Our First Western Tour: Preparations

As a carefree, young, healthy college student, the first round of stay-at-home orders issued during the COVID-19 pandemic meant fewer responsibilities and less work. No longer shackled to the office cubicles where we normally carried out the duties of wildlife research assistants, my roommates and I rejoiced in the freedom, its unexpected rush into our little world. A leisurely “15 days to flatten the curve” sounded ideal. The added flexibility in our schedules meant plenty of time to catch up on sleep and binge-watch the latest Netflix series.

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The Planning Season

A few years back, a friend jokingly prodded me about the obsessive nature of my love for upland bird hunting. Because “hunting season only lasts 6 months” he said I would “be deprived of happiness during the off-season”, half of my life. It is true that nothing brings greater joy to my life than watching my dogs do what they were born and bred to do. A motionless point, contrasting our fast-paced world, immersed within the beauty of some forgotten western landscape, like a piece of framed artwork, is an irrefutable breathtaking scene. In my opinion, the experiences collected during the hunting season are worth a few months of insipid living.

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