Canada Geese in flight.  Photo by Phillip

Duck Hunting

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Geese and ducks coming down to dine.  Chow time!  Photo by Phillip

I didn't get introduced to duck hunting until I was almost 14 years old. My best friend's dad was into it, and at the time, I had no idea what "Into it" meant!

All these years later, I have a better idea. Duck hunting goes beyond a simple hobby. It's a fixation, an addiction that takes over your daily life. You find yourself straining your eyes to make out the shape and wingbeat of a distant bird...or cocking your head to hear the distant honk of Canada Geese. And when you find yourself scheduling vacation around the migration.... you know it's got you.

Mendota in the fog, 1997.  Dave Campbell (left) and myself with a couple of limits.  Photo by D.

Duck hunters have a reputation for being kind of weird. We think nothing of rising in the wee, early hours and kicking a hole in the ice to set out our decoys. We'll carry 100 pounds of decoys and equipment through a mile of mud and muck, sit ourselves right in the midst of that same muck for hours on end, then pick it all up and walk back out...often without so much as a feather in the bag to show for it.

You find yourself rolling out of bed on stormy December mornings, in the 2 am blackness to share a leaky boat with a smelly dog and a couple of dozen plastic ducks on a long, frigid, and wet run across the salt marsh. Or sitting in a blind in a flooded rice field with fog so dense you can draw in it with your fingertips.

OK, so maybe we are weird at that.

So, Jake.  Did you see Susie over at the pothole?  I think she likes me!  Photo by Phillip

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