Duck hunting is honestly something I can say that consumes me. As the season rolls around, I start going through my gear, checking out new gear, watching the weather patterns, checking the migration reports… the list goes on! The one thing that I enjoy most about it is being able to do that with my friends and family. As my son has gotten older, I’ve got to spend more time with him in the woods, and I know as my daughters get older they will too. With three kids, my blind may just be me and my kids, and I’ll be OK with that. But right now, I enjoy hunting with my friends and having those few cold hours to talk about life, fellowship, and of course joking around with each other. This past year I got to take my friend Jude from church with me on a duck hunt. Pretty sure that first time out, we didn’t fire a shot. But I could see he was hooked. I think a couple hunts later we got into some birds, and from then on, he’s been consumed by it as well. Seeing his excitement in duck hunting and everything that goes along with it is the best part to me.
This past week Jude invited me to join him at Peterson Outdoors Ministries for lunch with some soldiers that they were taking out duck and goose hunting this past weekend. I was excited to go. I’ve been involved with a few things that Peterson Outdoors Ministries has hosted like a mens outing for our church, or our churches Rallye66 Benefit Car Show that we helped to raise money for them, but I had never actually gone to see what exactly they did. It was truly inspiring being a small part of the weekend. I got to visit with a couple of wounded warriors, hear their stories about their tours, their family, and walk of life. You could see their excitement about getting to go out and go duck and goose hunting, and of course the stories of their hunts. What Peterson Outdoors Ministries has created with this opportunity to serve and give back to our wounded warriors is extremely amazing. And after seeing first hand what they do, I’m looking forward to being a part of this, and helping out in any way I can. So, a simple invite a year ago to someone that has never duck hunted before, has changed his life, moved me to be a part of something greater, and share my passion with others that may never have had the opportunity to go duck hunting.
Some parting words of advice when it comes to duck hunting… If you have waders, wear them. And don’t ever, ever be late. The ducks will always be on time.