Thursday, December 22, 2011

What Is Hunting About For You?

(by Brad Wilson - guest contributor)

Have you ever just sat back and asked yourself why you hunt? Have you ever wondered what it is all about with the expensive leases, high price of ammo, $1000+ guns, ATVs, boats, dogs, and so on?
I have hunted most of my life and sometimes I have to stop and ask myself what it is really all about. There was a time when all I cared about was getting that bull pintail sporting a pair of 8” sprigs or that mallard drake that had 4 curls, fully plumed out, with some jewelry on its leg. I have to admit I was caught up. I was more worried about showing off my accomplishments than being thankful for what I had been blessed with.
It wasn’t until about 4 years ago while I was at a Blast & Cast Men’s Ministries event that I realized that this “game” that we all take part in is more than we sometimes give it credit for. It is about sitting in a duck blind, brushed in by the natural habitat that had grown up around it. It is about watching the sun rise over the bay that has a thin layer of fog over the top of it and seeing a wad of early morning teal come buzzing into the decoys. It is about the smell of gunpowder when you pull the trigger on that brand new Beretta A400 Xtreme shotgun that you were so forunate to receive. It is about watching your dog work to retrieve the bird you shot but didn’t know was banded until you got it in your hand. It’s about friendships, camaraderie, and brotherhood that you share with some of the closest friends in your life. It’s about watching your first-born child shoot his or her first duck with your grandpa’s old Stevens single shot .410 and seeing the huge smile on their face. It’s about being able to share that same first duck with your brothers in the blind. It’s about taking your 70 year old grandpa hunting with you and soaking in his “infinite wisdom,” quietly, because one day he won’t be there to share it with you.
All-too-often we get caught up in the rat race of life, whether it be work, home, or these great outdoors that we were so graciously blessed with. All-too-often we need to stop, take a step back, and realize the money, time, and effort we spend has its own rewards that are far beyond what we sometimes give credit for.
So what is hunting about for you?


  1. Man Brad you said it perfectly. I'll be at the B&C this year and look forward to seeing you. Hopefully I can get a wiff of gun powder from that new Beretta.

  2. Last weekend duck hunting with my new Beretta from "Santa"... It was like watching moving art… in the early hours of a bitter cold January morning off the shores of St. Michaels Maryland, only the warm breath wafting up from the motionless hunter’s gave proof that the small cramped skiff contained life. Adorned with Ghillie camouflage blankets mystically resembling the native foliage of greens, browns and grays, in boughs of pine trees and slight timbers that littered the boat, the Hunter boys lay in wait. As the horizon began to glow orange with the morning’s first light, the silhouettes of water fowl began to come into sight…Buffleheads are the first to appear; the white patch across the back of their head cheek to cheek still not visible in the mornings light, it’s their low and fast flight across the water that gives their identity away. The small ducks are allowed to pass unscathed.
    As the sky lightens a small group passes over head, too high for a shot but their profile identifies them as the coveted Canvasback who historically winter in the brackish estuarine bays and marshes of the Chesapeake Bay. They too pass by though the verbal exchange in the boat now shifts to the appropriate recipe for Canvasback breasts. Who knew there were so many uses for Jack Daniels?
    Patience is a virtue as the next flock pass by, banking slightly to find some commonality with the decoys bobbing on the waters chop. “Bluebills” is uttered in hushed accord. No “GO” phrase is spoken to commence the start of the barrage. It just happens, without words. Moving as if a common musical tune played in their heads the men rise together, pull up in fluid unison, sweeping the horizon with 12 gauge barrels that seem part of the orchestration. The muzzle blast of the hot & heavy load punctuate the air with a blazing musical staccato as gun powder smoke fills my nostrils. The boy’s gracefully swing through their shots as ducks fall from the sky, never crossing each other’s invisible line.
    No dogs graced our presence this trip so we motor out to retrieve the bounty. It has gotten colder as the morning passes, the water on the bottom of the boat turns to icy slush. The ducks blood turning it a scarlet brown. The boats limit is filled of Lesser Scaups; glossy black heads cast with a purple hue look up at me with sharp yellow irises. The wavy markings on their sides and flanks are olive brown and contrast with the white chest and belly. Their backs are light gray with broad heavy vermiculations of sooty black resembling a handsome Hound’s-tooth weave.
    The sun is blinding now as it rises over the shoreline. We sit quietly and wait. The sky is inky black with Canadian Geese… the blotches breaking apart as they spread out into wavy lines, finding their positions. The sun on my face matches the warmth in my heart that I have for these men and this moment.

  3. Hunting is about being out enjoying gods gifts to us and sharing it wit others as well.
    It is our heritage and we should never forget.