• Best Day Of The Year

    The past week, it seems, has had me feeling like summer is finally on the way out. With the home fans no longer running all night, and daylight fading away around 9:00 pm, I have begun to feel the change. Then this morning I saw it. Right there in front of me, along M61 west of Gladwin, were orange leaves. Thatís right, orange leaves on two different trees. Sure there were only a few orange leaves on each of those trees, but they are the colors of fall. Those few leaves signal the approach of a day that I look forward to 364 days a year.

    It is a day that will begin with 5:00am breakfast burritos cooked on the grill at a trail end by the lake shore. A predawn kayak trip across a local flooding will get us to our hide out in the cattails. It is a day that many local ducks and geese will regret waking up, for it is opening day of the youth waterfowl hunt.

    Opening day of the youth waterfowl hunt is one of the most memorable days of the year for me. It is an event that I was never able to participate in as a hunter because there was no such season when I was a youth. But for the past 11 years, since my oldest son turned 12, I have had the privilege to spend that day in the duck marsh with my sons, nephews, and friends children. I have watched as my sons went from the novice first time waterfowl hunter, grinning ear to ear as they shot their first waterfowl, to experienced waterfowlers that most avid adult hunters would be happy to share a blind with.

    I have been blessed with the opportunity to share that special day with other family and friends children as they experience their first sunrise in the duck marsh. The looks on their faces are priceless after they take that first shot at a passing duck or goose. Most often the kids first shot is a miss but their expression is always full of excitement. Then to be there when a young hunter puts it all together and bags there first waterfowl is a feeling that I would not trade for anything.

    Their excitement is contagious and rushes through me every time a young waterfowl hunter is successful. They canít help but smile and neither can. And now, as that day approaches, talk between my youngest son and I has become about waterfowl. My excitement level is beginning to rise looking forward to seeing my son in the front seat of my kayak once again, as we make our way through the predawn darkness of a stump filled marsh. The cool, damp, fall air will once again surround us as we tuck into the cattails, waiting patiently for the first couple ducks who decide to join our decoys for breakfast. And whether it is from my son or another youth hunter, the first shot that shatters the serenity of morning in the duck marsh is just the beginning of the best day of the year
    This article was originally published in blog: Best Day Of The Year started by BratsNMustard