Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Duck Hunting . . . Why?

I was woken up at sunrise on Saturday morning to the echo of gunfire. I briefly was confused and wondered why in the world guns were going off around our chain of lakes. Then I remembered . . .  silly me, it’s the start of duck hunting season. That lovely season where hunters—boys and girls as well so I’m told—are out waiting in the water and on the edge of lakes and ponds to take aim, fire, and shoot at ducks. Ducks. Why do we still have duck hunting in Minnesota? 
Maybe the bigger question is why do people still duck hunt in Minnesota? Do we have such an abundance of ducks that their flocks must be culled? I haven’t noticed masses of ducks floating on the lakes or flying in the air. I understand deer hunting with the masses of deer that will starve unless the herds are thinned out, but duck hunting perplexes me. I don’t think many families around here are starving and in dire need of duck meat. Is it really fun rising well before dawn on a cold, wet Minnesota morning to stake out your place in some marshy bog to shoot down little ducks? 
As a runner and dog walker who uses the trails around the lakes and through the woods, the start of these hunting seasons always puts me on edge. I don’t like guns going off around me or the warning signs that bow and arrow deer hunting season has started so watch out! I feel like I should don my blaze orange (if I owned any) to take the dog on his morning walk.
I’m certainly not a hunter, nor is anyone in my family, that’s why I’m hoping someone will enlighten me on the joys of duck hunting. In the meantime, I’ll wear my earplugs so the gunfire won’t wake me up too early in the morning on the weekend.

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