The start of November is crunch time for me and my fellow wing shooting enthusiast down south. Every year about this time the bunch of us are woken up from our brief nap with the realization that we have much to do before another season approaches. Back around middle of October the first dove season went out, you see. So most of us bird hunters set our shotguns down and picked up the deer rifle. I have hunted for deer in vain this season, probably better off doing household chores than attempting to fool a deer into plain view. But with the new month rolling in quickly, I can finally put aside that rifle and those long sits in uncomfortable seats and start gathering my stuff for the best season of all, duck season.
Shooting waterfowl is what I live for every year. I am pretty convinced that if it ceased to exist that I might very well go with it. Sometimes I even curse the state I live in for not being a more hospitable host to the waterfowl who pass us by each year. I think about all the western states just a few days drive away and how they hold the birds I seek by the thousands. Maybe one day I will convince the wife to let us move back out that direction. But for now I will settle for what I know, another season with good friends around the local stomping grounds of my childhood. I guess I can’t complain about that too much.
There is a lot to do right before duck season. There are items to be located, repairs needing to be made, scouting to be done, and conversations to be had. First is pulling out the equipment from last year, looking through it and trying to decide what can make another season and what will need to be replaced. Then there is repairing things you broke last season, or things you halfway fixed when you were hard on the hunt. The new things you bought will also need special attention to make sure they are opening day ready. The scouting is some of the best times surrounding duck season. It fills your head with new possibilities and sometimes you find a new spot with so much potential, you can hardly sleep the night after. And with all good guy hobbies, there are conversations that must be had among friends. We talk about what things need to be done, what new equipment each person has purchased over the off season, and what plans we have made. The conversations only another vessel to fuel the fire that builds towards opening day.
Yes, this is a magical part of the year. It’s what I have been waiting on since it ended back in January. The time when you walk outside in the morning to find a slight nip in the air, when that light jacket becomes necessary attire on your evening out. Its the time when the sun fades away quicker each day and the leaves fall like rain with each gentle breeze. Duck season is coming and I can hardly wait.