Sunday, October 16, 2011

Preparing For The Upcoming Duck Season

Preparing For The Upcoming Duck Season

All duck hunters know there are basic chores that have to be preformed prior to the arrival of duck season. These tasks include blind brushing, decoy readiness, retriever training, boat inspections, and wader repairs. These are jobs that almost every water-fowler performs routinely before the beginning of each duck season.

All of these are important tasks, however there is one job that should not be overlooked. What I am talking about is the type of preparedness that separates the average duck hunter from the seasoned veteran. If performed properly, it can make the difference between a good hunt and an excellent hunting experience. If properly done, it can lead to you being considered an expert in the art of water-fowling by your fellow hunters. Done poorly, and you will be remembered as just a run-of-the-mill duck hunter.

What I am talking about is the right and proper method of stocking up on drinks and snacks in the duck blind. With over 40+ years of duck hunting experience, believe me, I know what I am talking about here.

In order to understand the right approach to “blind stocking” we must begin with the premise that duck hunters are probably not the healthiest bunch of human beings. Have you ever made a visit to your local outdoor store in November? I would be willing to bet the shelves were loaded with “Mens Small” and “Mens Medium” clothing items. You would be hard pressed to find any “XL” or “XXL” items left on the shelf. And after 40 years of hunting experience I have never heard one hunter say, “I need to take my hunting clothes to a tailor and have them taken in.”

This is not to say that we don’t get our share of exercise, we are always chasing unruly hunting dogs, lugging bags of decoys through the mud and brush, who hasn’t had to paddle a boat with a stick or a pair of “flip-flops”, wade through knee deep mud, and carry a “ton” of shells stuffed into our coat pockets all in the same hunt. In fact I would be willing to bet that a group of 10 Duck Hunters would most likely open a can of “Whoop-Ass” on 10 Aerobic Instructors, just as long as we didn’t have to jog 6 miles to get to the fight.

If you stock your blind properly, you will find yourself bombarded with request from fellow hunters begging to hunt with you.

The vast majority of “duck blind food” is considered “snack” food and can be easily obtained from the racks at any gas station or local convenience store. Things like beef-jerky, Doritos, Cheetos, Fritos, (any thing with “os” in the name) all make excellent duck blind foods. Beanie-Weanies, Vienna Sausage, and canned Sardines are also welcomed table fair in the blind. Hostess Fruit Pies, Twinkies, Pop-Tarts, and Honey Buns can really top off a excellent morning hunt. And no blind can be considered properly stocked without an abundance of Pringles as they travel well and stay protected in those “tennis-ball-like” cans.

Roasted peanuts and beef-jerky are must haves …. The discarded peanut shells add a non-skid surface to the blind and the beef-jerky can serve as a practical tool for stirring coffee.

Which brings me to the drink selection. Deciding on what drinks to stock the blind with is very simple, just remember the following rule ….. “Canned sodas for hot and coffee for cold”. The soda flavor matters very little.

Never be caught with any fruits and/or vegetables, none of those granola bars, yogurt, or anything with Monounsaturated fats. Any of these items will guarantee you being in the blind alone.

And never, never, under any circumstance have a banana in the blind, or boat or on the dock. Think about the life threatening aspects of what can happen due to the careless placement of a banana peel!

This may all sound very complicated to those that are just beginning to stock their blind with unhealthy snack foods for this year’s season. Just remember the following:

• The food must be quick to fix (open a can, or peel back some type of wrapper should be all that is required)
• Duck blind food has to be the type that can be shared with a dog.
• It should be the type of food that you would welcome finding on the next hunting trip or next hunting season
• It must be laden with chemicals, nothing that is allowed to grow mold is allowed in the duck blind.
• Don’t forget about never bringing a banana to the blind which isn’t to say that banana flavored items aren't  welcomed ( Banana flavored Moon Pies are always a hit)

And never forget the 5-second rule, which is … any food that falls to the floor in a duck blind and isn’t immediately eaten within 5 seconds by the dog, means you might have made a poor choice in hunting dogs and it may be time to get a dog that is a little more eager.

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