The day before the waterfowl opener is a special day.
Filled with visions of green-topped mallards with wings cupped, dropping into the decoys.
Your favorite shotgun is carefully introduced to the world once again. Laid across a table for it’s scheduled oil change. Meticulously you apply a little Hoppes #9 and spend the next hour caring for every nook and cranny. It’s the most you’ll clean this gun until next year. Each hunt throughout the season will include an abbreviated version that lacks the anticipation of opening day. It’s almost as if you’re trying to kill time until the first blue wing teal darts across the spread.
The garage floor becomes a tangled mess of weights, string and fake ducks. New anchors are attached and lines unravled. The fate is decided for an old “lucky” hen decoy that rattles with pellets. They’re bagged and tucked into the corner of the truck bed, ready to be called into action the next morning.
Calls are blown and tuned, then worn around the neck for a few hours-just because you like having them there.
A quick glance at the clock reveals something you already knew. A time that hasn’t shown itself in recent memory. You groan at the short night you’re about to experience, but shake it off because soon you’ll be slough-side. It’s the waterfowl opener-you won’t be able to sleep anyway.
Finally the alarm is set and the staring contest with the ceiling begins. You toss and turn, wondering what you’re forgetting. The mental checklist is gone over and checked twice. Dreams won’t come easy for the next few hours.
It’s the waterfowl opener eve. Soon the sun will be rising over one of life’s greatest moments.
Get ready, good luck and have fun trying to sleep tonight.