Men don’t talk in a duck blind

I didn’t think I’d make it down the narrow, twisting and very bumpy forest two-track that led to my current camping spot in the middle of a marsh on the edge of Rush Lake, a compact little frown-shaped lake a mile or so south of Lake Huron at the tip of the Michigan thumb.

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On the shore of Rush Lake

I’m surrounded by state land and cattails, a half dozen yards from where my buddy Jay launched our duck boat.

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Lots of ducks were flying

Jay and I have been coming up here to hunt ducks and geese for years. Usually, we stay in a motel in Caseville, the nearest town to the west. Jay, in fact, in in a room there now as I write this. I offered him a bunk with me in the Roadtrek but he declined. He likes the marsh, just not sleeping in it. Go figure.

But I’m in the marsh, and I like sleeping in it just fine in my Roadtrek eTrek. All the comforts of home in the middle of nowhere. It’s the first time I’ve camped here and, for a while, I didn’t think the Roadtrek would be able to get to this spot because of the so called road that dead ends here. I had to drive very slow and hug the edges of the road. No Class C could do it. And certainly no Class A RV.

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I have the place to myself

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Jay at the motor as we head to the blind

But the eTrek did and as I write this post, I’m surrounded by a darkness that, unless you’ve spent time in a big marsh after sundown, you won’t fully be able to appreciate. Trust me when I say it is really, really dark out there.

Rain is coming. Perhaps overnight but predicted for sure by mid-morning. By then, we’ll have motored across the lake to our duck blind,  where we’ll be trying to stay dry.

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In the duck blind

But during our afternoon hunt yesterday, it was just overcast. We saw hundreds of ducks and lots of geese. We didn’t fire a shot. And that’s okay. I now shoot more photos than ducks. Jay cleans, cooks and eats what we shoot. I don’t like to eat wild duck, ever since I nearly cracked a tooth on a shotgun pellet a few years back.

I come duck hunting because, well, I like watching the sun rise in a marsh. And set, too. And in between, I love to watch the cattails blow in the breeze, the muskrat ripple the water in long slow wakes, the waterfowl whirl and twirl as they set their wings to land in our decoys. One year, we watched a deer swim across the lake, emerging just a few dozen yards from our blind.

And when it rains and the wind blows,  the ducks fly. So the predicted downpour may be uncomfortable for us. But its just ducky for the ducks.

When we return home from our duck hunting trips, Jennifer always asks”what did you and Jay talk about?”

I always answer the same. “Nothing.”

She always shakes her head. “How can two people sit shoulder to shoulder in a duck blind all day long and not talk about anything?”

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Sunset in the marsh

I don’t know. One time, Jay and I did talk about that. He told me his wife, Julie, asks him the same question. We were both puzzled by what they wanted to know.

We don’t “talk.” We hunt together. I watch one way, he watches the other. “Two o’clock,” I’ll say. “A small flock of mallards headed our way.”

Jay will offer a left-handed version of that when appropriate. “Teal. Three o’clock,”  he’ll say.

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my 4g Verizon signal in the middle of the marsh

If we do shoot, we might say “nice shot,”when a duck falls, or “missed that one” when I fire but the duck doesn’t fall. I confess: That kind of talk of gets on my nerves. I mean, I know I missed.

But the point is, we just enjoy the outdoors and each others company.

Last night, after we went into town for dinner, Jay dropped me back at the Roadtrek in the marsh. As I write,  I have the Webosto heater cranked on. I have a strong 4G Verizon signal and am running my own Wi-Fi network as I updating this blog and answer questions on the forum. I was going to watch a movie on the DVD. But I decided instead to go to bed early as we’re planning to be back in the blind by first light.

I love being totally self-contained like this, with plenty of power, plenty of heat and… in the middle of a very dark marsh where the only home is my motorhome.

Boondocking here in my Roadtrek has made this year’s duck hunting trip even more fun.

Hey, maybe I’ll talk about that with Jay in the duck blind.

 

 




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  • Dave

    What a great way to spend a couple of days! I remember a time years ago when my buddy and I spent the whole day in the blind. It was mid afternoon and I found myself waking up from an unplanned nap. My buddy was sound asleep on the other side of the blind too. As I looked out over our decoys I realized we had more decoys than we started with. In the rush to get organized we spooked the real ducks and never fired a shot. At least it was a good nap. Bigfoot Dave

  • Bill Sprague

    Mike,

    What a word picture of a visual feast! I’m not partial to duck but goose is another story. The stillness and quiet is what I love about hunting. Nothing ruins a perfectly good hunt like someone shooting something. Then it becomes work. ;0)

    Thanks for taking me along!

    Bill

  • Karsten Askeland

    Mike … Women just don’t understand. Same as you don’t talk to the guy in the urinal next to you. You don’t even make eye contact. 🙂

    Sounds like a great trip and even better location to boondock. Wish I had the E-trek. Maybe sometime in the future or if I win the lottery. 🙂

    But in the end women just don’t get it. LOL

  • Hunting seems like such a nice way to enjoy the outdoors. It gives you something to focus and pay attention to. Sometimes I get bored just sitting in a camping spot or on a rock on the side of a mountain, but having any small goal would really change that I think. Thanks Mike for the great story!

  • Mike

    Hunting is just something most, not all as my oldest daughter loves to squirrel hunt with me, woman don’t understand. When in the duck blind, in a ground deer blind, an ice shanty, whatever the focus is on the sport. I dared the woman of the family to try to do a holiday dinner in silence, just concentrate on the meal, lasted 5 minutes, LOL, and they were back chattering away. Took a buddies 14 year old duck hunting ONCE. The little bugger kept chattering and taking the dog off focus, I don’t know how his dad takes him deer hunting, but he does. The wife & I are both 50 now and plan to emulate my dad. He is 81 and not in real good shape anymore, but by golly he has seen all 50 states. Not by motor home or camper though as we plan to do. See ya on the roads and any WI hunters, see ya in the woods.

  • very nice article enjoyed the read , have a safe day

  • very nice article enjoyed the read , have a safe day

  • Looking for one of these with a smaller price tag.

  • Alain Lamboule

    Pour ma retraite. Lol

  • Great story! My bird hunters hunt at home. No boon docking.