Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Duck Hunting

Just got back from an Idaho Duck Hunting trip with my son Zachary. Spent time with brother Gary, nephew Jedidiah, my mom (not in the duck blind) and various other family members.

We had a great time. Got some real Idaho experience. We missed our Phoenix connection because the Charlotte to Phoenix flight had a medical emergency. Guy was having diabetic shock. His insulin pump quit working. We had an emergency landing in Oklahoma City. So, we missed our connection and had to wait in Phoenix for 10 hours. Got to Boise at 11:00pm. Got to Twin Falls around 2:00am, then up to go hunting around 4:00am.

It was cold, about 15 degrees. The first day we limited out, 7 ducks each, 21 total, in two hours. Back to cabin, big lunch and nap. That night, beer and brauts around the campfire, 15 degrees and sitting very close to the fire.

Next morning, bitter cold, about 11 degrees, not many ducks flying and a wet foot due to a leaky wader. Cold, lots of walks down the island to stay warm. Built a little fire to keep the cold away. Got a few birds, hunted all day, mixed some Kalua with the coffee to fake out the cold.

Third day, wind is blowing about 40 miles an hour. Brother wants to make the trip out to the island in one pass. Four men, dressed in many layers of clothes, a dog, a ton of gear and large contingent of duck and goose decoys in a sixteen foot aluminum fishing boat. About six inches to the gunnels. Fear. Water splashing over the side from 30 inch breakers. Hoping to live another day. Coat hoods are frozen solid from water splashes and massive winds at 18 degrees. Cold. We are scared and having fun. We survive and make it to the island. Get set up and lay down to take a nap with our back to the winds, in the dark, 45 minutes to shooting time. Cold is trying to penetrate but we think we fake him out, lying down. Birds are flying but we have a hard time hitting them. A snow squall blows in across the dessert, beautiful, cold, lovely. We get our birds, not a limit but a good day. Could have had a bunch more if only we could have shot better. Maybe so many clothes, three days of cold feet, wind, tired but an adventure and a good one.

We make it back to Twin on Saturday and have a huge duck dinner at the Peking Restaurant. Lots of food. It's hot at the restaurant. Is that possible? Outside it is snowing and inside we are comfortable and full. So full. Then home.

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