Saturday, October 31, 2020

October 2020: Some Welcomed Familiarity

October was so refreshing because it ushered in at least a sense of relative normalcy. Roy was able to join his wife for the better part of a month of quiet in Michigan's north woods (chasing grouse and NOT spraying flowering rush), and my family and the lease holders stayed gleefully occupied back home either chasing ducks or thinking about chasing ducks (my area of expertise, particularly since having children). 

My nephew Josh, who shot his first duck at Standing Rush six seasons ago now (somehow), is now a senior in high school -- and still a deadeye with a shotgun. Great kid; great sunset!

Pre-hunt tailgate shot of my three boys (a tradition) just before striking out for the blind for their first hunt of the season -- and mine. My oldest shouldered a gun, and the little guys blew feverishly on calls. I missed ducks, but fortunately settled down and shot a few, too.

Comfortably blinded at 18:
We had good activity and decent shooting each time we went out. But more importantly, we laughed and smiled A LOT. My guys seem to be cut from a very similar cloth; they are "bit by the bug" and want to be outside whenever they can be.

The thrill of a pass was never lost on these three, and what I love most is they spend as much time admiring a bird after the retrieve as they do when they're on the wing.

Woodies were plentiful, but the diversity was there.

My nephew and brother got out a half-dozen times together, despite crazy, hectic lives.

My brother snuck away for a solo birthday hunt -- with his son solo in an adjacent blind;
not a bad birthday bag, especially considering he didn't have a dog.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Sunrise and sunset on the marsh are spiritual experiences.
These are memories none of us will forget.