I am a big game hunter. That is where my deepest passion is. For a long time I didn't have a desire to hunt anything but large ungulates. Buddies and family members would poke and prod at me trying expose a reason why I didn't want to hunt waterfowl. I didn't really have a reason though. I just wasn't drawn to it I guess. Now, one of my biggest regrets is not getting into it sooner. I have to thank both my brother-in-laws for finally convincing me to give it a whirl. I had no idea what I was missing out on.
I didn't kill one bird my first trip out. But I was hooked. One of my brother-in-laws got a reservation for us on a CDOW State Wildlife Area and I was in for a mindset altering good time. I wasn't prepared for how early you had to get up for waterfowling though. He showed up at my door at 3AM to make the long drive out to where we'd be hunting. It didn't take long for my 16 year old eyelids to slam shut on the drive. When I woke up, we were parked in a parking lot of a truck stop and diner that some of you Colorado hunters might know. I'll give you a hint... WORLD FAMOUS CINNAMON ROLLS! And that is not false advertising. In fact, my love of waterfowl hunting might stem from that first amazing cinnamon roll. Well maybe not quite.
Watching the dog (a chocolate lab) love what he was doing was amazing. Learning how to set up a huge set of decoys was an interesting situation as well. I remember getting so cold that I almost couldn't control my shivering. But as soon as a flock would start to veer in our direction the shivers would disappear. I had no idea that sitting in a blind, freezing your butt off could be so exciting. Once the action slowed down, my bro-in-law pulled out a small burner and we roasted big slabs of ham and ate it with cheese and biscuits. This has become a tradition of ours.
I got out a couple more times that year but never actually ended up taking a bird. It wasn't until the following season when my other brother-in-law got us access to an awesome fill-dirt site east of Denver that I took my first bird. This property was awesome. Ponds, creeks, puddles and the Platte was only a quarter mile away! That season I took my first Pintail, Redhead, Wood Duck, Mallard, Gadwall and Canada Goose. My passion for waterfowling was officially solidified.
That property slipped out of our hunting grasps this past year when the company that we had a connection with sold the land. I didn't realize how good we had it until it was gone. I wasn't able to get out and hunt birds at all last year. I was disappointed that I had lost that spot and didn't know how to go about finding good public land options. I had only ever hunted public land at the State Wildlife Area where my first hunt took place. That is going to change this year. I know I will probably not find nearly as good of hunting as I was blessed with those two years but I am at least going to get that same feeling deep in your gut when you hear the first honk of a big goose in the morning. I plan on preparing goose fajitas this year. I plan on eating WORLD'S FAMOUS CINNAMON ROLLS once more!