2:00 a.m. rise and shine.
2:20 a.m. hit the road.
2:20:10 a.m. discuss the unconstitutionality of no beer in a Federal Wildlife Refuge.
2:25 a.m. stop for a Red Bull, so we can see the road.
2:30 a.m. head north, I think.
2:45 a.m. trying to figure out where in the Hell we are at because of the road construction.
3:10 a.m. trying to figure out where in the Hell we are at because of the road construction.
3:15 a.m.-4:00 a.m. telling stories about how much we love duck hunting. Short conversation, mostly
quiet. Mostly revert to discussing the unconstitutionality of no beer in a Federal Wildlife Refuge.
4:00 a.m. arguing about where the 'proper' turn-off to the Refuge is located. The 'right' way is agreed
4:05 a.m. arrive at Refuge.
4:10 a.m. arrive at parking lot.
4:10:05 a.m. observe flashlights out in the Refuge. 3 sets, 3 blinds, should have been there at
4:11 a.m. decide to revert to plan 'B'.
4:14 a.m. arrive at parking lot for plan 'B'.
4:20 a.m. comment how much we love duck hunting.
4:20:05 a.m. commence putting on waders and trying to find gear that had been thrown in rig.
4:30 a.m. start walking up rutted pathway through 1 foot deep water.
4:45 a.m. reach the 'bridge' to go to plan 'B' secret spot. Start to cross the bridge to pathway on other
side of 'canal'.
4:45:01 a.m. see three flashlights wandering about in the dark. 1 heading back to pathway.
4:46 a.m. flip coin to see who goes to talk to 'flashlight' nearing pathway. I win, can't find coin.
4:50 a.m. Jr. talks walks down to talk to the flashlight. They are 'lost'.
4:55 a.m. drop off bank into chest high weeds.
4:56 a.m. wade through knee high water to the brush line. Gumbo mud makes walking, lets say,
difficult. Brush 8 feet high.
4:57 a.m. decide on the route to plan 'B' secret spot. "That way". Water getting higher. Slip sliding
away in the mud.
4:57:30 a.m.-5:15 a.m. wander aimlessly through 8 foot high brush. Water getting higher. I realize why my good friend Patrick McManus never wrote about duck hunting. Smart man.
5:15:01 a.m. I declare that "this is the spot". Argument ensues. Unanimously decide that no beer in a
Federal Wildlife Refuge is unconstitutional. Jr. announces that when he is president that his
first act will be to enter an 'executive order' that beer is allowed in Federal Wildlife Refuge.
5:16 a.m. I am the loser. It is determined the plan 'B' secret spot is 50 yards further. Continue
5:25 a.m. I discover that my estimation of 50 yards is off by about, oh say, 100 yards.
5:35 a.m. it is determined that "this is the spot [plan 'B' secret spot]
5:36 a.m. commence discussing where/how to set out decoys. After much discussion it is determined
that a 'J' alignment is best.
5:38 a.m. commence setting out decoys in a 'helter skelter' fashion. Looked like a 'J' in the dark.
6:05 a.m. determine it is 27 minutes until 'shooting light'.
6:06 a.m. determine it is 26 minutes until 'shooting light'.
6:07 a.m. locate 'hiding spots', which are also known as a spot in the 8 foot tall brush where most of
the water can be seen.
6:10 a.m. I designate shooting areas for Jr. and me. He is to shoot from 'here' to 'there' and I am to
shoot from 'there' to there'.
6:30 a.m. bang, bang...bang. Someone else's clock is a little fast.
6:35 a.m. Jr. bang. Duck down.
6:37 a.m. bang. I miss.
6:45 a.m. bang, bang. Jr. has 2 more ducks down. I yell, "Great shot"!
6:50 a.m. Jr. says "There is one coming right for us." I respond. "Can't see it." Then I see it. Coming
right for me. I level shotgun and start to squeeze the trigger. Bang from my left. Bang from me. Jr. nails the duck just before I pull the trigger.
6:57 a.m. duck comes from my right, clearly in my 'designated shooting area'. I wait, it is about ten
yards above me to the right. I squeeze the trigger. Duck folds, and drops right out in front of me. Wow, I actually got one! I am puzzled by no comment from Jr.
7:05 a.m. Jr. wades out to get the ducks. He throws them at me.
7:10 a.m. Jr. asks if I want to change places with him. I have only gotten one shot.
7:10:10 a.m. I tell Jr., "No I shot twice. I got one, it landed right in front of us." Jr. says, "NO, I shot
that duck." Argument ensues. I get really pissed off. No beer in a Federal Wildlife Refuge!
7:15 a.m. bang, bang, bang from behind us. Pellets start landing on and around me. The 'lost boys'
from earlier have apparently set up 40 yards behind us. Ha! Pellets continue falling the rest of the morning. I review the 'designated shooting area' with Jr. He feigns a loss of hearing must have occurred.
7:20 a.m. Jr. shoots again. Duck drops. He goes to fetch it, but doesn't tell me.
7:20:15 a.m. Ducks, and geese, start pouring towards us. They 'flare' so I don't shoot. One finally comes in range and bang. I nail it. I yell, "I got that damn duck!" No reply.
7:30 a.m. I hear Jr. Turns out he is coming back from getting the duck he shot, and another he shot
while there. I blame him for the ducks 'flaring'. He tells me "B.S."
7:31 a.m. argument ensues. I tell him I shot one. He laughs. Argument continues.
7:32 a.m. bang, bang, bang behind us and off to the right. The ducks are literally 80 yards high. 'Sky
blasting'. I yell some miscellaneous obscenity in their direction. More pellets fall on us.
7:32-10:30 a.m. argument ensues between Jr. and I, not sure what it is about. A couple more ducks
10:31 a.m. go to pick up decoys. Tired. Been standing in thigh deep water too long.
10:33 a.m. I wade out and the water comes up to my waist. I discover that my waders have a 'leak'.
11:00 a.m. decoys in bag. Split a Red Bull for the walk out.
11:45 a.m. reach the pathway.
11:45:10 a.m. I start to cross the bridge to go to the pathway.
11:45:12 a.m. Jr. says, we can walk down the pathway we are on. It is nice, smooth, and dry.
11:45:15 a.m. I ask Jr. "Does it go all the way back to the road?" Jr. responds, "Yep." I ask, "Are
you sure?" Jr. responds, "Yep."
11:45:30 a.m. I ask Jr. "Why didn't you mention this before we walked a half mile down the rutted
and watery route?" Jr. responds, "Forgot". Argument ensues.
11:55 a.m. get back to parking lot.
12:00 noon. I have to have Jr.'s help to get my right wader boot off. Seems my foot is stuck due to
the 'suction' caused by all the water in my waders.
12:15 p.m. head back down the road.
12:18 p.m. I discover I have lost my hat with my 'special fly' on it. I decide to leave it.
12:18:15 p.m. Argument. We go back for my hat. It was a present from Jr. [he got it with some cigars
he bought. Perhaps it was sentimental to him. Ha!
12:23 p.m. arrive back at parking lot. There is my hat.
12:24 p.m. get hat, still pissed off that you can't drink beer in a Federal Wildlife Refuge.
12:25 p.m. head home. Argument ensues over who shot the duck 10 yards off to my right above my
12:25:01-2:00 p.m. Argument continues. Arrive home. Make a mental note to right my congressman and complain about no beer in a Federal Wildlife Refuge.
2:05 p.m. Jr. shows Joan the ducks. Tells her I got 1. She exclaims, "HE got one???!!!" Jr. falls on the ground laughing. I grab a beer. I am not on a Federal Wildlife Refuge!