As a happily married man one of the lines that every outdoorsman has to cross is the taking the spouse out in to their world decision. Many outdoorsman feel it’s their time to get away from reality, which is very fair. Other marriages are built on sharing all things indoor and out and their spouses would consider a trip to the woods without them grounds for terminating the marriage. My wife didn’t grow up in the outdoors so she never really understood the hubbub of getting up way to early in the cold and sitting their to not see anything. I have always asked her to join us but the thought of a warm bed has always had a certain allure to her, which I can say does me to some days. That said our lab Dakota, who if you follow this blog lives to waterfowl hunt, is turning 9 this December 1st, and it’s not lost on either Melissa nor I that she is starting to slow down with her age and in reality doesn’t have to many more years left before she may have to hang it up. Melissa has always said she wanted to see Dakota in action at least once so today was the day that my wife of 9 years actually got up early, put on all the clothes and ventured out in the crisp 45 degree morning (I know) to join us for the first time.
As with most trips when momma comes along things change a little. Do any of you have a lab (or any other hunting dog for that matter) that knows when you going hunting? On a normal 30 minute trip to the duck blind Dakota is full of squeaks, whines and excited dog noise the whole trip, today she jumped right up on momma lap (which is a big no no in our world) and snuggled in like a tick and didn’t make a peep. She stayed that way the whole trip down much to my protest but I guess my vote doesn’t count. We pulled up to the blind and set out decoys, I let momma hangout in the truck to stay warm and since this was a short Friday morning hunt Benton and I didn’t put out many so it didn’t take but a few minutes. As LST approached a few groups started working in here and there, they didn’t put on their best show but Melissa did get to see her pup do what she loves as Benton and I scratched out a few ducks here and there. She also got find out the best part of any duck blind, the close friend ships you build by sharing hours in a blind with people.
The day ended on two high notes: First as we where getting close to go to work time I looked up and for the first time at this pond this season it was like a sky’s opened up. About 15 big geese where cupped and coming in. I quickly got Melissa ready (armed with her camera). The birds made one pass turned into the wind and came right in. Benton and I both double (we both should have tripled) and Dakota was quick off to do her job. This is what I really waned to be able to show my wife is how those big birds work right in and how majestic there are. I also wanted her to see how such a small lab that is so sweet doesn’t take any crap from a goose. Watching Dakota work the 4 down geese was what was really exciting about this, just being able to watch your dog do what she love is really cool.
The second high note came literally as I was unloading my gun. A diver came crashing in and I was able to break a wing before he got to far out. The chase was on and my wife got to see one of Dakota’s great traits; she never quits on a bird and rarely looses one. She took this video of our pup.
After we here headed home my wife said she really enjoyed the trip as a whole and had a new appreciation for the outdoors. I don’t think she is going to make it a regular trip but I hope it’s not her last time out.