“The Fine Line”

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

*Cue sad music in background*

How do you know when enough is enough? How does one find the drive to continue to fight the long, cold, battle of duck season? You’ve searched literally every corner within a 50 mile radius for a glimmer of hope. You’ve scouted down every back road, every field, every slough, every nook and cranny you could find, and still nothing. You found nothing, but you lost almost every hope, every care, and every drop of faith in yourself and ducks themselves. So when do you call it quits? You’ve never liked that word. Quitting just means admitting you’ve lost, and you hate losing more than you love winning.

Everyone else has long since given up, at least 75% of them. On the bright side, the long waits at the boat ramp are over, most likely you don’t even have to get up as early. Not that you could find the energy to anyway. Most of your friends have long since gave up on any notion of killing ducks, much less killing limits. Actually it’s almost impossible to find anybody that will embrace the cold, wet, duck-less, January mornings with you.

You’re fighting a losing battle, where the only winner are the ducks. How can such a beautiful animal, cause so much pain? You can blame it on the weather, the “heated” duck ponds, or my personal favorite, the changing of migrations. You’ve heard it all by now, and most likely blamed all three, even if some are farfetched. Searching for something, anything, that can dull the pain and give any explanation as to why there are NO DUCKS! So when is enough? Does the state need to step in and try new things to help? What has to happen?

*Cue Motivational music in background*

Finding the fine line between utter defeat and surrender is hard to do for anyone, especially you. Is there a line between the two? Can you actually find serenity and peace between the pair? Is it even possible? It may be one of the toughest battles you face, not only in duck hunting, but life itself. You try not to let it influence your mentality, curb your drive to succeed outside of hunting, the “real world” if you will. You have to find it. No, you must find it, because in the back of your mind your already thinking “there’s always next year”.

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