The sheer thought of cold weather, waterfowl, and gunpowder makes the heart of any waterfowl hunter pump harder. When all these elements align, it creates memory’s that will not soon be forgotten. As the sun rises over the spread I can’t help but watch each breath drift through the cold morning air while examining a spread set to finish fowl, which makes the mind wonder about the successfulness morning’s hunt. With ducks working flawlessly into the spread, thus falling, after several shots ring out, into freshly broken ice is truly addicting.
There is something about hunting fowl that brings people with many different backgrounds together. Together in a way that most will not understand; Let’s face it, waking up early to endure the relentless wind, ice, snow and muddy conditions isn’t exactly something everyone enjoys. Drawing down a duck or goose into your spread is something that has captivated hunters all around the world for centuries. However, with this great community comes a great responsibility. This would be conservation, which is done many ways but is the only way our beloved pastime can continue for generations to come.
Speaking of which, conservation is one of the largest and most commonly debated responsibilities. Efforts by several groups has been done over the years to maximize duck and goose numbers as well as keep them stable enough to hunt each year. With that being said there are many things one can do to improve the habitat of their own land that can help increase duck numbers. Granted the location needs to be in an area known for heavy migration throughout the winter.
Without the continued conservation efforts to protect and provide for waterfowl, our sport will literally die out quickly. None the less, it amazes me how an entire community has formed, almost fraternity like, around the pursuit of waterfowl. Whether you’re an avid hunter or enjoy a hunting vacation the bond is undeniable. This kind of bond lasts forever and is generally passed down to the next generation from year to year. However there is a need for new hunter interest in the sport, which is crucial to its continuation. Currently the number of hunters is declining and will continue to do so if the issue is not addressed promptly.
As a waterfowl hunter, it’s an honor to be a part of this community of men and women that have a drive and passion not only for hunting but for conservation. It’s also a privilege watching a new hunter harvest their first bird. This excitement is what drives us to keep alive the tradition along with putting food on the table.
Written by: Garrett Lassiter
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