Monday, September 26, 2011

My Happy Place

The decoys were nothing but a blurry silhouette. The distant calls of geese filled our minds with anticipation. Whistling wing beats from birds you just couldn't see. The muskrat hut in which we sat was as comfortable as it could be. It was indeed, waterfowl opener.

 Saturday morning was a delightful surprise. The fog was so thick it was hard to see the end of your barrel. Proving to be useful, the fog kept the local birds nice and low. Although you couldn't see what was around you, you could see what was in range. My uncle Scott and I were inhabiting our favorite spots on the family farm. We each had our dogs, shotguns, and our own visions.

 Loner by loner and pair by pair, we picked birds out of the sky with accuracy. We didn't have birds all the time, we managed to shoot straight and capitalize on the ones that did come in. We hit our marks. The day ended in a way I will not soon forget. We fill out on ducks and geese. It has been a long time since I have gotten a hat trick on geese. Three shots, three geese. Splash, splash, splash.

 With the young local ducks in most people freezers, we knew Sunday would not be as productive. Needles to say, our theory was right. We did see birds, but their new outlook on decoys was not to our advantage. Decoy shy and panic had set in on our feathered quarry. I ended up with four birds that morning, still, nothing to complain about. Our birds mainly consisted of woodies and teal with a stray mallard here and there.

 I wouldn't miss a duck opener for the world. My family has dedicated themselves to wetlands and to ensure a future for the birds that live amoungst them. There are many improvement that need to be made within our great state of Minnesota. We lose duck hunters by the blind full every season. We need to protect this heritage our Grandfathers have preserved for us to partake in. Sitting on a muskrat hut with my dog gazing into the air is my happy place. I would like to keep it that way.

 Special thanks to my uncle Scott for making duck opener, well, duck opener. Wouldn't be the same without him.