This was a long awaited day, duck season of 08’. My pack was loaded, my shot gun was ready, the dogs were excited. The morning was cold and crisp, a whopping 15 degrees out. I was all bundled up, and my husband, brother-in-law and I got the decoys set out on the pond. The dogs decided to take an early morning swim, as they were in great anticipation of the barrage of ducks we were hoping to get. They got out and laid down near us and icicles were forming almost immediately on there bodies.
We sat down and kept checking our watches for the moment the clock struck 6:48am. At that moment, we started calling, and in the distance we could hear our prey calling back to us. My heart was skipping beats, as I waited a whole year for this day to arrive. I was a bit sad for a moment, as my regular hunting partner was not with me on this trip. Our black lab “Grunt”, who lived for this moment, passed away a few months prior. It was a bitter sweet moment sitting here excited to shoot, but sad because my faithful companion could not share it with me. This hunt was for him.
The sun began to rise in the distance and the sound of the unseen ducks was getting louder and louder. I looked toward the horizion and up from the across the ponds I could see a flock heading our way. I had my gun ready in position and as they started to come in for the landing the shells started to fly. We had several down, and I had a grin from ear to ear on my face. The dogs knew it was their moment to work, and they were in the water lightening fast to bring us back our prize. No sooner had they made it back, more were calling to us. This time it was geese, the real prize of the day. They came in fast and furious, ready to rest on the ice covered pond. As they circled in, they were met by our ambush. One by one they began to fall, and found their final resting place one the frozen pond. The dogs were none to happy to go back to work again. It is so amazing to hunt, but truly awesome watching the dogs work by instinct.
We got back into position and called for a while longer. Nothing was answering us. We were starting to get a bit cold and the dogs were feeling the same way. We were starting to think we were done for the morning, but off in the distance we heard a familiar sound. Calls of a flock looking for us, and we would gladly guide them our way. We sat patiently until the moment of their arrival and began to shoot again. A few more down and we decided we got our fare share. So we loaded them all up, packed up the decoys and the dogs and headed for home. It took us a few hours to thaw out, but it was worth every minute we were out there.
We skinned the ducks and geese, and what a feast we had that night. It was amazing, and I thought back on the days events and realized how lucky I am to live and be able to hunt in such a gorgeous area. I am very blessed to be able to enjoy the splendid beauty of our surroundings with my husband and family. I could never ask for a better place to live and hunt. All the while, remembering fondly my ever faithful pal lab, that couldn’t be there that day.