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A Porcupine Provides Perspective

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

               –Excerpt from William Wordsworth’s poem “The World is Too Much with Us



It’s time to reconnect with nature

You may recall these lines of poetry from high school English class and wonder of their place in this pheasant guy’s blog.  The answer to their presence begins on Saturday morning under a glorious sunny sky.


I was hunting with my dad, brother, 10-year old nephew, my dad’s Brittany and my two shorthairs.  The temps were crisp and the winds were low.  All the elements were in place for a memorable day afield.


Then, I began to shoot and miss.  In total, I racked up a dozen misses without meat for the pot by late afternoon.  My frustration mounted.  My smile disappeared.  My words became short.  I had lost perspective.


That’s when my 7-month-old shorthair, Izzy, raced back to me with terror in her eyes and a mouth full of porcupine.  Quickly, my dad and brother came to my aid, and we successfully removed more than two dozen quills mostly outside of Izzy’s muzzle.  It’s no secret a bad porcupine encounter can be life threatening.  Izzy and I had gotten off lucky, and in fact, that porcupine had given me perspective on my inaccuracy, in shooting and in how I’d been living life that day.


What was true in Wordsworth’s time is still true today; the world is too much with us.  I often think about society’s disconnection to nature from Leopold’s perspective of food and land.  However, the weekend’s porcupine added the complexity of society’s disconnection to nature that Wordsworth references.  In simplest terms, life is short.  A missed shot, even a box of missed shots, shouldn’t deflect your eyes from the blessing of a day afield with a healthy family, happy bird dogs and our natural world.


Perhaps today’s blog is a little too heavy, so allow me to lighten up my point.  Take tomorrow off from work and go bird hunting.  You only live once, so you better make the most of the trip.


The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.  Follow Bob on Twitter @BobStPierre.


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3 Responses to “A Porcupine Provides Perspective”

  1. ACE ZOLA says:

    Well said. A hunter in the field has to sometimes remember why he is truly out hunting. I believe for everything, the sights, the smells, the friendship and yes, if he is lucky or sharp enough, to also bag a bird or two. A friend of mine had to put his young shorthair down in the field immediately a few years ago as it was quilled so badly there wasn’t even time to get it to a vet. I won’t go into specifics, but you can imagine.

  2. Brian says:

    I’ll take your advice and take the afternoon off to do some hunting. Thanks!

  3. Rick Olson says:

    A bad day of hunting is always better than a good day at work. I am a firm believer that hunting is more than just going afield with the dog and my shotgun. When we do this, re keep in touch with the tactile senses now lost to social media, computers and how we originally survived.


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