“I do not hunt for the joy of killing but for the joy of living, and for the
inexpressible pleasure of mingling my life, however briefly, with that of
a wild creature I respect, admire and value.”–John Madson, Out Home
By Jared Conques
This past December, I had the privilege of partaking in a three-day waterfowl hunting trip in Clay Center, Kansas. It was an unforgettable trip filled with plenty of laughs, waterfowl and an abundance of memories to last until next season, if not a lifetime.
Our first day had us in the freshly cut corn fields of Clay Center, Kansas to hunt geese. While the guides did their best, the geese had other plans that included flying just outside of shooting range only to land in a pond about 500 yards away from our set up. Anyone who has hunted for a length of time knows exactly the amount of frustration this can cause. However, we did not scratch and managed to bag 7 Snow Geese before calling it a day.
Frustration to Jubilation
Our frustration on Day 1 was met with pure jubilation on Day 2. We were situated on the Republican River and were blessed with an abundance of ducks of the likes that would have made even Tony Vandemore blush. Our first group was a flock of about 60 mallards that turned the skies green as the sun glistened off their plumage. You can only imagine the excitement this brought a duck blind full of Cajuns, guns loaded and ready to rock.
It was a short day in the field that morning with everyone claiming limits before 8:45 am. We headed back to the lodge with a lanyard full of ducks and a brain full of memories. It truly was a special day on so many levels.
We must have been living right, because Day 3 saw us head back to the Republican River and it offered a bounty much the same. While the ducks were a little hesitant to work, forcing us to take shots on the edge of the decoys, we were still able to bag a full limit before 9:00 am that morning, allowing us to get back to the lodge to pack up and head home. I would be remiss if I did not thank Maxxed Out Guides for their superior guide service. They are truly some of the best outfitters in the Mid-West.
Just Like John Madson
Like the quote above says, hunting has never been about the killing for me. While it was nice to come home with an ice chest full of ducks, I will cherish the memories of those frosty mornings in the blind, alongside my dad, for the rest of my life. THAT is what hunting is for me, the pursuit of living life to the fullest. Happy and safe hunting my friends!