|THE TRUE WILDFOWLER
Fred Jagow asks, "Are you a true wildfowler?"
It is beginning to get around to being that time of year again; the season is coming nearer. The true wildfowlers are become more conspicuous. They can be seen sitting in their cubicles at work with a blank, 1000 yard stare in their eyes. They practice their duck calling while junior is trying to practice his clarinet for the school orchestra. They clean their shotguns repeatedly, even though it's been quite a while since they have shot them, and they look at the family dog and say, almost impatiently, "Our next dog is going to be a lab". But how do you know if you are a "true" wildfowler, as opposed to someone who just "hunts ducks"? See if any of the following sound familiar.
YOU KNOW YOU ARE A TRUE WILDFOWLER IF:
-you can memorise the tide tables, moon phases, and that the number of size #3 pellets (3.6mm) in a one ounce load is 143, but you can't remember your wedding anniversary, wife's birthday, kid's birthday, or when and where to pick up your mother-in-law who is suppose to be visiting sometime this month (you think).
-you know that Anas platyrhnchos is the scientific name for the common mallard, and not some new punk rock of heavy metal band.
-your refer to 'teal' as a bird and not a colour!
-the smell of spent shotgun shells, rotting marsh vegetation and wet retrievers is just as heady as Chanel #5 on a good looking woman.
-you find the sensation of standing in waders in ice water up to your gonads exciting instead of agonizing.
-you find in your family budget book a heading entitled "misc.", under which there is a subcategory entitled "shells, decoys, and labrador puppy".
-you know what a Toller is. (give yourself more points if you have ever seen a live one).
-when someone yells "DUCK!", your first response is to stop and look up for a flight of wigeon, just prior to being smacked in the back of the head by a low swinging boom.
-your first question to someone walking a Labrador retriever is "does he hunt?"
-people aren't sure of what to get you for gifts, so they get you things with ducks on them (and you really like them).
-you own some piece of everyday wear, such as a necktie or boxer shorts, that is made out of camo material.
-you wear said items on a regular basis.
-you can actually tell at a glance the difference between Mossy Oak, Realtree, and Shadow Grass camouflage patterns.
-you go out to the marsh and the sight of the sunrise, the sound of whistling wings and the smell of the burned gunpowder still lift your spirit as much as they did the first time you experienced it.
Some people (such as my wife) tend to think of this as an illness.....a mental one, at that! But if that's the case, then I rather put up with the disease rather than find a cure! Good luck to all this season!
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