I'm starting to read some of the bird dog books my cousins Andy and Shawn recommend. My favorite so far is "Drummer In The Woods" by Burton L. Spiller. My favorite excerpt is the following.
Just recently an aquantance took me to the task of spending so much time afield. "Did you ever count the cost of your hunting?" he asked. "Of the time you have lost and the money you have spent?"
I replied and truthfully too, that I had never lost a moment's time in hunting: that I counted only that time lost which I spent working.
My aquantance is the type who believes every arguement is won by the person who shouts the loudest; so after he had become sufficiently out of breath to listen for a moment I told him the truth.
"You" I said, "have tended strictly to business for more than a quarter century. Sick or well, winter and summer, through storm or shine, you have missed hardly a day. You have acquired a lot of money. More money than I can ever dream of having. I hope you enjoy it, for you have paid a high price for it. A mighty high price. You think the days and weeks and months I have spent afield were wasted. Well, let me tell you this. If such a thing were possible, I would not trade even the memories of those glorious days for all the money you will ever posses."
... Can memories be measured by gold? If so than I am rich indeed.
As I read I couldn't help thinking about my first Pheasant, Lady's first point, my nephews first pheasant, my first deer, my first brook trout on a fly rod, and the list goes on and on. I wouldn't trade my memories afield for any amount of money.