Mosquitoes, Heat, and Blue Rockets

The indescribable sound of Blue Wing Teal buzzing overhead and splashing into the decoys minutes before legal shooting time is a feeling the lucky ones get to experience. For many this is the kick off of a new waterfowl season. September hardly feels like duck season during 80 degree mornings with the mosquitoes and gnats thicker than snow geese landing in Squaw Creek but none the less we feel the same excitement and optimism of a new season upon us.

The first week of September brings out everyone for the opening day of teal season. Friends, fathers, cousins, and anyone in between gather together as headlamps fill the night air as if a new movie is being shown on a tiny backwater slough. New lanyards and calls are hanging from necks like gold medals, and blind chatter fills the air. Talk of hunts past and laughter from jokes alike with the occasional hunt coordinator reminding everyone how many minutes are left until shooting time and to remain quiet.

A few times opening day has been a banger and everyone has had the unbelievable hunt they will speak of for years, maybe a band and an 8 man limit to add to it. Many times in Missouri this is not the case, many times the memories from opening day are made from the company and not the birds. Not that this is a bad thing, some of my most memorable hunts were on empty strap days. Nothing is quite like the opener and the countdown is on.

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