Saturday, September 24, 2011

Bye Bye Blackbird


(I’m still woefully behind on my blogging as is evident from this Labor Day Weekend post I’m just now getting up.  Things have been pretty busy at the gallery and I’m in the process of moving further into the city [yay!] this weekend so I basically get home from work and pack and pass out… sorry.)

For those of you who aren’t exactly up to date with your hunting calendar then I’m thrilled to let you know that, in Texas at least, Labor Day weekend is perennially the opening of dove hunting season… or as it’s known in our family: The Roberts’ Annual Bird of Peace Murdering Dove Hunt Extravaganza Weekend.  I kid, I kid of course.  Some of you may take issue with hunting but I don’t… and for many reasons: population control, shooting guns is generally quite fun when in a safe and controlled environment, and of course, dove tastes delicious.  

The festivities are always held in Midland, TX (where my fraternal grandparents live) and this is the first year I have been able to get out there in well over ten years.  Little J.D. Joseph wasn’t as interested in hunting as I am now and being away in the foreign lands of Michigan didn’t help that much either.

At any rate… due to a snafu with my license I wasn’t exactly able to hunt, per se, so I had to stick to shooting pictures as opposed to birds this year.

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The hunting lease our family always uses is about 25-30 minutes outside of the city and at the second entrance to the property was a fence lined with coyote tails… “a warning” I was told by one of the workers.

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I also couldn’t help but notice the property had an outdoor “venue” for performances. 

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I’m totes doing a recital here!


All of the hunting takes place on the dirt roads surrounding a large sunflower field (the birds come to eat and are shot when entering/exiting) and dawn is one of the better times to go out.

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Dad and uncle David getting their gun on


Brett, my brother’s friend and college roommate (of recent wedding fame), and his dog, Millie joined the party and a large portion of my time was spent with the latter: the perk of not being able to hunt means that it’s absolutely acceptable—even expected—to have an early morning aperitif! That’s what hunters call it, right?

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Speaking of dogs, Matt brought along Scout as well to do a bit of bird-doggin’ and she was quick to find some moisture to cool off in.  And what fun is a sopping wet dog without a bit of a roll in the dirt?

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Scout just loves a good action shot!


We also got a little visit from the game warden… just to make sure everyone was licensed up and not exceeding their respective limits.

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During some of the slower bits, not that there really were any, I figured I’d take a self portrait of sorts.

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It looks like I’m holding the tree BUT I’M NOT!!!  (How sad for me)


By the end of the hunt everyone had their limit and the ground was littered with shell casings and feathers:

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So perhaps this doesn’t qualify for “littered” exactly but you get the point.


All in all it was a great couple of mornings and hopefully next year I’ll have my act together a bit more regarding the license! Group photo time!!!!

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L to R: Uncle David, Granddad, Dad, Scout, Matt


And finally, one parting shot:

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Artist: John Kander and Fred Ebb, Liza Minnelli/ Album: Liza with a Z

BONUS:  Ever wondered what it sounded like to go dove hunting but did feel like getting up before the sun did just to find out!? Well you’re in luck because I recorded a bit of audio while out there!! Now that I think about it I’m not exactly sure why I didn’t move it into the 21st century by taking a video but I suppose that’s the lot you’ve been cast today.


  1. great job of catching the 'meat' of the tradition which started with Jerry and his brothers going home to Abilene to hunt with their dad (your great-grandfather), so it is at least a 60 year tradition for the Roberts boys and girls. hope you are legal next year and will show the others how it is done.


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