These are eight problems only duck hunters will understand.
When you get really into an outdoor sport, it can take over your mind, your habits and your perspective on everyday life. Whitetail hunters see the world with a blaze orange tint, bass fisherman have been known to cast in their sleep and turkey hunters are, well, probably a little crazy, just like the bird they’re after.
If it were a Twitter hashtag, it would be #HuntingProbz.
Duck hunters, of course, are their own breed of nuts. Sometimes, the problems they face are really only understood by fellow waterfowlers.
These eight duck hunting problems may not get you sympathy from anyone other than your duck hunting buddies.
1. The weather is way too nice.
Most everyone loves a bright, sunny, crisp fall day with no clouds right? Not if you’re a waterfowl hunter. When hunting ducks, the uglier, the better. Bright and sunny days are the worst for duckmen; birds will disregard your spread, no matter how awesome you think it is.
Overcast, a slight wind and a brisk, cold, down-to-your-bones type of morning are best suited for avid waterfowlers. Ducks will be on the move early and will most likely stay active throughout most of the day as their feeding time was limited during the chilly night. Paying attention to the weather forecasts not only in your area but almost more importantly, to areas north of you is a key part of duck season. Fronts push ducks south and typically, right into your spread.
2. When the coffeemaker is broke.
Who doesn’t love a nice cup of joe in the morning? Easy answer is that we all do! Coffee is as essential to hunting as is wearing camo or having ammo for your shotgun or rifle. If you’re going to wake up earlier than the sun, you need that caffeine pick-me-up.
But if the old, rickety Mr. Coffee is on his last leg, it’s going to be a miserable day for you unless there’s a 7-11 nearby or dare I say it: Starbucks? Nope, not even going there.
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3. Having to shave for a job.
Beards are not only awesome, functional, and look cool, but they also provide that extra bit of warmth on your face during the harsh fall and winter months when you are spending more time in the blind than you are at home. Base layers are great for the rest of your body, but there isn’t one piece of clothing out there that are more comfortable to have on your face than your own facial hair.
4. Your wife washes your hunting clothes.
Fellas, you know how this one usually goes. You’ve been knocking them down left and right, in fact, this season you can’t miss. It’s as if that funk on your gear is like magic. As you climb into bed you suddenly hear the washing machine and in a panic go running into the laundry room, only to find your wife washing those wretched, putrid, hunting clothes you carelessly threw down before hopping in the shower.
Ah man, now all the magic’s gone!
5. Your wife just doesn’t get it.
Speaking of your wife, your marriage is temporarily “on hold” at the moment for duck season.
Ah yes, the marriage problem. Hey, it is what it is. Hopefully you have a woman that understands.
6. Wearing your hunting gear in public places.
Most of us will claim that we don’t care what others think when we rock our camo out in public after a long day in the bind or up in a stand. The truth is, it does kind of suck to have some folks look at you funny and have that feeling of being just a bit out of place.
Black face paint usually only enhances this wonderful feeling of awkwardness.
7. The kitchen sink problem.
Doing absolutely everything in your power short of praying for and receiving an act of God for some sort of divine help to bring in some action near your blind and coming away broken, upset, confused, and frustrated.
This one is truly one of the worst problems. You’ve done all your homework, scouted for weeks on end, sorted out all of your gear, identified what you need and spent the money to be ready. Books and magazines full of hunting tips for the new season are stacked two feet high on your nightstand.
Yet, for some reason, each day your truck bed looms shamefully empty. You begin to doubt your skills. Nobody likes getting skunked, ever.
8. The Murphy’s Law problem.
As soon as you decided to unload the shotgun and pick up the decoys, every bird in North America decides to show up.
There almost aren’t even words to describe the feeling. This is the worst one by far, and it probably happens just about every season without fail.
Well, there you have it; a short list that only us duck hunters will understand. Chin up y’all, it’s only hunting, right?