagon trains and even the victory cries of Native American hunters, where now there were only the whisperings of native grasses in the wind. Autumn seemed to come alive – complete with lightening, thunder and rain that never hit the ground. I recall looking breathlessly out onto the unforgiving prairie – bolts of lightning shocking the earth like daggers. A familiar sight over many autumns gone by – native and other hunters, past and present, forced to take pause, breathe deeply and appreciate the powers Mother Nature can deliver. It didn’t seem to matter much that we would have to wait out the storm and resume our chicken hunt when the skies cleared.

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