Tag Archives: opening day duck hunting

Opening Day of Duck Season

Yesterday was opening day of duck season in Klamath county. Normally I’d be sitting in the marsh up to my knees in cold water watching from behind thick tules as ducks wheeled and tipped into our decoys. But instead I’m here, at home, writing on my blog.

What happened? Well, it’s a long story which I won’t get into, but suffice it to say I’m not happy with my work situation…nuff said.

But, as I’m sitting here missing opening day of duck season, which I haven’t missed in 30 years, I’m thinking about all the opening days I’ve had.

It all started when I was 9 years old. Myself my Dad and two older brothers would head up to Rocky Point Resort on Friday. I’d be pulled out of school, which was great enough, and we’d pack an enormous amount of clothing and gear, hook up our aging camouflaged duck boat and go.

The “resort” is a ramshackle fishing village, which would close down for the season soon after opening day of duck season. Duck hunters aren’t the usual Orvis wearing primadonnas that fisherman are, so the owners would usually have their noses turned up slightly at our uncouthness. But, I suppose our money was as green as the fisherman’s, so they put up with us.

We always met another family there and we’d move into one of the plywood cabins for the weekend. Once settled we’d don our rubber chest waders (neoprene waders didn’t exist yet) and get into the duck boat and go on a scouting trip into the marsh.

Opening day is in early October, and around here it’s usually still sunny and warm. Invariably the engine would fire up without a hitch and we’d sputter our way into the depths of the marsh.

We had a “secret spot” we’d always go, which involved some harrowing navigation through seemingly impassable marsh. In fact there was one spot that had a large beaver dam that we had to literally jump over. My Dad would gun the engine, and we’d launch off the beaver dam into the pond beyond. Continue reading Opening Day of Duck Season

Kids and Duck Hunting Tips

Next weekend is opening day of duck season in Klamath county and as tradition dictates we’ll be there. I haven’t missed an opening day of duck season since I was 10 years old.

Last year was the first time I took my oldest boy and this year I’ll be bringing both boys to the marsh. Neither of them are old enough to shoot yet, (the oldest will take his hunters’ safety course next year), but they are very excited to be joining my brothers and my Dad for the opening.

Taking kids duck hunting is rewarding and fun, but I’ve learned it can be miserable unless you follow some tips.

  • Be sure they have neoprene chest waders. These are essential for staying dry and warm in the wet marsh. I know hip boots are much less expensive, but they aren’t nearly as warm as chest waders. Buy them big and they’ll get a few years use out of them.
  • Besides the waders be sure they have plenty of warm clothes. Start with polypropylene long underwear and layer up to a warm, waterproof jacket.
  • A good pair of warm gloves and a warm hat are essential items.
  • Bring a big thermos full of hot cocoa (don’t forget cups). Of course don’t forget to bring yourself some coffee, but cocoa goes a long way to easing a cold morning for the kids.
  • Bring lots of snacks. If the hunting gets slow, inevitably kids will want to start eating, be prepared. You should also have a sandwich or some kind of lunch ready to go.
  • Bring drinks too. I usually mix lemonade in water bottles so they each have their own.
  • If they’re ready, let them bring their B.B. guns. It’s fun for them to shoot at ducks or bugs or whatever and is a great lesson in gun handling.

This is also a great way for you to teach them gun safety. Remind them to keep the gun’s safety on and to always know where the barrel is pointed.

I remember my Dad taking my B.B. gun away after I swept the barrel across his chest too many times. It upset me, but I’ve been hyper-vigilant ever since.

  • Be sure to bring ear plugs for the kids. You don’t want to injure their ears just yet, let them do it with their music when they become teenagers.
  • Before leaving the hunting area, be sure to pick up all the pieces of clothing, food wrappers, and whatever else they try to leave behind. Last year we lost a hat, one glove, and an action figure he decided to bring.

 

Exposing your kids to duck hunting is a great idea, and can lead to a lifetime of fun memories, but it’s a lot easier if you follow the listed duck hunting tips.