Oh Geese. The most annoying birds except for Seagulls but are oh-so- delicious. As with any hunting, I'm accustomed to getting up early. However, I was not ready for waterfowl hunting's definition of early. Getting up at 2:30am would ultimately mean that I would've had to go to bed at 6pm in order to get my solid 8 hours of beauty sleep. Getting to bed at 11, I had a nice 3 hour nap before pulling myself out of the warmth of my snuggly bed and into my camo. I was excited, as I always am for the first day of any season, so I was my crazy perky self, much to the groggy disgust of my significant other and our friend. The trek to the lake took about an hour so by the time that we pulled into the boat launch, I was falling back asleep. No rest was allowed for the weary, as we jetted out to our predetermined spot and started setting up the spread of decoys. [Note: This sounds easy, as we were in about 4 inches of water. But please keep in mind; under the small amount of water lay feet thick layers of gooey mud just waiting to adhere to our boots and refuse to relinquish their grasp. Therefore, getting through to where we were going to put the decoys involved maneuvering through waist-deep muck. Did I mention that I'm 4'10.5? It was an experience. ]
Once the decoys were floating merrily in the water, hanging out on the sandy bank or sleeping silently, we settled into the blinded boat. [A blind is camouflage which conceals a large John boat and the three people within it. It basically tells birds- "Hey!! This is a nice spot to fly near! Look, all these other geese decided to bed down here! I'm just an unassuming pile of cattails and other man-made vegetation! Of course there aren't three hunters inside of me, waiting to make you dinner! Hey!! Come back!!] Once all was settled, we had to put our face makeup on which ended up being the best part of the day. I was covered in the stuff like girls from the jersey shore pack on brozer. It was great.
Surrounded by extremely flammable materials and firearms, the boys decided that bacon was needed. So, they started the propane single pan cooking contraption and proceeded to make bacon. However, one hunter who will remain nameless forgot everything that is needed in order to make breakfast. [read: utensils, plates, spatulas, a place to put scalding hot grease] So this is what happened:
Soon enough, the sun starting coming up and the birds flew. Goose calls bellowed. The air was electrified with energy. My ears were constantly perked and my adrenaline started pumping when I heard the calls come back. We saw a lot of geese but didn't get any real good shots at all. But the sunrise was beautiful and the goose pit was full of laughter. Waterfowl hunting is completely different from big game. I don't like one or the other better just yet but it's interesting to note that with waterfowl, hunters hang out in the pit, swap jokes, talk about love, and rejoice when birds fly overhead. With gun and bow, you can't talk. You can't move. When a deer comes, you can't gesture wildly to your buddies, because: a) the deer will run away and b) there would be no one around to gesture wildly to. But maybe it'll be in the differences that I'll love both equally like a mother loves her children- love abounds but for each but in separate ways. Only time will tell...
When the hunt finally ended at around 10 in the morning, it was time to take a power washer to my face and get rid of the camo makeup. It only took about 7 washcloths to get the stuff off my face and arms so when the truck pulled into our driveway, I was ready for a nap.
I fell into bed and was shortly joined by the hunter who had forgotten all the cooking utensils. Before allowing myself to be lulled to sleep by the chimes outside, I mulled over the morning. That morning I had: gotten up as early as many people my age go to bed, wore more face makeup than I have in a year, almost was eaten up by feet of muck and lit on fire, watched a beautiful sunrise, and experienced the majesty of waterfowl hunting. Not a bad morning at all.