Whoever said “you can’t judge a book by its cover” surely wasn’t speaking of C.W McGill’s Two Shots and Gone, Remembrances of Upland Wandering (Paperback; 198 pages; Main Street Publishing). While a lot of cover shots turn out to be more a tease than anything not this one; not by any stretch. This book really is all about bird dogs, bird hunting, tramping good country and the chance to meet the many, many similarly smitten bird hunters McGill has befriended over the years.
McGill relates how the book was spawned from “journal entries”, written for my own entertainment, as a reminder what happened, with who and as testament how much the outdoors have meant. A little too fast paced at first (for my taste) as the author ages, gains experience in the field, sort like fine wine, with age the writing shines.
To my way of thinking McGill really hits his stride in the Open Country section—hunting the Great Plains and beyond. Within the several chapters are the usual entertaining snippets of dogs, wild bird encounters, good shooting and some not so hot but to me the background stuff–the history, local characters and sense of place—McGill depicts really hits the mark. Reading “Hunting the Hi Line,” was like one those dreams I awake, gun up, my Annie locked up in the tall brown grass, the flush of Huns, sharptails, whatever imminent—like we’ve been right there, done just that countless times. You can imagine the surprise realizing “the little white Lutheran church”—is indeed our “the lunch spot,” one we’ve been tailgating now for over a decade and counting.
Anyway, I ramble, so to conclude, if you run bird dogs, enjoy hunting wild birds in good country, trust me, this book is a keeper.