Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Raining on Thanksgiving.

As Thanksgiving is approaching, I am reminded of my Thanksgiving memories.  Namely, that the winter duck hunting season started on Thanksgiving.  It gave hunters a chance to bring home a duck for Thanksgiving dinner.

Since my Dad was a mailman he worked six days a week.  One of the few holidays he had off was Thanksgiving.  So it was the one day we could go hunting. 

We would always hope for bad weather since ducks seem to love bad weather.  Seriously, the worse the weather is, the more duck hunters show up.  It really is the opposite of good decision making. 

So a typical day would be getting up at 4 AM, head out the door at 5 AM, make it to Cockroach Bay (Yes that's it real name.  It's in Ruskin, Fl.)  by 6 AM, take the boat to our spot, and have the decoys set up by 7 AM.  Then we would sit in the rain and wind with guns on our laps hoping some ducks would fly into the decoys.

What's funny is that it was usually really active from 7:15 AM to 8 AM, and then maybe a few up until 9 AM.  Then, nothing.  It was like all the wildlife would stop from 9 until 10 AM.  Once 10 AM came around you might get a few show up until 11 AM.  But once 11 AM hit, it was over.  The ducks day was over until sunset. 

So we would then pack up at 11 AM.  We would then pick up all the decoys, and make it back to the dock at 12 Noon.  Then we would make it back to the house at 1 PM where the two of us would clean all the saltwater off of everything.  This also included making sure the guns were oiled really well.  Saltwater is really rough on guns.  And if we actually did manage to hit any ducks, this would be the point where we would clean them.

Then it would be time for Thanksgiving dinner between 3 and 4 PM.  That would be the perfect time to eat, and start watching the Detroit Lions get their butts kicked on TV. 

So you can see just how eventful Thanksgiving was for us.  And for the photographic evidence, feast your eyes upon this:

Yep, that's me in 1991 with a blue wing teal.  I was 15 at the time.  And I still use that same shotgun to this day.  In fact, I still have that same coat.  It's the coat I use when it's just a bit cool out hunting, but not overly cold.  Although, I do have better choice in headwear these days.

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