My father once told me a story of when he was younger and generously shared a coveted dove hunting spot with one of his “best” friends. It was agreed this undisclosed location would remain known only to them, and would be hunted only in each other’s company. One day, however, on a spontaneous, pre-hunt scouting mission, Dad caught him with a handful of outsiders, sitting with shotguns on buckets, waiting on the evening flight. This suspect friend, seeing Dad’s truck arrive, attempted a duck-and-roll into the short grass in a feeble attempt to hide. Knowing he’d been busted, said friend jumped up and exclaimed, “Glad you’re here, Al! We’ve got ‘em surrounded for ya!” They didn’t speak for 30 years after.
Dad’s story, a failed marriage and a short list of personal misadventures have left me skeptical, somewhat picky, and in desperate need of friends. One would assume that of the 227 listed on Facebook, I ought to find at least one qualified person in the bunch, but prolific posting of cat videos and celebrity memes doesn’t support the characteristics I’m looking for in a hunting partner.
Because there isn’t an OutdoorMatch.com, or a WildernessMate.net site to pair me with the perfect companion (maybe there should be), I’ve listed some desired requirements and values for anyone interested in boosting my pool of companions before the spring turkey season arrives.
While hopeful, I’m not holding my breath. I’ve grown accustomed to hunting alone. Not finding the right partner just means more goose pepperoni for me.
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