A couple that paints their faces together…

…stays together.

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Danielle’s first time out to the pond

I took my girlfriend out to the pond for the first time on Saturday. Had a good rezzie for Sacramento NWR, so it was the perfect opportunity to show her what it is the dog and I do when we drive off into the early morning dark during duck season.

Outfitted in her new waders and a mix of women’s hunting clothes I’d bought her and some of my son’s stuff from back when he wasn’t 6’3″ and 200 lbs., she took her first ever steps into the black water and muddy bottom of a pond at 5 am. Step by step she slogged through the muck out to our island blind, the dog dancing and splashing alongside her, happy and amazed to have “mom” with us. I think I held my breath the entire time, letting out a big sigh of relief when first one rubber boot then the other was back on land.

We were blessed with a good morning flight, not close enough to shoot at (unlike the blinds north and south of usnote to self for next trip to Sac) but providing great lesson material for which silhouettes were ducks, geese, and which ones weren’t. It wasn’t long before she was calling out approaching ducks and being right most of the time. Missed a few drive bys and blind sides, but finally doubled on two flying together (a spoon and a wigeon!). Young Schatzie plunged out to the downed birds and grabbed one, brought it halfway back, dropped it, then went to retrieve the other, grabbed it, dropped it, went back to the other until I finally went out and gave her a hand. Guess it’s retriever school for the pup.

We ate some blind snacks — trail mix, fruit, lunchables (a tradition my kids started) — watched big noisy Vs of specks and snows overhead, and then decided to call it a day. A very successful day, in many ways.

Back at the truck, I told her how proud I was of her, trying something new and a little scary, putting up with the wet and cold (and lack of proper facilities), wading through the pond without falling in, and going above and beyond the “bye, have a nice time” send off that most women give their duck hunting men.

She told me she was amazed by how much work it is, getting ducks. All the planning and effort, the sweat and hauling, and all the time that goes into it. “I can’t wait to set the next person straight who says you’re just out here whacking Daffy Duck as he swims back and forth in front of you.”

Yep, a very successful day.

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Danielle and my wigeon, AKA this week’s duck dinner.

 

 

 

~ by zenhunter on December 17, 2012.

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