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Mixed emotions about extending bird season

I have mixed feelings about a recent proposal to extend the upland bird season one more month. While I’d love to keep hunting until the end of January, my wife, I’m sure has other thoughts.

The season currently runs from Sept. 1 to Jan. 1.

Barb’s fine for the first three months, but after that her patience begins to grow thin.

“Is it over yet?” she starts asking.

In my defense I list the chores and projects around the house that I had completed during the fall. It’s never a very long list.

“The season will be over soon,” I reassure her.

Now it may not.

Extending the bird season is among the proposals under consideration by the state Fish and Wildlife Commission. With no apparent biological reasons not to extend the season, and only a scattering of landowners opposed, there’s a good chance this will pass.

A four-month season has always been enough for me. I might cry and moan a bit once it’s over, but by the end I’m tired, the dogs are tired, it’s cold, and the days short. I look forward to a period of lethargy, not to mention all those projects around the house.

That being said, bring it on. I’ll simply pace myself, get another dog, and maybe become more conscientious about the honey-dos. I’m not going to complain about a five-month hunting season, even if the last month is bitterly cold and snowing.

It was so cold the last week of December this year that I didn’t even go out. The season expired without me for the first time in memory. I could use an extra month.

I suspect the proposal to extend the season was pheasant-related. There aren’t a lot of bird hunters anymore who spend much time in search of mountain grouse or sharptails, and the pheasant season is shorter, not starting until sometime in October.

I’m not looking forward to breaking this news to Barb. She’s been so good about my hunting, and has even come to terms with the length of the season. It wasn’t until late December when she asked if it was over yet.

“Almost.” I told her. “Almost.”

Now we’ll have to revisit that.

I doubt she’ll be as excited as I am.

Parker Heinlein is at [email protected]


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