Duck Hunting Essay
In the earliest of time, duck hunting was essential. Indian tribes would use canoes and dogs to catch ducks to feed their families. They would leave early in the morning to beat the sunrise and get out on the water. Ducks were hunted in January and February when they’re fat for better feeding. Then, in the 1800’s the breach-loading shotgun was created for field sports. This allowed duck hunting easier because now they are easily shot in flight instead of canoeing. The shotgun is quickly reloaded so that more duck can be hunted in a single setting.
Ducks and other birds have great eyesight, which made them harder to be hunted so the creation of camouflage came about. Hunters would wear clothes to blend in with the trees, grass, and environment surrounding them. They then began building duck blinds out of wooden frames and screened with brush and grass so that the hunter would be hard to see. Then, in the 1960’s decoys were made from carved and painted wood to float in the water. They are spread out so that ducks are encouraged to land on the water. Finally, we have the duck call.
This was created to mimic many sounds of ducks so that they will land in the spread of decoys for easier an easier kill. Many people hear of duck hunting and think that it can be very easily done, but this isn’t true. Duck hunters have to scout the land and water days before the hunt so that they can hunt strategically. These days, it is required for hunters to have a hunting license in order to even participate in this field sport. Any other actions taken before having a hunting license or before the season has officially opened is illegal.
Duck hunters spend many hours practicing shooting clay targets in the air so that they’re prepared for the hunt ahead of time. In late September, duck hunting season officially opens. Hunters will wake up early in the morning and get dressed up in their camouflage. They go out and hook up their boats and put their decoys in the bed. Each decoy has a clip or hook on the bottom of the body. This clip allows the hunter to attach each decoy to one another about 2 to 3 feet apart. The clips are attached to a jerk cord so that the hunter can place in a line and pull from their duck blind to make to decoys move realistically.
Then, the hunter loads up his shotgun and his dog and heads out to the drop to put his boat in the water. Duck hunters usually do not travel alone. They travel in a group of about 4 or 5 people so that they have more shots fired in one blind. All the hunters get into the boat and travel out to the duck blind. When they finally get there, they ease into the water and pull the supplies out so that the can hide their boat. Hunters will spread out their decoys strategically in the water at about 6 o’clock according to the placement of the blind and wind direction.
This takes about 30 to 45 minutes to set up correctly. Then, the hunters get inside the blind, load up their shotguns, and put on their face paint for better camouflage. The hunters are only allowed to shoot at 7 o’clock a. m. and any time after that so they usually wait in the blind. When starting time comes around they start looking for ducks. As soon as they see a good group of them they start blowing on their duck call to try and pull the ducks in to their decoys. All the ducks will fly around in a large circle and if they like the call they will begin cupping towards the water.
When they start to land and are just right off the top of the water, the hunters will begin firing. Any duck they kill is out in the water for the dog to fetch. The most common dogs used for duck hunting are Labrador Retrievers, Pointers, English Setters, English Cocker Spaniels, Coonhound, and Chesapeake Bay Retrievers. These dogs are trained very well in hunting ducks and usually other birds so when the duck hit the water that dog is gone. Hunters will go at it for hours and hours to try and limit out. They’ll blow the call, shoot, reload, and do it all over again every time there are ducks flying around.
Towards the end of the hunt, they will load up their decoys, dog, and shotgun. They’ll pull the boat out in the open for the drive back to the trailer. Then, they have to load the boat up and this could take some time if you don’t know what you’re doing. The driver maneuvers the boat nice and snug into place and the other guys pull it up, latch it to the trailer crank, and put the brace in place for the motor. The hunters will take off their wet waders and put them in the back of the truck and load up their dogs for the trip back home. Finally, when they get back to the house, they’ll pull the ducks out and put them on the tailgate.
The hunters will take their knife and make an incision about 6 inches long down the middle of the ducks belly. Then, with their hands they will tear away the feathers and skin of the ducks body. Finally, once looking at the ducks innards they will cut out the two breasts inside the ducks sternum. These two breasts are soaked and washed in warm water so that there is no blood or feathers left behind on the duck meat. Then, they are put into a plastic baggie and frozen until use. Duck hunting is a lot of fun because of the thrill that it gives you to hunt flying game. At the same time, this isn’t the easiest hunting trip you’ll make.
Duck hunters will hunt in the most mild or extreme conditions just to get a kill. Their waders could have holes; their duck calls could get frozen up; and their guns could jam. Hunters don’t have it easy like most people think, just imagine you having to hunt every day of your life to feed your family. That’s a crazy thought, but I can only seem to think that it may be a way of like for some people. This is how duck hunting is done most commonly these days. Finally, I will leave you with a quote I once heard. “If you’re not rippin lips and stackin quackers, you’re drinkin the wrong water”.
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 18 May 2017
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