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Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Another Duck Season Has Come To An End
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. - Kahlil Gibran
As I think back on the times I spent in the duck blind this year, I can’t help but think of how fast time slips away. For me, the anticipation of the arrival of duck season is like a little kid waiting for Christmas morning to get here. Then once it gets here, I blink and it is gone.
Much like the death of a good friend, once the end of the season arrives there is a period of grieving and a period of mourning that passing. The grief comes in waves of liquid ebony. Endure the depths, and each wave will pass, allowing you to once again hold your head above the black expanse to see light again, for there will be another season.
This time can prove to be harmful. Many duck hunters report various physical symptoms that accompany the end of the waterfowl season. Stomach pain, loss of appetite, intestinal upsets, sleep disturbances and loss of energy are all common symptoms that are brought on by the closing of the duck hunting season.
Of all life’s stresses, “no duck hunting”, can seriously test a duck hunter’s natural defense systems. Existing illnesses may worsen or new conditions develop. Profound emotional reactions may occur. These reactions include anxiety attacks, chronic fatigue, depression and even thoughts of suicide. An obsession with the sport is also a common reaction following the end of the season.
If you adhere to the wisdom and advice of veteran waterfowlers, there are ways to cope and survive until the coming of a new season.
Tips On Surviving The End Of Duck Season:
On those special occasions when your son is stepping through your front door accompanied by his friends, have him yell out ….. “Coming in!! Coming In!! In Front! In Front!”
Spend some time gathering up your remaining boxes of shotgun shells and repack each box so that the rows of shells are all nice and neat.
While catching up on all of those nagging little chores that you have put off until the season is over, every so often, have your wife yell out ….. “Take ‘em!! Take ‘em!!”
Set aside some quiet time each week to hold, caress, and clean your shotgun.
During the next production meeting at work, pretend the person sitting next to you is your hunting partner and whisper in his/her ear …. “You can’t hit shit!”
Take the kids and/or grandkids and have them run around the back yard as you sharpen up your shooting skills with a paintball gun.
Always tune in the TV to the Hunting Channel.
Every now and then have someone tell you …. “Your duck call sounds like shit!”
Set aside some time to re-tune your duck call.
When the whole family is at the dinner table, periodically yell out …. “Get Down!! Get Down! They’re cupped over the decoys!”
For the hunter that is having an unusually difficult time in coping with the end of duck hunting season. Plan a vacation with the family to Las Vegas and while there, take $10,000 and enroll at the newest outdoor facility “Hunting For Bambi” where you can shoot naked women with paintball guns. (Website: http://www.huntingforbambi.com/)
And the Number One Tip to surviving the end of duck hunting season ……… continually mutter just loud enough to be heard ……… “Kill ‘em, - Kill ‘em all!!”
My hunting partner and I are 3rd generation duck hunters with over 80 years of combined duck hunting experience. We have hunted in pits, tanks, boat blinds, barrel blinds, lay-out boats, pipe blinds, pop-ups, even a blind made from pvc pipe. We have hunted rivers, lakes, marsh, flooded timber, rice and bean fields. Once we hunted a 1/2 acre pond next to Red River that wasn't really a pond at all, but black plastic sheeting that had been rolled out over the ground and then had water sprinkled over it.
One of the most important things that our grandfathers and fathers taught us, was how to build a blind. A blind that not only fit the surroundings that you hunted, but how to build it to last for literally decades. (One of our tank blinds was built in 1974 and has been floating the open water ever since. Its over 31 years old and has never been out of the water!)