This morning I finally got the chance to make it out to a pit that I lease with a few others for duck and goose hunting. After looking at the clock last night I found that shooting time started at 6:06am, so set the trusty alarm for 4:30am. I don’t know if it is the excitement of the hunt, or just my crazy fear of being late, but at 4:15am I was wide awake and started getting ready.
Typically I put some things in the truck the night before so that I can save a little time and also have time to verify that I have all the things that I need…
Blind bag… check
And so forth…
Today looked promising, arctic cold front blew in overnight plummeting the temps down into the high teens. When I got up it was in the mid 20s and winds of 14mph. It was shaping up to the great day! So got my coffee and a few other things, and off I went. When I got to the duck blind I did the typical routine of dropping off my gear, then parking the truck away from the pit. So as I’m unloading the truck I grab the decoys, the shotgun, blind bag, food cooler w/ breakfast, stove, skillet, and the… Wait, where is the bread! My dreams of a nice warm breakfast instantly are unfolded. I had eggs, cheese, hot sauce, but no bread or even a plate that I could have ate on. While this may not sound like such a big deal to some, there is just simply nothing better then a nice warm breakfast while duck hunting. With below freezing temps it acts as not only nurishment, but as warmth as you patiently wait for ducks to come.
Determined to not let this take me down I put the stove and cooler back in the truck and continued on. The rest of the morning was as expected, threw out decoys, pumped a little water into the hole, and got settled in and ready for what was looking to be a great hunt. After running a bit late from trying to get the dog settled, which is odd for me, I was in the pit and watching for ducks by 6:20. The rest of the morning was uneventful. One small group of birds about 200 yards+ out but couldn’t get them close enough to ID them. After a few hours of not seeing anything, I decided it was time to call it and head into the office. So the ducks are safe for another day. I am lucky in that I can hunt before work some days and still get into the office at a reasonable time.
At the end of the hunt, I didn’t have any game to fill the freezer. But I walked away with something else. In my professional career, stress has never been higher. Lots and lots of work, and not near enough time or resources to complete it. My time is constantly being pulled in many directions daily and I have come to accept that is simply just part of the job. That being said, what I walked away with this morning was a sense of calm. For some time now I have been working quite hard to make my mark and handle the stresses of work. This morning, if even for a short time, I was able to leave those stresses and enjoy the peace of nature and solitude. Some time to check-out for a while and unwind some of those stresses. So in closing, while I may not be able to fill my freezer today, I was able to fill my soul.