Getting up Way to Early
After going to be at 11:00pm I arose at the deplorable hour of 3:00am. Contemplating the days hunt over a cup of coffee and a Quacker Oatmeal bar I loaded the necessary accoutroments into the 4 wheel drive.
An of driving later hour I met my hunting partner at the pre-arranged truckstop. Since it is by this time nearly 5:00am we tarried not for a sitdown breakfast and headed out to the duck blind, which was still another 40 miles from away. Parking nearly a half mile from the blind we trudged our separate armloads of gear to our carpeted pallet home for the day.
Settling into the blind, we donned our insulated cornfield camo and loaded the shotguns and assumed our roles as predators. A few opportunities soon presented themselves and representing myself not so well the migratory mammals proceeded unscaythed. That would be the progressive story of my day as far as the shooting went. At one point I even trudged back to the truck and exchanged the Mossberg 500 for my Red Label thinking that it (the Mossberg) must have had a bent barrel or something. It just couldn't have been me. Well if the "Mossy" had a bent Barrel the Over/under has two of them. It didn't help.
It is not about Killing
Despite popular belief, amoung anti-gun/hunting people it is not the killing that makes the hunt. Bringing game to bag and enjoying it as table fair is secondary to the experience. Sitting in that blind we witnessed the sights and sounds of nature at it's finest. It started with the birth of a new day. The transition of pink tentacles shooting across the morning sky, to the west running blast of red ribbons dragging a yellow sun above the horizon. No street lights. No sounds of traffic. No other people but us. Two hunters huddled in a drafty duck blind on a cold morning. With thermos cups of rapidly cooling, but still steaming coffee temporarily warming our hands we sat in awe at the miracle that is nature. It is always this way for me. What would life be like if we ever stop being amazed at the wonders of nature.
Time to Eat
Slowly it began to warm and there in the blind we broke out breakfast. Cooked over a Coleman stove we scarfed down slices of fried bacon and over easy cackleberries. (Eggs for those of you trapped in political correctness). If we weren't going to seriously harm the population of the indiginous migratory waterfowl a choloric assault on our own digestive systems seemed to offer the next best level of satisfaction. A better breakfast you'll never have.
A cold morning, a duck blind, a thermos of coffee, a large portion of cholesterol and a good hunting bubby to share it with, it just doesn't get much better than that. Some how I just don't think Starbucks, bean sprouts, Creme of Wheat and a creme cheese bagel would garner the same feelings.
About mid morning other predators began to appear. A couple of Red-Tailed Hawks flew out of the trees and soared over the fields in anxious search of their own sustanance. Swooping occassionally the distance made it was hard to tell if they were successful in their individual quests for survival.
The Glory of America
The crowning moment of the morning was the wide black wing span that suddenly appeared down out of the altitude of space. As the bird turned in the sky the sun flashed of the bright white head of an American Bald Eagle. The representitive of American freedom, independence and self reliance was on the hunt. Watching this graceful bird patrol the skies reminds us of what it is to be an American. When needed we can and should swoop down into the fray of defending or our families and country. Yes occassionally we still need to get our claws bloody fighting for our survival. Or to feed our families. Through it we will always majestically rise above it all.
On into the late afternoon the Whitetail deer materialized like ghosts from out of the shadows. Ever vigilant, these creatures ears twitching gathering in all sounds, eyes darting seeing all that is active moved along the edges sating their own desires for food and water.
A memorable Day
As the sun slid toward the far horizon beckoning the darkness we gathered our gear and began the too short trek back to civilization. I didn't wake up to see the sunrise today. Instead I stumbled into the kitchen and after brewing a carafe of breakfast coffee, cooking a pot of real maple syrup flavored oatmeal (We bought several gallons in Vermont last month) and smearing a toasted bagel with creme cheese I made my way to the office. No today is not yesterday, it never will be, but I will always have the memories of yesterday. The ducks, the geese, the hawks, the deer, the company and most of all the American Bald Eagle. Oh yes the cholesterol and the two shotguns with three bent barrels.