Monday, June 4, 2012

The Sky's Predictable Timetable

The Bismarck airport is tiny.  It's an international airport simply because it flies a few hundred miles north, to Canada.  There is a flight that comes in from Minnesota at 12:30, another that leaves for the same destination at 5:00.  A stray flight containing a gaggle of tourists occasionally touches down but for the most part, the never-ending blue is void of air traffic.

I can see the airport from my borrowed office, a four-wall enclosure that sees me as a squatter waiting for my space to be ready.  I listen to nature sounds on Pandora radio, the clicking of bugs, gargling of water and chirping of invisible birds dance in my head, a symphony with one audience member, thanks to tiny ear buds.  The music brings me to the outdoors, a subject that I am well versed to write.

Months ago, I mentioned to you, dearest reader, that I applied for a job that was in North Dakota, a job that was "more of a dream than anything else".  I went through all the motions, the phone interview, the face-to-face interview, the writing assignment, and the tedious wait.

We moved here, Mike (yes, that is his name) and I, but you already know that.

What you don't know is that I got the job.

I can no longer write just as the Writing Huntress, a persona I've known for over a year.  No longer is my life as predictable as the daily Bismarck flights, no longer must I write solely about the comings and goings of my life at HLYH.

I now write as the Writing Huntress, Associate Editor for Delta Waterfowl.

I began this blogging venture believing that no one would care about what I wrote, what I hunted, or how I went about hunting.  Obviously, since you're still reading after all this time, you have proved me utterly and completely wrong.

I wished to do three things in my life: hunt, write, and wear an extremely inordinate amount of camo face paint.  Not one moment during the last year and half did I believe doing all of this on HLYH would lead to gainful employment.  Again, because God is a funny man, I have been proved totally incorrect.

Writing here, on this modest blog, brought me to where I sit today, staring at the Bismarck airport, writing about the thing I love most; hunting.  Best of all, I am working for an organization that advocates hunters, what we hunt and aims to find scientific ways to approach waterfowl management.  However, the greatest thing that my short tenure thus far at Delta has taught me is the everlasting, life-long implications of the hunt.

It is said that James Ford Bell, the man who, for all intensive purposes began Delta Waterfowl, was troubled by the amount of ducks being shot in 1934 at the Delta marsh.  He wrote,

"When I first went to Delta there were no limits except those which were self-imposed.  Despite this freedom, we did set limits, both as to the amount and to the number of shells to be used in getting that limit.  Still it troubled me to think that we were destroying without making some effort at replenishment.  It occurred to me that it would be possible artificial means to put back into the air as many or more ducks as were killed"

This sense of replenishment, giving back from which I took, is a new realization for me.  I always focused on an ethical hunt, a respectful kill, a natural dinner.  But I never fully understood the implications of picking up that gun, taking that shot, or eating that bite.  Hunters have a debt that they carry with them their whole lives the moment they take aim at their first target.  We must be respectful, we must take only as much as we use, and we must work to put more ducks in the sky, pheasants on the ground and deer in the fields.

There is no guarantee that ducks will fly next year, that the potholes where they are born will be filled with water next month, that nature as we know it today will be the same tomorrow. Tomorrow is for the fortune tellers to predict, but today, I will do what I can to give back to the place that has given me so much.

This new venture means that I will have little time for HLYH but be rest assured, dear reader, I will not abandon it forever.  You know as well as I do that there will be funny stories that I have to share, tales that won't make the pages of Delta Waterfowl's stunning magazine.  Please feel free to check out the Delta website, e-mag and membership options if you so choose, they will be the best avenues to access my literary creations in the future. 

A plane just took off at 4:11, disrupting the sky's predictable timetable.

Note: NONE, I mean, NONE of any of this would have been possible without you, dearest reader so, once again, thank you so very much for your patronage. 

Please note: The Writing Huntress is no longer affiliated with Delta Waterfowl.



Bill Howard said...

Congrats Lisa! Glad it is working out for you and Mike!!!

Blessed said...

Awesome!!! Congratulations :) It's a post you've definitely earned. Keep up the good work!

River Mud said...

I remember being at that airport for a DU meeting several years ago, and being able to plug my laptop in at one of the checkin kiosks, where the staff would normally stand. Anywhere else in the USA, the TSA would have told me to move in about 20 seconds.

Nice people in ND!

Adam Brister said...

Great post and congrats on the job!

L. Rich said...

HEY! I work for Destination Whitetail and Land of Whitetail and I have a opportunity for you. Can you email me at Thank ya!