It doesn’t matter how old or young you are, if you are a man or a woman; it matters that there are hills you dream of hunting and still others you will never know, that there are coverts left long after you are gone.
It doesn’t matter if you are hunting behind a pointer, setter, retriever, or spaniel; it matters that there is a trust and devotion that will just as easily cause you to smile as bring you to tears.
It doesn’t matter if you are hunting with a pump, semi-auto, side by side, over/under or single shot; it matters that there is skill behind the gun and, if you’re lucky, a treasured story.
If doesn’t matter if you shoot the most birds, the best birds, the rarest birds, or no birds at all; it matters that you go afield with reverence for the species you hunt, unhurried and worthy of your game.
It doesn’t matter if you are traditional or modern in your approach; it matters that you are still learning every day and willing to find your own answers.
It doesn’t matter if you are a member of organizations; it matters that your thoughts are your own and you give back to the earth as much as you have gained from it.
It doesn’t matter who you know or how you came to be an upland hunter; it matters that you found something worth doing, worth fighting for, and worth remembering.
It doesn’t matter if you have love, money, or fame; it’s truth that matters most, that and your ability to breathe the air, taste the bitterness in the rain, feel the coldness of the wind, and experience all of the things in life that can only be done as a solitary person.
It matters that there is skill, honor, beauty, and death in upland hunting. It matters that, no matter how many evolutions there are of the story or how many have shared it, the moments are yours. And they are worth every second.