When I first started hunting my dog, Sophia, she would literally creep on her belly. I could not make any sense of it. Would you ask her about it?”
This is what Sophia says about birds and bird hunting, “It is important to watch the birds. If you watch the birds you will know what the next three days of weather is like. I can tell by the birds that come to the bird feeder. There are these little birds that come to the feeder if they are there longer than twenty minutes at a time the next few days are going to be windy and cold. If they come for a little bit and then go away we will have nice weather. The deer are like that too. If they rest a lot then they are not worried. If they are moving around then they are getting prepared. I don’t always like to hold dead birds in my mouth. I don’t like to feel their heartbeat get slower and feel their spirit rise. It is so sad because sometimes their spirit will look back at me and I have to tell them that if they go to the sun they will always be warm.
Creeping is the way to go after the bird. It is best to wait to the bird actually dies. Sometimes if the bird is still alive it will fly away or try to move you want to make sure that it dead. Sometimes I think it is dead before it truly is. There is something about being low to the ground and feeling the earth on my belly that makes sense to me. It is like accepting that part of nature. It is important to let the bird rest a bit before you go and get it. That is the way to do it. Not all the dogs do it and they think that I am a little crazy, but I know that I am not. Creeping is the right way. It is also the way to listen to the earth and to listen to what all of nature has to say. You know what we do is taking another’s life and when you take another’s life you have to do it gently. It is ok to do. I am not saying that we should not do it. It is just to do it respectfully. My dad mentioned to you that it is an ancient trait and I believe that to be true. I think that long ago we were taught to do this by our people. I think long ago people where more connected to their hunting dogs and to the earth. I think that both dog and human knew which types of birds to get in that year. Sometimes when we go out hunting I think that we should not be hunting a certain bird. It feels wrong. It feels this way because it looks like their flock is smaller and that they are less active. I don’t know if they are getting ready to have their babies or that maybe they are under populated. So I worry about the birds. But my dad thinks it is ok and so does everyone else so I do what I am told. Sometimes I think that the following year there will not be any birds, but there are so maybe I am wrong.”
SOPHIA ON HUNTING