Posts Tagged ‘boots’

Double on Huns ... now that's an indelible memory, boots or not.

Double on Montana Huns … now that’s an indelible memory, boots or not.

I don’t know what you have on your end-of-season to do list, but it seems like mine gets longer every year. One of the topmost chores is saddle-soaping my hunting boots. Today was the first spring-like day here: blue skies, last week’s rain rising from the ground to weight the atmosphere, and a blazing sun … ideal boot cleaning conditions.

With brush, water, saddle soap arrayed on the porch, out marched the footwear, pair after pair after muddy pair lined up like so many recruits awaiting their first day of basic training. Scrub, wipe, array in the sunshine to dry … assuringly familiar, this routine, a note of finality with each pair dispatched.

The tall boots rekindled memories of a hell-bent stream crossing after valley quail, alone but for my dogs. The mountaineering boots proudly wore scars from jagged lava rock, abrasions suffered in pursuit of chukars with a college chum. A cushy, “civilized” pair were worn only once this season, on a memorable bobwhite hunt with some real Yankees from Vermont, quite at home in Alabama, also quite genteel. Each boot brought another memory bubbling up from the subconscious, as vivid as the video footage you’ll eventually see on the show.

Last week, gun cleaning. This week, boot cleaning. Next week, I’m sure something else will find it’s way onto the list. Until then, I’ll pour another cup of coffee and relive my time in the hills and prairies, reminiscences now written onto the soles of each boot.

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Gun, shells, beer, dog ... I think I have everything.

Gun, shells, beer, dog ... I think I have everything.

My Irish Setter boots are broken-in, the Tri-Tronics Upland Sport G3 collar is charged and ready, and Buddy is in shape for warm weather and skittish birds. The jury’s still out on whether I’m ready for the bushwhacking we will attempt Monday. 

We’re starting in northeast Oregon on a trickle of a stream where I was chased off my fly fishing years ago by a momma ruffed grouse guarding her brood. When I next visited, it was with pro guide Ed Hall, and we were carrying shotguns, not fly rods. I wonder if we shot any of her progeny?

Stand by for news from the field … If I survive! Meanwhile, in the comments section below tell me where you’re hunting in your Irish Setter boots. I’ll pick one person per week from here and our radio show callers, who will win a new pair of Irish Setter boots or a new Irish Setter hunting coat.

Scott (& Buddy)

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