• Ducks for St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital

    My wife and I dedicate 90% of our charitable money towards St. Jude's Childrenís Research Hospital as well as about 90% of our charitable time. The past 3 years we have become involved with the St. Jude Memphis Marathon by raising money and competing in the Half Marathon. Last year I had a friend that saw me complete 13.1 miles and he just had to do it too. Part of the marathon is raising money to the level chosen by the participant. I chose $2500 and my friend chose the $1000 level. We had some creative ways this year of raising money.
    One of the ways I raised money was auctioning a fishing trip on Reelfoot Lake, I also auctioned a fish fry for 8 people (complete with everything imaginable so that the one who bought it would just have to bring an appetite). We did a few other things and then the idea hit me to auction a duck hunt.
    This duck hunt would be buyerís choice of weekends for 2 hunters at a private club in east central Arkansas. Included in the hunt were all meals, lodging, processing of birds, an afternoon of hunting wild hogs and transportation everywhere we went once at the club. The guys that bought the hunt chose the weekend after Christmas which is normally a great week for duck hunting on our club.

    This past weekend, the buyer, Kevin and his son Parker, met us at the camp on Friday afternoon. Once they got settled in and introductions were complete, we all sat down to a dinner of pork loin, purple hull peas and a fresh pan of cornbread. We sat around that evening visiting and getting to know one another and I must admit, it did not take long. Duck hunters, like fishermen, always have common bonds and even when you meet someone that you have never known; it just isn't long until you feel like you have known them forever. These guys were no exception.
    Saturday morning we made our way to the blind where we greeted the sunrise and waited on the ducks. This year is different than the last 20 years I have enjoyed there as we just don't have many ducks using the area we hunt which is the result of several issues. But with a few ducks in the area, we hoped for the best. Shortly after shooting time, I worked a fat greenhead in over the decoys and the guys made quick work of him. For the next hour or so we talked, told stories and just enjoyed the morning in the blind. During one of the stories, the sound of air rushing over wings quickly quieted the teller and listeners and focused us back to the reason we were there. We had a nice group of green wing teal visit us and as they departed, 5 of them had decided to stay (Good shooting guys!). Once again we visited and watched the traveling ducks that looked to be up in the jet stream as they passed overhead. We eventually had another group of teal swing through the decoys and we finished the morning with 10 ducks.
    Saturday afternoon was spent sitting in our deer stands looking for the wild hogs that invade our property. I guess the hogs knew the game plan as they did not show themselves. As soon as shooting hours were over, we headed in and enjoyed another fine dinner; venison steaks, baked potatoes and turnip greens. It wasnít long after dinner, most everyone was ready for a good nightís sleep.

    Sunday was a new day and we were in the blind early and ready for some action. The day dawned cloudy with a few showers, but we started picking on the ducks a little. First a drake mallard and then several minutes later came a hen mallard. A short time passed and we killed a gray duck. Before the morning ended, we had taken 2 greenheads, 2 hen mallards and 2 gray ducks. We had a few missed opportunities, but that is part of duck hunting. Best of all we had enjoyed another morning in the blind.

    The mornings hunt ended with 6 ducks for the day, 16 for the weekend. Not bad, but not great. We enjoyed some great food and some great conversation. Between us, we found out who was or was not challenged in this electronic age and all the electronic equipment that there is. But the best part of the weekend came in the form of a couple of new friends. Guys that I had no idea existed and even though they live in Alabama (what is a crimson tide anyway?? Is that found in the Red Sea??) and I am a true Hog Fan, we had common ground as duck hunters and enjoyed ourselves. Thanks to you Kevin for your generosity and thanks for bringing Parker with you. Both of you are class act guys!!!
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Ducks for St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital started by GrnTmbrHntr View original post