For most of us, the months of April through August are the low points of our year. We wander around aimlessly not sure how to act or what to do without the 10 pound necklace of calls around our necks. Early in the off-season, we even find it difficult to walk without the bulky restriction of our waders. The new found energy from adequate sleep leads our significant others to cut us off the massive amounts of caffeine we’ve become accustomed to over the past 6 months. All these changes become the new normal over the summer months, but there are those aspects of duck season we really miss through the warm months. Here are 5 we miss the most.
Duck Blind Breakfast
Sure frying bacon and eggs in the comfort of your own home is nice, but for whatever reason, it never tastes as good as when it’s cooked in the pit or boat blind. Maybe it’s the moisture in the air or the mixture of blood and feathers on your hands, but duck blind breakfasts always taste better! There is something magical about hearing the combination of a duck call and sizzling bacon at the same time. Even when the cook gets distracted at the incoming flock of mallards and forgets to flip the eggs, it still tastes better than when made at home. There’s also no better pick me up than that chunk of bacon you find stuck in your tone board 15 minutes after you get done eating.
Obsessively Watching the Weather
Whether it’s looking at the wind for the afternoon hunt or checking the horribly inaccurate 60-day long range forecast, we all become awkwardly obsessed with the weather during the season. The second we wake up, we dial up your favorite weather bookmark with hopes of a 30 degree drop and north winds. Didn’t see it when you checked the forecast when you woke up? That’s ok, we’ll check it again in 6 hours hoping for a change! We call our buddy and ask if he saw that cold front in the 360 hour forecast. They’re calling for a north wind at 35 with temperature dropping into the 20s through the day. It’s going to be the best front of the year! Seriously, we’re looking at forecast for a half month from now, but that’s alright, we’re duck hunters and that’s what we do!
Camaraderie With Friends
Nine times out of 10, you can meet a guy in a duck blind for the first time and instantly become friends. Stories are told and plenty of laughs are shared during duck season. The off-season is filled with honey-do lists, baseball/softball games, and family functions. The off-season is the time for this and the time for you to once again resume the full time roll of husband, father, and grandpa, but that cuts into the time with your buddies. You can tell your wife that a pair of smileys is locked up coming in, but she might slap you! Your buddy, however, knows exactly the language you speak. The slang and code words used with your duck hunting friends quickly fades from your lingo as you head into the summer months, but rest assured, as soon as September rolls around you’ll be right back to speaking it!
Gas Station Coffee
When the season first starts, it’s not abnormal to drive out of the way across town for the best cup of coffee. There’s nothing better than starting our day with a smooth cup of joe that’s just the right temperature. As the season progresses, we become less and less of a “coffee snob”. The need for caffeine overwhelms the desire for flavor. Where’s the closest gas station? Yeah, that’s where we’re going. It might take 5 packets of creamer and a half cup of sugar to make it taste less like jet fuel, but we just need the caffeine! That cup is 211 degrees, but we’ll worry about being able to taste our food after the season is over!
Waking Up Early
We’re snuggled up in our bed dreaming of swarms of ducks circling overhead when all of a sudden our phone starts playing that tune we grow to despise. It’s not our ring tone because we would become angry every time someone called us throughout the day. Our alarm tone or song is only used for that purpose and that purpose only. When it goes off at 4am during duck season we hop out of bed almost instantly. During the off-season, we hit snooze at least a half dozen times. We might have not even seen a duck yesterday, but it’s still easy to get out of bed based of the hope or the maybe that today brings. While many are still sleeping, we’re out in the bitter cold, the rain, and even the blinding snow as the sun rises. Some call us crazy, but being in those elements as a new day dawns is something that can’t be described in words and we dearly miss it during the summer months. Why, many ask….because we’re duck hunters.
But, have no fear duck hunters. The end is almost here!