Sunday, October 25, 2009

My First Regular Season Duck Hunt/MacGyver Boot

For those of you that haven't read my previous blogs, I have been down for the count since a few days before early goose season with a broken leg. I have made it out a few times but, because of other complications, I was only able to get out a few times. And it was on a pond in my buddies back yard. It was fun, but it's just not the same as actually getting out in the field.

Well, I got a call from my friend Mike and he asks if I want to head out with him and another good friend, Randy. From my reaction, anyone around must have thought that I had just gotten a call from the Lotto Commission. I quickly told him I would love to go, and he gave me a time to meet them.

I went up to my hunting closet and started to get all of my gear together. It felt too good to grab my duck jacket, my trusty auto-loader, and my blind bag to go hunting and not just to move them. But then I came across a problem. While we were going to be hunting from shore, any waterfowler will tell you that at some point, you will get wet. I am still wearing an immobilizing boot, and it will not fit in or around it. I had to make something that would not come off and would be waterproof, and not just for a bit. The weather channel was calling for rain for the rest of the day, so what ever I did had to last. But what could pull of such a feat? Duct tape? Even better. Gorilla Tape. MacGyver, eat your heart out. I made a single layer "boot" out of this stuff and it worked like a charm. It rained all day and I even took a spill at the water's edge, yet my foot was dry at the end of the night. So, add Gorilla Tape to that list of thing's to keep in the blind bag.

On to the hunt. We set up on the shoreline of a small lake that is a local favorite for ice fishing. Mike and Randy had been out squirrel hunting and noticed a good number of wood ducks on the back side of this lake, so they decided to check it out. After a little scouting, they picked out a few good blind spots, and a new hunting spot was born. After throwing out a small decoy spread, we sat back up in the weeds and began the wait. And the majority of the night was just that. Unfortunately, we were hunting a small lake that backs up to a larger lake. And on that larger lake were some over zealous duck hunters. So, most of what came by us was moving at mach 5 and on a mission. Over all it was a good spot, it was just the wrong time. And there is no such thing as a "bad time" in the blind. There are just those that you get to pull the trigger a little bit more.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Another Update

It has been some time since my last blog entry, so I figured I should put up a little update. Since the last entry, I have gotten a few new casts, putting my cast count up to eight. I guess I am a little hard on casts. I even had the nurse that put most of my casts on threaten me with a pink cast if I were to break any more. She kept true to her word. My seventh cast was neon pink, which my daughter loved.

My leg is healing wonderfully, with the only complication being that I lost most of the feeling in my left leg from the knee down. The feeling is coming back, though. The numbness is only in about half of my foot, from the middle of the foot to the toes.

I am also now out of the casts and into an immobilizing boot, which I will be in for another month or so. After that I have an appointment with a neurosurgeon to address the nerve issues. Yeah, not gonna happen. Color me old fashioned, but I just don't trust someone cutting and manipulating the nerves around my spine.

As for now, I am still pretty much out of the hunting game until I get the okay from my doctor. I was able to get out for opening day of waterfowl season. Once again, my good friend Brent came to the rescue and took me out to a blind that overlooks a pond behind his house. We didn't see a ton of birds, but I did get to pull the trigger plenty. I unfortunately shot the worst I have shot in a long time. I am going to chalk it up to the lack of practice this year.

Hopefully, I will get the okay to get out before the firearm opener here in Michigan. On a different note, if anyone has experience modifying a boot immobilizer to fit on the outside of waders, please email me.