Well, not really. First I went out and bought a retriever and spent a gajillion dollars training him to fetch waterfowl; a decision I am very happy with although I think it will probably cost me more money in the future.
Now I had a love for the hunt, a dog that can fetch mallards in the most ducky of weather and was left with one and only one problem: a location to hunt.
Duck Club Experience: Arrive 30 minutes before shooting light, drive ATV to blind, sit in blind surrounded by decoys lovingly placed by someone paid to set decoy spreads and shoot ducks. Someone will come by later to pick up your shell casings.
Public Land Experience: Get up at 1:15am and drive to the local conservation area to stand in line with 80 other sleepy men and women to draw a wooden cube with a number on it for the chance to hunt. If you don’t draw, go directly to breakfast and lament getting up at 1:15am.
If you are lucky enough to draw you drive to your pool, drag a heavy sled filled with decoys, marsh seats, mojo’s, dog stand and whatever other bits of gear we have been suckered into buying at the local sporting goods store to a location that, in the dark, looks good (keep in mind you will probably change location and decoy spread at least three times if not on the X…it took me three hunts to know what that meant). The drag could be as short as a quarter mile but I have been blessed with distances of a half to three quarters of a mile….through muddy fields. I swear you sink six inches with each step but I am sure that is an exaggeration. I think. It really feels like you sink six inches.
As a personal trainer and fitness coach, it was my first experience on public land that really got me thinking about how we would design a Fit To Hunt workout program for duck hunters because once you have dragged your gear one half to three quarters of a mile, you put out your decoy spread. Then you hunt. At the end of the day, you don’t just hop on the ATV and drive home ala the duck club experience. You collect all of your decoys, package them up and drag the whole collection back to the vehicle.
Sometimes you get a duck or six. Sometimes you get nothing but an experience.
Both are awesome, but the drag seems easier with a full strap of greenheads.
You long for the joy of watching a dog make a long retrieve and then sit on his or her perch ready to do it again. You need the sting of the wind and rain on your face and the wonder that comes when a group of birds lock in and commit to the call.
It is not for sissies and I cannot wait to do it again.
Let us create a custom designed program just for you!
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