My Favorite Christmas Card of 2016

   12.25.16

Like you, I enjoy receiving Christmas cards. It’s a great way to reconnect with people  . . . especially friends and family who you don’t get to see as often as you’d like.

While going through my snail mail recently, I came across a white envelope with no return address. Without any idea who might have sent it (I didn’t take the time to examine the black postmark stamped on the envelope), I simply tore it open.

As the photo above shows, the card inside featured a beautiful winter scene with a yellow Lab puppy sitting on a bench. In the background, I spotted two whitetails and a cozy cabin.

Cool card. I wonder who sent it . . .

Opening the card, I could hardly believe my eyes: a single feather. This was a body feather from a South Dakota rooster pheasant, and the card’s message: “Warmly remembering you at this sweet and happy time of year,” was signed by my new friends, Chuck and Sheila.

scatter-gun-christmas-card-opened

Who are Chuck and Sheila, and why the feather?

Chuck and Sheila Ross (below) are the owners of ScatterGun Lodge near Pierre, South Dakota, and I was honored to share a writer’s camp with them this past October. (You might remember a story I wrote about one of their upland guides, Deb Anderson.)

sheila-and-chuck-ross

ScatterGun claims to be “South Dakota’s Ultimate Pheasant Hunt,” and while I’ve spent a lot of time in SoDak, I certainly haven’t pursued pheasants from border to border. But I do know this: The pheasant hunting is out of this world, the accommodations are second to none, and Chuck and Sheila treat you like family.

The author with a couple of roosters taken at ScatterGun Lodge in South Dakota.
The author with a couple of roosters taken at ScatterGun Lodge in South Dakota.

Someday I hope to visit ScatterGun again, and when I do I will thank Chuck and Sheila in person for taking the time to send a simple pheasant feather at Christmas– one that brought back many fine memories.

Be safe, shoot straight, and Merry Christmas!

Read More