“Drop in a Bucket”

Matt Hickey, S.O.L. , Southern Outdoor Legacy

*Phone rings*

Billy: “Hey man my cousin says he’s found the ducks! A bunch of ducks!”

You: “When and where my friend?”

Billy: “I’ll text you the details in just a little bit.”

*Finally a good report!!*

You can’t bare the excitement building up! After a season of tough hunts, you’ve finally got hope.  It’s tough to oppress your feelings, but you try to put a cap on it, as you call your buddy. “Hey dude, get your stuff ready, we finally found the ducks!” you say with enthusiasm. “About time!” your buddy yells back. After a small discussion you hang up the phone and rush to get all of your gear together. With visions of mallards flying above your head, you slowly drift to sleep.

 *Alarm goes off* “No snooze button today!” you exclaim to yourself as you jump out of bed. You throw on your clothes, pour your thermos full of coffee, load the dog, and your off to the races! You arrive 15 minutes early just in case, and you are fully ready by the time your boys show up. Introductions are made to the hero of the day, the all but famous cousin, who was sent by the duck gods to relieve your dwindling season. You shake his hand and nearly hug him, this savior of seasons, this colossal cousin, this magnificent human being.

“It’s a pretty good walk fellas.” Cousin says as the group falls in behind him. It’s 4:00 a.m., as you enter the wood line to duck heaven, and the cold frosty ground crunches as you march forward. You’re caring a dog stand, a dozen decoys, your backpack, and your gun. You dressed a little heavy for the walk, not knowing in advance just how far of a walk you were in for. The rest of the 4 fellas are carrying similar weight, all except Cousin of course, he’s the main man, the dude, if you will! The march to duck city, is well under way, and you don’t care one bit about the weight on your back.

Some time passes, and that weight seems to be getting heavier and heavier. You glance at your watch and it’s past 5:00 a.m.  “You lost Cousin!?” you half jokingly ask. “No, I’m pretty sure it’s right over here, another couple hundred yards or so and we’ll be there.” he says in a somewhat unsure voice. “I had no idea it would be this far of a walk” Billy mummers to you. As you wipe the sweat off your brow, because you are pouring sweat by now, you can’t help but think “what did I get myself into”.

Time passes at an extremely slow pace, as your blood boils like pot of water, and the burner is on high. Profanity is flying through the air thick enough to embarrass the devil himself. Poor Cousin is taking every bit of it on the chin too. “I can’t believe you got lost!” Billy says. “This is so stupid” you whisper, because after walking for almost 3 hours, you don’t have much breath for anything more. It’s almost daylight, and there’s no possible way you can get setup in time even if you do find the hole. Finally, to the relief of everyone, Cousin says “It’s right up here, only 50 more yards”. 

Once you get to the hole, you are astonished. You can’t believe your eyes as you gasp for breath. “Are you freaking kidding me!!” you exclaim as loud as you can. After walking for 3 hours, trudging through briars and bushes, dripping sweat, you’ve reached the puddle Cousin calls a duck hole.  Literally you couldn’t fill up a 5 gallon bucket with the amount of water. “A dry hole! You lead us to a dry hole!!!” Billy screams. The worst part of it all…. It was only a 10 minute walk out.

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