Go with a Friend
A sure way to make waterfowling easier and more enjoyable is to go with a friend. When a hunting buddy extends an invitation, quickly accept it and lock in the date. Be considerate in sharing chores and expenses, such as carrying and setting out decoys, maintaining the blind, and buying gas and food.
If you are invited on a hunt, keep in mind that it's common courtesy for a guest to follow the lead of the host when putting out decoys, calling birds, and calling shots. And don't put your host in an uncomfortable spot by asking to bring your dog. If he wants help in this department, he'll tell you. Later, when you invite a friend to go hunting with you, expect the same common courtesies from your guests.
As waterfowlers, we sometimes judge success or failure by how many birds we bag. A slow day brings disappointment. A banner day fuels the desire for more. These emotional highs and lows come with the territory, but we should always be mindful of taking time to smell the roses. Duck hunting is meant to be an enjoyable endeavor, not an all-consuming quest to rack up numbers.
Sure, shooting ducks
is the goal, but it should not be the only measure of success. Instead, step back and enjoy the other pleasant aspects of the hunt—duck blind banter with friends, the company of a canine partner, the beauty and fresh hope brought by each sunrise, the smell of a freshly spent shotgun shell, and the mystery of a high-flying V of geese. If ducks or geese grace your decoys and you bag a few birds, so much the better. But the joy should be in the doing, not the getting. It's the quest and the wonder that come along with the flights that matter most.