How do describe the last day of the waterfowl season: sad, melancholy, bummed, exhausted, fun, another year in the books…
For me it’s all of those plus “man that went by fast”. In most states it averages about 3 months and to me it’s the fastest three months of the year. Our season ended just last weekend. As tradition has it we have a wonderful Italian Feast with wild hare stew over polenta and a terrific chocolate wine sauce over vanilla ice cream. Of course there was plenty of drink to share the season’s stories and what next new looked like from land management and conservation.
The morning hunt turned out a bit on the slow side, so as most optimistic hunters go, we stayed out a little longer than normal. Somewhere around noon, most hunters had driven their Jon Boats back to the club, taken their motors off and stacked their boats on dry land until next year. It was a little sad to see my fellow hunters from age 84 to 44 slowly move their gear to dry storage or their vehicles, almost in an intentionally slow matter in hopes of turning back time, so they could hunt one more day.
If you see a fellow waterfowler with a similar look, give him or her a hug, share a little drink and story of the season. This will surely rev their spirits and hopefully make the next 9 months fly by.
I just saw this Bird Hitch in action last week and boy is it slick. If you hunt geese or get an occassional 3-4 spoonies in your daily limit, this is a great way to clean your birds in the shortest amount of time. For birds of the better eating variety like mallards, pintail, and teal, I still prefer to pluck my birds whole. There are people on both sides of the fence on the meat management of waterfowl. On one side they believe every bird should be plucked whole and even keep some organs. The counter to this is that while the fat makes the meat tastes better, that fat is very bad for your cholesterol. On the other side, many argue that after the breast meat, there’s not a whole lot of meat left to eat, and the legs are as tough as tires. Here’s a short video I thought was worth sharing. Happy hunting.
Last month I was at a duck club with my good friend Cory and I saw this picture on a table. The picture was a great shot of his daughter standing in a marsh duck blind. I commented on the smile, lovely rolled up sleeves and old-school camo jacket she was sporting. With one eyebrow up, he looked over to me and said look again, that jacket is over 30 years old. Wow, it wasn’t Cory’s daughter, but rather his wife of 21 years. It was a picture of his wife, Gretchen, at about the same age as her daughter is today.
Was struck me was the fact that Cory said that jacket was 30 years old, meaning for at least two generations, if not more, duck hunting was part of family life, discussions and growing up. That was the really cool thing. A week later I spoke to Gretchen on that photo and what that particular day was like. She said there were not a lot of ducks around, so her dad and her talked about boys, school, Christmas presents and the habitat in the marsh. What a great couple of hours with no traffic, noise, or distractions.
Waterfowl hunting, hunting in general and fishing are usually family traditions passed down from generation to generation. But with city sprawl and defocus on family values, we’re in jeopardy losing this great past time. I wonder how we’ll continue to pass down these outdoor traditions from generation to generation given all the obstacles (electronics, city-life, stress, etc) we face today. Maybe we should take it upon ourselves to introduce new friends to the waterfowling or outdoor life. Lord knows it’s on us to make it happen.
This is our first post at waterfowltips.com, thanks for tagging along. The goal of our site is to share information with fellow waterfowlers and future waterfowlers to make your experiences the best it can be. As some of our videos say, it’s about family, friends, sharing stories, sharing experiences or how-to’s, conservation, and the love for the great outdoors.
Duck hunters, goose hunters, heck hunters in general are tinkerers. They think up crazy gizmos to increase their odds. Waterfowlers are also very proud of their experiences and try to pass on, brag, etc. to ther buddies, sons, daughters, even spouses. One thing about us duck or geese hunters, we love to share stories.
As more people consolidate to the big cities and protestors challenge our right to experience the marshlands or cornfields, sharing the positives of what waterfowling is all about have never been more important. If you cherish these times with family and friends join us by sharing your knowledge and fun times in the field.