So I am toasty warm and dreaming of duck hunting when I hear my cell phone ring.
I poured myself some mud and got ready. I walked out the door and was promptly greeted with a "morning" from Mike. Whoah buddy, take it easy up here in the city that will get you hurt sneaking up on people like that. We loaded up Kevin and Mike's gear and Uh Oh! Chico can't find his license.
"Hello." "Chico are you in the mood to go out in the morning to get after some ducks?" "Mike? What time is it?"
"It is a little after midnight and I know you had been talking to Kevin about getting out and he happens to have tomorrow off and well I am able to so....."
You see Kevin isn't a waterfowler. He has never been, but to his credit he had already went out and bought a waterfowl shotgun and bought his license. He has been after us to get him out and after hearing us swap stories with George on Sunday I know he was itching to get out.
"Put me in coach. Meet me at the house at 4:15."
Man am I easy! I got up and got my stuff together which isn't too hard since it is almost always in the truck. Just for moments like these. Set the mud timer and back to bed I go. I slept for what seemed like an eternity. Yeah right, it was more like a commercial break! The alarm went off and I was promptly greeted with a nice push in the back from my wife with the encouraging words of "GET UP!"
Have no fear ladies and gentlemen after 20 minutes of making a bunch of noise and turning on numerous lights in the house I remembered where it was. In my blind bag from my last trip and I forgot to put it back in my wallet. Off we go to the flooded maize field.
It was pretty foggy until we got to the field. We were able to set up without issue. At first light we saw thousands of duck and geese. Then the fog rolled in and wasn't leaving anytime soon. I thought Kevin was gonna go nuts. I mean after seeing all those birds and now we are covered in fog and can barely see our decoys. I know it was driving me nuts hearing the wing beats, quacks and honks and not being able to see the birds making that noise.
Then I heard a drake mallard over my shoulder and he is circling into the decoys. Well you guessed it, Kevin shot his first mallard or duck for that matter on his first ever duck hunt AND it had jewelry! That's right, it was banded. Go figure. I have hunted for a long time and I have never got a banded duck and this joker comes out and smacks one on his first hunt. Kevin was excited and Mike and I were excited for him.
That is what is special about getting people out to do something they have never done before. This was the second banded bird that I have seen taken this year and both were the first bands for the hunter. I think it is safe to say that I am sure I will be getting another call very soon from a very excited and proud waterfowler to go out and chase some birds. I just want to say Congratulations to Kevin on his day of firsts. I was glad I could be a part of his special day.
As for Mike and I, well, we couldn't see much to shoot until it was time to go home. I guess if your only going to get one bird in the group it might as well be a banded one!
So until my next blog, be safe, appreciate what you have and get into the great outdoors.