|Suddenly, Mac awoke from his dream from the loud obnoxious sound of his
$4.99 alarm clock. UR! UR! UR! UR! And wham, he managed to hit
the off button. He hates that sound in the morning, but this time he
realized it wasn't a sound to get up and go to school, it was GET UP and
go duck hunting. Mac lives for duck hunting. From the moment
the decoys in the water until the moment he picks them up to return home, he's
It was a Saturday morning and the weather forecast was cold and snowy with
winds from the northwest. Perfect day for duck hunting, Mac thought.
Cold weather and northern winds move ducks south. That was enough
motivation to hop out of bed and get dressed.
When Mac arrived downstairs to the kitchen, his father, Tad had already
eaten breakfast and was outside loading the gear into the pickup truck. It
was a short ride to the hunting grounds but too far to carry all the decoys,
guns, ammunition, and other goodies needed for a good morning hunt. Mac
grabbed a bite to eat, put on his waders, and he was out the door.
Tad yelled, "Where ya been? The ducks are flying. They're not going to
wait for ya. Get in the truck. Let's go."
Tad and Mac drove down the road only a mile or so to the dirt road that
leads to their hunting marsh. Upon arriving at the parking area, they
began unloading the gear. A gun, shell bag, and 30 or so decoys can be
quite a haul through a wet, marshy terrain. Luckily, everything has shoulder
straps to make the trek a bit easier.
When they arrived at their hunting blind, Mac began spreading the decoys
with a small skiff that is kept at the marsh. A skiff is a small one or
two man boat with two pointed ends. The pointed ends allow the skiff to
move through the marsh weeds more easily.
Mac always enjoys placing the decoys into the water in the dark. It
not always easy to see exactly where each decoy is floating and decoy placement
can be very important to hunting success. Too many decoys in one place and
the ducks may feel blocked and not set into shooting range. While on the other
hand, if the decoys are not placed in lines, the ducks may pass them up entirely.
It's always a proud moment when the decoy set works.
After placing the decoys, Mac and Tad hunch into the blind and wait for the
sunrise. It's a very peaceful and tranquil time of day. All the
quiet seems to erupt into noise and motion as the sunlight starts to appear.
It's perhaps the best part of the hunting experience for Mac. Shooting some ducks or missing some ducks is a great time, but
it's the outdoors that brings Mac back time after time. It's an experience he doesn't want
to miss on a cold, windy morning in November.