Being a traditionalist, I doubt you're shooting any new, fancy shotgun. Tell me about the shotgun you waterfowl hunt with.
I appreciate nice shotguns, but I'm not a gun guy; a shotgun
is a tool to me. When I graduated from medical school in 1972 my father gave me a Browning over-and-under as a graduation present. That's what he always hunted with and what I grew up hunting with. I basically hunt with that gun 98 percent of the time. It's an improved cylinder modified, which a lot of people would say is a little too open for ducks, but most of my hunting is done over decoys and it absolutely gets the job done.
Let's say the tables turn and your physician comes to you and says, "Don, the end is near. You've got the time and strength for one more adventure." Where are you going? Who's going with you? And what are you chasing?
If I could only go hunting one more time, it would be duck hunting in Alaska, because I love Alaska and the wilderness so much. I would fly out to the west side of Cook Inlet or over in the Bristol Bay area and set up on a brackish-water pothole with Lori and one of my dogs, and I'd shoot a limit of ducks. I'd be just as happy as a clam.
For more information about Don Thomas's latest book, The Language of Wings
, consisting of a collection of "Closing Time" columns from Ducks Unlimited magazine along selected with new material, go to donthomasbooks.com