Monday, September 22, 2008

Whiskey in a snipe glass.

Some years ago I bought a set of Old Fashioned glasses that were decorated with Ned Smith paintings of upland game birds. That's the kind of thing we bird hunters do, at least those of us who like to lace up some comfortable boots, grab a shotgun, and follow a good bird dog. We buy bird hunting cocktail glasses, and grouse hunting and dog training books, and little silver woodcock pins we stick on our hats until they're lost in the brush. I even have a necktie with sporting dogs on it. And we sit around and talk about things like straight combs and open chokes, setters versus pointers, hatching seasons and drumming counts.

Anyway, at the end of the day when I'm cleaning my gun or kicking back for some reading and I feel the need for a little liquid libation, I always seem to grab the snipe glass. I don't know why, seeing how the ruffed grouse is my favorite gamebird, by far. Still, the grouse glass sits ignored in the cupboard, along with the dove, woodcock, and pheasant, their gold rims glistening after all these years. I don't shoot many snipe, and my dogs never seem to know what to make of them. Sometimes they'll point 'em, sometimes not. They may chase 'em or pay them no heed. You just never know.

Around grouse camp the term has become something of a catch phrase. Whenever someone gets to boasting about his prowness with a gun, or how great his dog performed someone else is likely to quip "thats just whiskey in a snipe glass."

Following the lead and encouragement of a couple of friends, I've started this posting about my experiences hunting, fishing, and maybe some other outdoor pursuits. It's kind of fun - when the sun goes down it's a neat way of extending the day. I've kept a journal for many years but nobody gets to read that, so this will have to do. And if the tales get to sounding too tall... it is after all, just whiskey in a snipe glass.

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