by Wade Bourne
Boat and trailer. Outboard motor. Portable blind. Life jacket, heater, spotlight, paddle, push pole, anchor, rope, fire extinguisher, spare battery, bilge pump. Decoys. Decoy bags. Waders, shells, calls. Wing-spinners. Water shakers, spare string, spare anchors, spare AA batteries, jerk string rig.
Bulk. Weight. Expense. Intricacies, complications, breakdowns, frustrations!
What ever happened to simple duck hunting?
What ever happened to bagging up a few decoys, pulling on boots, and striking out into a marsh or flooded timber? Whatever became of using muscle power instead of horsepower? Whatever happened to depending on grit instead of gizmos?
In the last several years, scores of new waterfowling gadgets have appeared on the market. No argument, many of these offer big improvements in performance, comfort, and convenience in the pursuit of ducks and geese.
Still, hunters on a budget or those who wish to simplify their strategies can hunt light and bag their share of birds. Hunting light centers on paring hunting strategies to the bone and gearing back to basics. It doesn't mean forsaking modern accessories, just choosing and using them with more focus.
Hunting light requires a conscious effort. It's a mindset as well as a method. Here's what's required to scale down, wade in, and become a member of waterfowling's foot cavalry.