It's extremely upsetting to me that it has come to this but I had to build a stationary blind for duck hunting.So what's the big deal?Well for the past 5 years I have licensed my boat as a floating blind and hunted mostly public marshes and rivers.This year the other very few "grown" men that hunt the area decided to have a war.A stationary blind war,on public water at that.So a quick rundown on Virginia and it's waterfowl blind laws,this may give you a headache.Landowners have the first right to put up a stationary blind.If they choose not to then the common man has the right to pay his 23.50 to get a tag and put up a blind by a certain date,November 1.If no stationary blind is erected by said date a floating blind may be used in that area of public land.So for the last few years it worked pretty good because there were absolutely no stationary blinds.The 3 main hunters in the area would call each other the night before a hunt and discuss locations we planned to hunt so we wouldn't step on each others toes.I guess that wasn't good enough for some and here we are coming up on the duck opener and the entire stretch of river is now locked up with stationary blinds in some sort of public land stand off.One guy says everyone is hunting "his" spot to much.Another is new to the scene and jumped the gun without talking to the locals.Then there was me,little 'ol me.So I stayed on the sidelines as long as I could and then I stood up and put my big boy pants on.
Blackwater River October 2011
If you follow the blog then you know I moved last Summer and have really just started to settle in.Last duck season I hunted mostly the same areas I had grown to know,see above paragraph.This year I have made a few contacts but none have come through so far.This meant that last month while all this stationary blind craziness was going down I made a choice.I talked to the original leader of the "grown" men.It's at this point that I need to tell you that this fella hadn't said a word to me in over two years.I left messages,I was cordial at the boat ramp,I received the stink eye.Now all of a sudden I'm his buddy because he needs me to put in for a stationary blind tag to lock down this magical spot that I haven't hunted for 3 years because he said it was his.I agreed,like an idiot,I agreed.So a few weeks on the boat got me thinking,why the hell do i want to drive all the way there and have to deal with the fuss.I just couldn't see what I was getting out of it.The simple answer was maybe a few ducks but definitely a political headache.I would quickly become that guy who took the other guys side.This my friends is duck hunting in 2011 in South Eastern Virginia.It's disgusting,inexcusable,pathetic and I won't have any of it.
OK I give up,let's build this blind!
So they can have it!It took me a few weeks to come around but they can have it.One of the only places I knew I could go to and almost always get ducks and geese to work I'm willing to give up.I Duck hunt because I love the water,sunrises,sea smoke in early December and the camaraderie of friends in the blind.I don't hunt because I like harming small animals,it's just part of it and they do happen to taste good so that's not my fault.I took that stationary blind tag and I headed to my local river around my new house and my brother and I built a boat hide.Will it hold ducks?No idea and I don't care.I know that this year I will be able to go out there,watch the sunrise through the cypress trees and tell a few jokes to some good friends.Friends that don't care how much shoreline I locked up with the strategic placement of my blind.Wood Duck season opens this Thursday so it's time to do some scouting.Fall weather is here,get outside and enjoy it friends.