Chukar Hunting the Old Way

My long- time Canadian hunting correspondent, Alex Sharif, who I met through Valerius Geist, is primarily a sheep hunter and a mountaineer. But when he sent me a few photos from his cousin Afshin in Idaho,I was intrigued. Afshin is a Goshawker, and he hunts Chukar in the kind of country they have always inhabited, in Central Asia, where everything is vertical He put us in touch, and Afshin sent me this exciting portfolio,as well as a couple of short YouTubes that show his young Elhew pointer and the difficulties of hunting that terrain- watch the bird plunge into the abysss.

Zhinoo points



The proud falconer (technicaly of course, “austringer”) with Tooran- two hawk’s profiles!

Tim Murphy

In a just world, North Dakota’s Tim Murphy would be not just the Poet Laureate of his beautiful Siberian state, our truest North; he would be the Poet Laureate of the USA. Good (but lesser) honored real poets, like Dana Gioia, know and say this,..

But like any cradle Catholic, even one lapsed or “relapsed”, he knows this is not a just world. Nevertheless, he sings his songs…

Besides, says the academy, he writes poems about HUNTING DOGS. Says I, so did the Greeks.

Tim has honored me by giving me some of his yet unpublished longer poems, and one for Easter Week. But I thought I would start with these four, from his Hunter’s Log, one of my “Book of Books” 100. Resist if you can…

And NO, I am not going to TYPE them!

I will put the third on Ataika’s grave if I live long enough.

More to come..

A little more photoblogging…

From Scott McNeff,  to cheer us all by demonstrating how a bird (Sharpshin “Boomer”) and a dog (viszla “Fran”, after Fran Hamerstrom) can bond quite on their own.

He writes: “… One day last week, “Boomer” caught a bird on the wing – the dog had steadied up at the flush, and I watched as the little hawk carried his catch back around to the dog and landed beside her with it so that he could eat his reward.  He has been a really fun little hawk to fly.  In truth, he brings me more joy each day than anything else that I do.”

Another Poet

Tim Murphy is not just one of our finest living poets, and the only one I know who celebrates what I have called “our Siberia”, the chilly plains of North Dakota. He is a living rebuke to stereotypes: a farmer, a businessman, a Yale graduate who studied under Robert Penn Warren; a classicist who writes about dogs; a gay man who is a practicing Catholic; perhaps above all, at least for subjects, a passionate bird hunter who has written the only poetry collection I know of that is dedicated to hunting. I have written about him in my book of one hundred books. Here he talks about all these subjects and more on North Dakota TV.