Dear Delta Supporter –
If there is any silver lining to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s the unexpected free time many of us are experiencing.
When asked, “Why do you enjoy duck hunting?” we like to say, “… because there’s so much to it.” There’s planning, scouting, calling, decoying, duck identification, shotgunning, dog work, boating, wading, blind building, mentoring, duck camps and clubs … and the list goes on.
Of course it’s not duck season right now, but each of these things create an opportunity – actually, a responsibility – to stay involved with waterfowl hunting year round. This forced break of “social distancing” provides the gift of time to take care of “off-season” tasks and enjoy them rather than rushing to get them done on the eve of opening day.
So many of these things can be done at home, perhaps with family who lives with you, and you can still enjoy them all while practicing #ResponsibleRecreation. If you go somewhere to watch migrating birds or teach your son or daughter to ID ducks, be responsible and follow your state’s social distancing guidelines. If a WMA or boat landing is closed, heed the restrictions and stay out.
Need a list of ideas for things a duck hunter could do while responsibly social distancing? This should get you started.
- repair leaky waders
- clean, re-rig, and touchup paint on decoys
- teach the dog a new skill or reinforce an existing one
- practice your duck calling
- dust off the duck mounts in your home
- cleanup the duck boat and add some paint
- cut up a duck ID guide and quiz the kids … or your spouse … or yourself
- take a daytrip out to the duck club by yourself (or with family members you live with) and work on blinds or clean the kitchen (that’s a scary thought!)
- smoke a batch of geese from the freezer
- reach out to guides/outfitters online or on the phone to plan fall hunts
- sort out that catch-all bucket of shotshells we all have
- check the wiring and lube the bearings on the boat trailer
- deep clean your duck gun
- learn to call geese
- review, sort, cleanup and share the collection of duck hunting photos on your phone/computer
- catch up on your reading at deltawaterfowl.org
The list of #ResponsibleRecreation tied to duck hunting is only limited by your imagination.
Outside of hunting season, we duck hunters thrive on two things. They are recollection and retelling of memories of great hunts, and the planning and anticipation of future adventures that will become tomorrow’s memories. Just one other thing to remember: When you go to share your memories via social media, remember to do so in a respectful way. With so many people spending more time online, there’s an increased chance your content could reach the eyes of someone who may not agree with hunting. Posts showing respect for the land and animals may not turn antis toward hunting, but they will help dispel misconceptions about hunters, which is a step in the right direction.
By adhering to the guidelines for social distancing and practicing #ResponsibleRecreation we are examples to the non-hunting world. It proves hunters do it right!
Together, we will get through this. And remember, there’s duck season to look forward to!
Stay safe. Stay healthy.