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    Just a few weeks more, and the days for which many of us live will be here. It’s as if we gladly do what we need to do for nine months of the year just so we can enjoy maybe three months chasing birds carrying our favorite guns with our favorite dogs leading the way. Whether it’s mourning dove, grouse, woodcock, pheasant or quail, the birds call us to the woods and hunting grounds and to leave the real world behind for an hour, a day, a week or however long we are out hunting.

    As I write this column in late April, I’m hoping that by autumn we will be back to normal and can resume our regular schedules. With that in mind, we decided to present articles that reflect that hope.

    We are thrilled and grateful to be able to mention another note of hope.

    Britney Booth of the Booth Media Group has written articles for this magazine, and in her new capacity as the editor for the Covers magazine usually provides us with material on behalf of RGS/AWS for our “For the Birds” department.

    According to her Facebook posts, though, she was a bit busy at the time of the deadlines for this issue. On April 3, she posted a video her 34-year-old husband Jason made detailing how the COVID-19 had hit him.

    As an introductory note, Britney wrote in part, “The level of uncertainty as to what lies ahead is beyond anything I could have imagined for this stage of pregnancy.

    “This has been a nightmare for our family and beyond scary for me at nine months pregnant. I thought I was going to lose my husband before he met his unborn child. At the current moment, I can’t even hug him. It’s heartbreaking. This isn’t ‘exaggerated for the media.’ This is real.”

    Anyone who had scoffed that the virus “only hit old people” would have been shocked awake by the video.

    Fortunately by April 17, Jason, recuperating, made his first Facebook post since Christmas 2019. He shared a photo of Britney and their “perfectly healthy baby.” And if the name they chose for her is any indication, it won’t be long before she joins her parents in the field: Hunter-Leigh Helen Booth.

    So there’s one thing I won’t be leaving behind when I go bird hunting this year: my gratitude that these wonderful young people came out of an agonizing ordeal healthy and strong.

    At press time, we received another piece of great news. Please join me in congratulating writer Steven A. Griffin. He took First Place in the “Feature Writing” category of the “Excellence in Craft” awards sponsored by the Michigan Outdoor Writers Association for his essay, “Done with Dogs.” The piece appeared in the “Over-Unders” department of our Spring 2019 issue. Well done, Steve. Well done!

    John C. Gosselin, Publisher


    Wolfe Publishing Group