Denman Duck Hunting and Sweating

Yesterday morning was Tuesday, which means it was early morning spin class day. Normally I get up, go to spin class at 5AM then swim laps or lift weights until it’s time to go to work. This time I mixed it up a bit.

I went to spin, (sweated my ass off), but instead of swimming or lifting, I drove home, snuck into the garage grabbed a bag of duck decoys, the dog, and  my shotgun and headed to Denman for some local duck hunting.

I was scheduled to be at work at 8AM, which wasn’t gonna happen. I called and left a message for my coworker that I’d be a half hour late.

Denman is a wildlife area on the edge of town. This time of year it is filled with flooded fields and big ponds which sometimes hold ducks.

It was raining when I pulled into the parking lot, which is probably why there weren’t any other vehicles. It looked like I would get to hunt without other hunters messing it up.

As I walked to the hunting spot, the rain stopped and the moon peeked out from behind the clouds bathing the fields and ponds with a soft white glow. I went to my normal spot, and jumped a bunch of ducks off the pond. It was still dark and about 15 minutes before legal shooting hours. I watched as their dark silhouettes disappeared into the night.

I put my chest waders on, spread a few decoys out, then hunkered down in the weeds and waited for my watch to say 7:03, legal shooting hours.

At 7:05 a flight of 6 big mallards came over me, I pulled up and shot a large greenhead out of the sky. Zipper, my labrador, bounded into the pond and retrieved the duck with her usual eagerness. It was the only duck I got, I missed another shot.

I stayed for another half hour then picked up the decoys and headed back to the truck. It was 8AM, I’d have to hustle to get to work by 8:30, but I’d make it. I smiled to myself, here I was duck hunting only a couple of minutes from work and home. It wasn’t like Klamath marsh, my usual haunt, but it provided some shooting and got the old adrenalin pumping.

Before most people were even awake, i’d sweated through spin class for an hour and gone duck hunting. That’s a pretty damned good morning.

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