5 Reasons Why We are Addicted to Waterfowl Hunting
We wake up hours before the sun even thinks about coming up. We see a coldfront coming through, or an overcast day with cold winds from the north making the water choppy enough most people would not want to go out during the summer months. BUT WE DO! We have an addiction that most people don't understand. We go out in "dangerous" and miserable weather conditions, we spend thousands of dollars per year on equipment, leases, and travel. As one of my deer hunting friends once said, "You do all that for so little meat on the table." It's more than just meat on the table! It's about the 5 things listed below and honestly, I could have written about 5 more in addition to the 5 below. I'm sure you all have a few of your own that's not listed here so feel free to share some of the reasons you're addicted.
1. Sudden excitement and flow of emotions
Many of us waterfowlers are also big game hunters and we have all had the experience of sitting in a tree stand from dusk to dawn and not seeing the quality of game we want to harvest. It gets frustrating and often a little boring. As waterfowlers, we almost always see a potential harvest taking wing to the sky. They may not always light up into our spread but we get to see them in the distance. However, the excitement of watching them lock up, wings whistling and coast into the hole we so carefully engineered for them to land, is an absolute pure adrenaline rush!
2. The Diverse Opportunity
When you go deer hunting, you’re deer hunting. You either look for a shooter buck to tag or a nice healthy doe to put meat in the freezer. As waterfowlers, we get to see more than just a duck. We get to see and potentially harvest all types of ducks. I love setting up a diver spread and watching bluebills, redheads, canvasbacks, buffleheads, and ruddy ducks all coming to the same spread during one hunt. It’s exciting to see the different species coming over to check out your long lines. Waterfowl hunting is the only hunting I can think of that gives you such a diverse opportunity to see and harvest so many different species while on one hunt.
3. Time with Family and Friends
We all love going to hunting camp with our friends and family and if its big game you’re after, well, outside of eating, resting, or enjoying an adult beverage back at your camp or lodge, you’re flying solo. You sit in your stand or ground blind by yourself. Not when you’re waterfowl hunting! You get to sit in a pit or blind with your family and friends. You get to joke around, tease, make fun of, and talk about anything you can imagine while sitting in the pit or blind.
4. All the cool Gear (Like Fowl Foolers decoys!)
Look, there’s no doubt, we as waterfowl hunters are what my wife tends to call me while prepping my gear, “OCD and anal retentive”. In writing this blog, it forced me to look up anal-retentive to see if I could argue against her point. According to Wikipedia, “anal retentive is used to describe a person who pays so much attention to detail that the obsession becomes an annoyance to others…” Yup! That sounds about right! We are crazy about the gear we use to harvest our fowl…from our calls, to our decoys, to our guns…it all matters! But prepping for the season is just as fun and exciting as the hunting! I love coming home from work and seeing a package on the porch with my most recent on-line purchase!
5. The Dogs
As a new dog owner, waterfowling has taken on a whole new meaning for me personally. I have always loved watching a well trained dog work their way through decoys on the water to make a retrieve. And now as a dog owner, that unspoken bond that we have developed in our short 8 months that we have been together is hard to understand unless you have a working a dog. I am looking forward to our hunts together this season as we will have lots of “firsts” for him as a retriever. However, I will leave you with this last thought on retrievers. If your dog isn’t quite ready or not properly trained, leave that dog home! Nobody likes to hunt with a dog that doesn’t listen, misbehaves, or tends to get in the way, making hard hunts even harder.
Let's hear what keeps you addicted to Waterfowl Hunting!
Thanks for reading!