Here I sit just a few short days (thirteen to be precise) away from the start of goose season in my neck of the woods; for some of you in my province, the fun begins again on September 1st, and you have no idea how I envy you.
This is usually the weekend when my goose hunting putterings reach a fever pitch. This year is likely to be no exception. I’ll clean my shotgun, put in the correct choke, lay out or pack almost all of my gear, and then obsessively go through it every day until it is time to get out there. If you’re like me (and there is a reasonable chance that in some ways you might be) this meandering and pointless busy work serves to soothe twitching nerves that have been stretched thin by the prospect of goose hunting. Or maybe you are normal, and this isn’t you at all.
For me though, this year brings new anticipation. On Sunday, my layout blind is being delivered. Oh glorious day. Yep, I caved in and bought one. Now I get to do what is really the most thrilling although in truth, penultimate, act: assembly. I think I’ll do this in my basement, so that it is out of sight of my loving wife and away from the tender ears of my son, since I will invariably get frustrated, lose something, or end up being a general sweary and unpleasant character until it is completely put together.
But then…oh then. I’ll of course shout like a five year old for everyone to come down and look at me as I lay there in it. Maybe I’ll do a jack-in-the-box (or Shawn-in-the-blind, if you will) trick and try to surprise my son until he wets himself, although that is a pretty common occurrence, so it’s not really much of an accomplishment, but still. I’ll then have my wife takes some pictures, I’ll probably at least put on hunting coat while I lay there in the blind (for research purposes only you see) and I most certainly will hide in it, close the doors, and practice my goose calling. Hell, I may even try sleeping in it…just…ya know…for research again.
At some point I’ll break it down and try to stuff it into my comically undersized commuter car, just to make sure it transports well. If it doesn’t fit, then bungee cords and old blankets will be packed in the same clown-car so as to allow for the new toy to join me on all future hunting trips; I’m sure my co-workers in the Toronto-area will have never seen anything quite like it.
Oh, yeah. Somewhere in there on Sunday I’ll need to run the BBQ for my son’s 2nd birthday party. Maybe I’ll assemble the blind first and put it in the backyard so the other toddlers can play with it. It will be just like an amusement park. I’ll put some decoys around, blow my duck and goose calls, and fun will be had by all.
I may even charge admission.
Then I’ll have a couple of burgers, some cake and ice cream, giggle like a pre-teen, tell some jokes, and generally enjoy my son’s big day.
Then hours later, after everyone has left and while my house lay in the tattered aftermath of a toddler’s birthday party, I may return to the basement, grab a beer, put on some huntin’ songs and go through my goose hunting checklist once more. All while laying in my new blind.
This season better open soon. I’m in very real danger of losing my mind (or my wife, but I could probably always find another one of those).
Seriously, though, all the anticipation and build-up is just one facet of what makes it great to be a hunter. I hope everyone is savouring this next couple of weeks as much as I am. And by the way, to my dearest spouse, you’re a great sport…please don’t leave me. I’ll be all better in two weeks time and then things will be back to normal. Promise.