Nothing fills my spirits more than rounding the turn at Bear Swamp Rd in Hertford, North Carolina and seeing all the trucks parked at Tommy Harrell’s farm! Four things are for sure; I know I’m going to laugh hard, see some old friends, eat like a king, and that afternoon, enjoy one of the finest sporting traditions anywhere, the NC Dove Opener.
Yesterday was no exception, and it started early, I have never seen so many birds flying. My good friend Paul Mann, a veteran of many trips to Argentina said it was as good as it gets. The handy work of Hank Griffin had him limited out in what seemed to be about 20 minutes, a wave across the field and he was headed to the house. Before the hunt, looking around the farm shop where Tommy sets out the meal, there were three generations of hunters at almost every table. That is what I love seeing, young and old, sharing in this great tradition. Young boys in anxious anticipation of their first “big boy” hunt with grandad, and others there for the 15th year in a row. This year, along with my son Ryan, I brought along my friend Jim Gilreath and his two boys, James and Reid, and they were not to be disappointed! James and Ryan were piling them up and Reid (still too young to shoot) was busy running across the field retrieving the fallen. What a cool thing, the boys were regaling their triumph the whole ride home.
Be sure to take a kid afield this fall, they’ll love you for it!