Duck Man Teaching Duck Boy

Thanksgiving Break would be our first road trip out west of 2018. Carson would accompany us on the 20 hour drive to the middle of no where in search of the ultimate waterfowl mecca. I watched Chris prepare Carson all summer long for these exact moments to come. All those late afternoons shooting skeet off the dock would collide in an emotional moment I relive every time I see the pictures.

From day one walking in the woods with my own Dad, I found my purpose.I believe full-heartedly that God created us, gave us thumbs and put us at the top of the food chain for a reason.Hunting is release and place where I feel like I belong. Out here where there is more waterfowl, whitetails and cows than humans allow you to witness and appreciate the world for exactly how God created it. The great outdoors is a place where traditions and beliefs can be passed down in the realist, purest fashion.

It’s November 15th and we had just rolled into parts unknown the afternoon prior. We gained access to a goose feed that had a little over eight hundred birds feeding in a wheat field. The feed was a mix of mostly lessers and specks. A few adult snows were milling around too. Today, we arrived a few hours prior to the time we had seen them here the yesterday. We decided to lie in whites and mix in honkers and speck full bodies around the outside edges. Carson helped carry decoy bags and set out snow socks all while cracking jokes and making us laugh. Once set up, we laid awaiting the first flight to make their appearance. About 45 minutes later, a single Canada lesser circled in from behind us. The goose landed to the left side of the spread. Carson’s side. With a single shot from his .410 pump, Carson sat up from the middle of snow socks and smoked his first goose. This would be his first waterfowl he had taken solo. Immediately, after he shot he yelled “I got it!”.  The excitement in his tone was as real as it gets. Chris told him to go get him. Nine-year-old, Carson ran over and picked up his prize. His smile was as contagious and my heart was beyond full. Proud is a complete understatement.

November 16th, it’s late and we have been scouting all day. We finally stumbled on a group of ducks going down in what we thought was a cut milo field. We parked the truck at the edge of the field and decided to creep over a little hill that blocked the full view of the feed. With Chris leading the way and Carson right on his boot heels we stalked up on an unexpected pond full of ducks. Chris pointed out all the waterfowl to Carson and made sure he got a front row seat at such an incredible sight. We sat and watched those ducks dip and dive as the sky turned purple. Carson sat in awe, pointing out every new group of birds that came to join the party. The following morning hunt would be one for the books.

November 17th, the sun was still asleep. The truck was put in park and it was time for the set up to begin. Myself and Carson along with 5 other guys set up a few A-frames while Chris set the spread. It didn’t take long to get ready with that amount of hands, which was something were not use to. With the blinds brushed and everyone in position it was time. Shooting time came and it wasn’t long before we had close to a limit. A single, hen pintail came soaring in the spread and stalled out at about 20 yards. Chris sounded out and told all the guys this was Carson’s duck. Chris then said to Carson, “whenever your ready.” Carson stood up over the A-frame and shot. BOOM. The pintail fell out of the sky and hit the water. The whole crowd instantaneously let out cheers and my heart was screaming with pride. Chris grabbed Carson and embarrassed him in a bear hug. Carson’s first duck! A morning and a hunt I will never forget.

Children are a reflection of you as a parent. Although they are not always on their best behavior and will test the limits whenever they can, they are the greatest responsibility you will have in your entire life. Your time is the greatest gift you can give to them. All those late afternoons, watching Chris throw clay after clay to help Carson learn to lead and aim, couldn’t have been illustrated better when seeing him shoot his first goose and duck. This was the first year Carson was able to handle his gun solo and to witness his own passion unfold was the ultimate pay off. The youth are a reflection of their surroundings. God creates our children and it is up to us to illustrate right from wrong, the golden rule, and pass on traditions. Now hunting means even more to me knowing I’m able to pass it on to future generations. It will be in Carson’s hands to do the same for his children and I am thankful to be apart of such an honorable gift.

Homemade Oatmeal Cream Pies~

Simply classic! Did you know Oatmeal Cream Pies go back as far as 1960?! They happen to be the first snack Little Debbie brand ever produced. This is also one of my favorites! While eating one last week, I found myself not enjoying the taste. I then began to look up recipes on how to make them from scratch. I swear I lost a whole day on Pinterest because of this, but the end result was this creation and my oh my it is delicious (if I do say so myself!) Enjoy~

Cookie Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Start by creaming butter and sugars in mixer. Then mix dry ingredients together in separate bowl. Add eggs and vanilla to butter mixture and mix until creamy. Add dry mixture to butter mixture. Mix until doughy. Roll and flatten dough into 2×2 cookie size balls. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes. Let cool on pan before removing. (I found I like them a little thinner so I usually make them 1/2 or even 1/4 inch thickness.)

Cream Filling:

  • 1/2 cup soften butter
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 tbsp crisco

Mix all ingredients together until frosting is a light and creamy. After cookies cool, ice the center. Place finished cookies on parchment paper lined cookie sheet and put in fridge for 10 minutes.

Prepare your taste buds! Enjoy~

#OneShotsTable

NoDak 2017

No one really talks about the “the grind” of fishing season. We just do it and get it done. For me getting through the craziness means a lot of coffee and lots of daydreams of what is to come; Hunting Season. 

The trailer is loaded down with all the works. Blinds, decoys, dog food, goose flags, anything and everything we might need for any situation while were traveling the vacant prairies. Just loading up the truck you can tell Miss Belle already knows. She goes right to her kennel and lays down on the fluffy bed. She waits and watches as we finish loading everything up. Camo, shot guns, and enough shot-gun-shells to start another war. Chris and I barely talk as we pack up the bus. We just shoot little smirks to each other as we pass by. We know the drill. FINALLY, we ready to head North. The bus packed, Maddie and Belle loaded up, we pull out of the driveway. Goodbye Florida!

*26 Hours Later* (yes. twenty six!!)

ARRIVED!

North Dakota’s waterfowl season allows non-resident hunters to hunt for two weeks. You pick your dates for which you choose to hunt. Chris and I, do our weeks back to back. While you are guaranteed a license, you are not guaranteed birds or land permission. You better get your riding pants and get comfy because that truck your in, will be your home. Free lancing means work, determination, and drive. The one I can always count on to align those stars is Duck Boy. There is a chemistry to the relationship Chris has with waterfowl that will give peanut butter and jelly a run for its money. He just gets them! Watching him do what he does, is exhilarating.

We drop the trailer off at the lodge and prepare to scout the rest of the day. Snow covers the ground everywhere and the temperature is 18 degrees with a 2 degree windchill. The wind was honking out of the North at 25mph. Shelby, you are not in Florida anymore! Off we go to find the perfect feed to hunt the next morning. Some people would maybe take the afternoon off after watching the sunset and rise from the cab of your truck but procrastination and laziness are not rewarded up here. A couple hours later we find a good feed. As we pull off the road to glass the field closer, a jeep pulls up. The gentleman in the driver seat rolls the window down and ask if we were the ones who called for permission to hunt that particular field. We told him no that we just stumbled upon it. Chris and Richard begin to make small talk and we learn he is actually the land owner and he likes to duck hunt! I continue to watch these mallards tornado down through the binos; Hypnotizing. Rarely do land owners actually like to waterfowl hunt. In this special case, Richard asked if we wanted to hunt that field with him the following afternoon. Access granted. We made plans to meet right there the next day at 2:00pm;  A perfect start to an incredible few weeks.

Here is a little something wrapping up the time we spent in the corn and snow. Thank you for reading. God is sooo good y’all! Enjoy

2016 Fowl Season Flashback

Here is a little flashback to this past season. Thank you to everyone who made these hunts possible and a huge thank you to Duck Boy himself for always making my dreams come true! AND of course a huge thank you from the bottom of my heart to my girls, Miss Belle and Maddie May for picking up all the birds and doing the hard work!

God is Good y’all! Enjoy!

* Yes, I know these are not the best quality pics and videos but they are real. Real and uncut. This whole video illustrates what it is like to be right there in the blind with us! There are no camera crews riding with us; No professional photographers falling our every step; but I cherish every minute we spend out there.

**and I apologize in advance for my language at the end. Shooting your first official ALL DRAKE triple was beyond me being able to control my excitement or my mouth 🙂

 

In the Middle of No Where in Search of a Sea Monster

The last stringer of herrings comes flying over the rail, Capt. Chris begins to rev up the Backlash and steadily point her straight south. The guys are getting things ready to settle in for the two and a half hour ride out; destination the middle of no where. With bait rods put up and everything freshly sprayed off and wiped down, I plop down in my bean bag on the back deck and watch the fisherman do what they do. Lures being tied on and laced up with the upmost precision of the perfect knot to insure she won’t be lost. 5 trolling rods (yes, 5!) being placed out ever so carefully. A delicious buffet set up in search of any fast swimmer to come and feast. I day dream about a Wahoo luring in our path and my mouth waters at the thought of the way they taste. As the buildings and condos of Destin are disappearing in the distance, I take a moment and admire the great fisherman and their skills sitting around me. I thank God for each one. With the Backlash set on auto pilot, Chris comes down to do some surgery of his own and sew up a little something special for Mr. Swordfish. The cut, sewn in hook and skirt topper are placed just so, to insure it swims natural. A perfect Swordfish snack to say the least. With a little over an hour left in our ride, we all begin to exchange, what else, fishing stories and relax waiting for Chris to pull back the throttle and signal, it’s time!

Continue reading “In the Middle of No Where in Search of a Sea Monster”