December 15, 2020. It was mine and Ruth's first quail hunt. My dad and I took a trip to Vernon, Alabama, 170 miles away, to see how she'd do. I didn't carry a gun this trip. My job was just to manage Ruth. My dad would be the shooter. As we stepped off the covered wagon into the open field, I could feel the anticipation and nervousness rising inside me. What if we traveled all this way and Ruth didn't find a bird? How embarrassing that would be. The air was cool and crisp. The sun was shining brightly. My nervousness melted away quickly... Ruth was on point.
There is nothing like watching a bird dog go on point. Stiff as a board, chest moving rhythmically as she breathes slowly, nose inches from the bird hidden in the cover, tail pointed upwards towards the sky. It's the most beautiful sight, and after that first trip to hunt quail in north Alabama, I was hooked.
I had always wanted a Vizsla, a beautiful copper colored pointer. Ruth was going to be her name. My little copper colored "companion." I didn't get to pick her. I was the last on the list to choose, and she was the last of her litter, the runt. But God knew she needed to be mine, and on December 21, 2018, I brought Ruth home.
I knew Ruth would change me the moment I got her, but as a cute, wrinkly, stubborn, velcro puppy, I couldn't imagine yet how. After that first hunt together in Alabama, though, I realized she was finally in her element, and I was ready to join her. On February 5, 2021, I had the opportunity to shoot my first bird over her... a moment I'll never forget and will cherish forever.
Over the last few years, I've enjoyed watching Ruth work the fields. From our frequent trips to a local quail preserve, to hunting woodcock on public land, to the big skies of Kansas to hunt pheasants, to the hills of Georgia for more quail, Ruth has never lacked the confidence to find a bird. She's pulled me out of my comfort zone and introduced me to so many new faces. She's opened new doors, created new opportunities for us, and she's the main inspiration for my newest collection now available in the shop.
Gather. A Collection.
Gather (v.): (1.) to bring together, collect
I grew up in a family that hunted. Mostly deer and birds, but also other wild game. It had always been my favorite thing to sit in the midst of my dad, grandfather, and cousins and listen to them tell stories of hunting trips past. The laughter that was shared. The tears shed over losing man's best friend. The missed shots. The good shots. The elusive fish that measured at least 2 feet longer in the story than actual events. Ah, the camaraderie.
Ruth and I now have our own tales to tell. She and I often compete over who can catch the most birds in the field. Spoiler alert, she always wins. I have stories of my own good shots, and many of my own missed shots. Stories of busting coveys of quail underfoot. Stories of hearing the word "ROOOOOSTERRRR!" being yelled excitedly as we all shoulder our guns and shoot at a pheasant flushing 30 yards ahead. Stories of sitting on the Mississippi River all day with my dad and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and catching just one small catfish. Stories of being 10 feet up in a tree watching the same three does graze peacefully in a food plot in front of me.
These stories aren't meant to be held in secret. They're meant to be shared. They're meant to bring people together around a tradition so sacred.
Our newest "Gather" Collection is meant to do just that. To inspire your senses. To bring you closer with nature. Maybe you have your own stories to tell. Or maybe you have the same memories of your dad or grandfather sharing stories about being in the field. Maybe you love being in the outdoors. Or maybe these fabrics and patterns just inspire a warmth that you've been missing in your space. Whatever the reason, we know this collection will inspire you to Gather together with your loved ones as you tell stories of days gone by.