Monday, January 23, 2012

Where did the time go?

I'll start with acknowledging that I'm a little behind in blogging, I recognize that and apologize to those who regularly visit.  So how far behind you ask...about 60 days...for all practical purposes two months.  A fairly significant amount of time in most people's lives, 16.6% of a year or 1/6th if fractions are your deal.  Why all of the discussions about 60 days? It is the exact number of days a person in southern Illinois is allowed to duck hunt, for that matter it is the maximum number of days most states allow for their duck seasons.  And you ask again why does this matter?  In the last 60 days, I have spent 45 of them afield, doing what I love to do, guiding waterfowl hunters.  Instead of the normal 60 days afield like most years, I experienced a duck season ending spill in the field on December 30th, tore my MCL (ligament in the knee) and strained my ACL (yep, also a knee ligament) and consequently took myself outta the duck hunting game.  But, as I sit here and think about the last 60 days, what a pleasure it was to watch ducks, sometimes by the thousands swarm into our field of flooded corn, with no inhibition whatsoever.  Sharing that sight with fellow duck hunters who may have never seen such a thing is what makes a day guiding feel more like recreation that a job.  I'll add a about the 40th straight 12-14 hour day, you sometimes forget that you're blessed to be afield for so many days, but by the end of season, but you start to remember how blessed you are when it's all coming to an end. 
It's a little tough to think that so much can happen in 60 days, but I watched my oldest lab Callie, show me that age does matter, as she can longer get in and out of the pit on a daily basis, its looking like a hip or leg issue.  She just turned eight years old on opening weekend, but at the end of last season she had eclipsed 2500 lifetime retrieves in the field, so I'm figuring the issue is related to high mileage.  Since I wasn't able to hunt Callie, I took my young dog Harley to the field and was able to put quite a few birds on him, which really turned him on, and with another 10 months of training between now and next season, he should be ready to go . 
All in all, despite a few set-backs there were some silver linings to the clouds, which makes me ready for next year.   So, to all the duck hunters I got to share a day in the field with, "Here's to ya!"   I hope to see ya next year, and if you didn't make it to the pit with me in 2011-2012, come back next season I believe it will be a great one!
God Bless,

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