First Person: A Duck Hunter’s Life

One year later, The Mirada asked students to reflect on their life since the campus closed to slow the spread of Covid-19 on March 13, 2020.

Zachary Carson 

Throughout my life, I have always grown up in the outdoors. Spanning all the way from mudding to hunting I have been through it and done it. The one thing that sticks with me to this day is hunting. Constantly I ask myself why is this? I think it’s simple, it’s a sport everybody should respect for its beauty, wildlife management capabilities and plus it’s just some good-ole fun. 

My dad and I spent every weekend from November to January in pit blinds hunting over rice fields to fulfill our quest of having a hunt of a lifetime. On December 5th, we left the house at about 4:30 AM to go sit in the tanks. On the drive out there it was foggier than I had ever seen it. Driving down the highway all we could think about was if birds were in the area, it would be a hunt for the record books. Filled with excitement, when we arrived we quickly loaded up the quads with everything we needed, (yes, I said quads. They are like pretty much the coolest part about going out in the morning) motion ducks, ammo, dogs, guns and then we were ready to go. The drive is only about 15 minutes to the tanks but boy howdy I can assure you it’s not in the slightest bit warm. When we arrived, there was a sound beyond indescribable. There must have been thousands upon thousands of ducks and geese out in the rice fields but we couldn’t see them because of the fog. I don’t think I have set up decoys as fast as I did that day in my entire life. We got settled in our pits no shorter than 10 minutes before shooting light and from that moment, everything got real.

It didn’t matter what direction you looked you would see ducks. There were ducks buzzin us, ducks in our decoys and there were even ducks on the check! My Dad and I have what you call an itchy trigger finger, meaning we love to shoot the guns. In our itchy state of mind that 10 minutes felt like an absolute eternity to wait to shoot. From shooting light to 10 PM that amazing hunt proved to be the best of my life. In total, we ended with 10 specks, 20 snows and 10 ducks. One of the Snow Geese that I shot was banded; the band was placed on 17 years ago in Russia. That bird was nearly older than me. There is no way I will ever forget this hunt and it also opened my eyes to how important hunting and conservation is.

If management continues to decline, hunts like these would not be possible. I was just lucky enough to be a part of such an amazing hunt. People just need to get outside and see what nature has to provide and figure out how much fun and good for the environment hunting can be. So in response maybe, just maybe, they’ll get to experience a hunt as good as mine.