The Moment

I am waking up before the early bird is hungry and even thinking about any worms! Waking up seems easy, its almost like Christmas morning as a child. Stretch out your limbs make your coffee, you already have all your warm under garments ready to go. You set everything out the night before anticipating the 15 degree weather with a 20 degree windchill. The weatherman was right on money, with a slight overcast it’s a dark cold morning. There isn’t time to waste when you live 45 miles from where you need to be.
Grab your headlamp go outside load your frosted covered decoys in the bed of your truck, you realize you left your waders in there from the day before bummed because they are wet frozen and cold, that doesn’t deter you though, you know the tricks of the trade and throw them on the passenger floor board with the heat set to high! Grab your bag, shotgun, shells, the dog, the marine battery, trolling motor. Everything is ready to go, forgetting your coffee is finished and leaving without even having a cup!
Waterfowl hunting is usually with a few people which in my case is one other person my life long friend, I got her hooked in 2012 bringing her along to one of my most suspenseful hunts of my life. This year she is legal and ready to pull the trigger. I knew she was itching for this day to come all year.
We arrive 20 minutes before the draw, which makes it about 4:10 a.m. central time. The draw is like a lottery. There is a set number of blinds to hunt every morning. They take every party’s name and put it into a pool. Who ever is chosen first (at random) gets first dibs to which blind they want and so forth.
That morning I was feeling lucky and sure enough we had first pick out of 86 parties, and only 32 blinds were being hunted! I knew I should I have bought a powerball ticket that day! I feel a lot of stigma when at the draw, it seems my friend and myself are the only females there. Very rarely have I ever seen another women at the draw. It’s like having the spotlight on your every move. If you pick a blind someone else wanted you’re a terrible person and if you pick the “wrong” blind you’re just a women that doesn’t know what you’re doing.
Some places provide boats some do not. Where I was hunting they did provide boats, so we unload my truck, set up the trolling motor grab the dog and we are ready to set off! That morning there was a thin layer of ice my boat went through it without any issues. Searching in the dark I spot my marker we get out to the blind once again unloading our gear including the dog. Driving the boat about 30 yards or so from our blind unraveling the mixture of drake and hen mallards and strategically placing them to lure our target! Everything is set into place and you can faintly see the first crack of light rising through the tree tops.
This is the most critical moment for every waterfowl hunter, pay attention and stay alert! Back in the blind we are ready to go, 2 minutes before shooting time daylight is creeping fast. Out of no where flocks of birds coming from every direction in search of a pocket to feed. We are ready, heads down and I’m on my call screaming the best hail call my lungs can work up with a few quacks and feed chuckles, this flock is making me work for it. My heart is pounding and adrenalin rushing. They swing around again, time just goes into slow motion, wings are locked and cupped fully committed to my decoy spread. The moment I’ve been waiting for all morning. “TAKE THEM” our 12 gauges raise to our shoulders two green dots lined up, you can feel the energy exert through your body, the smell of gun powered in the air and the faint line of smoke arising from the end of your barrel. The crippling motion the drake mallard makes in the air was a sure sign I nailed him. Time speeds up and you see him crash into the water, he does not even flinch afterwards, it was a clean kill. I Signal my pup to retrieve him, he jumps in that friged water without any hesitation, his adrenalin is probably pumping as fast as mine. The hunt has begun and that is the moment I waited for all morning.

Jan 08, 2015 | Category: Blog | Comments: none


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