You’ve been following your dogs across the fields and over grassy hillsides for hours. It’s big country, and it seems even bigger with the realization that there’s still a long walk back to the truck.
Then it happens. The dogs, which seconds ago seemed as tired as you, have gotten birdy and there’s a renewed energy of purpose in their gait. They freeze in rigid points and you walk in, telling yourself not to rush the shot, reminding yourself not to think about a second bird until the first one folds. The birds flush in every direction, but you focus on those going straight away. The gun barks once without conscious thought, and then again.
This drawing of Ben O. Williams is one of four original images created for the Pheasants Forever Upland Bird Hunting Super Issue 2019.
This original pencil on archival paper is 9.5 x 11 inches.