Ever been witness to a crime in the waterfowl blind as a bystander, a victim ... or even a perpetrator? The waterfowl blind is a location where a CSI would have plenty of work! Waterfowl hunting is a pursuit that can be ripe with boredom for hours on end (before the flock comes in, of course). Talking with your buddies and just hanging out with them is usually fun enough while waiting on some birds, but you know what they say about idle hands being the devil's workshop. Read on to find out how many of these crimes you may have committed.
While I do not drink coffee, which some of you will consider in itself a sin, I have witnessed many thefts of coffee. It all begins on the frigid boat ride to the blind or after “Billy” has waded into the icy water putting out decoys. He then announces that he forgot to bring his thermos of coffee. Everyone who did remember their coffee suddenly develops a case of selective blindness, no matter how pathetic "Billy's" shivers look. It does not matter. Although no one steps up to offer “Billy” coffee, he is going to get his coffee anyway.
As soon as the urge to answer nature’s call after drinking coffee occurs to the first hunter, “Billy” brings up a particularly embarrassing event that occurred to one of the other hunters and gets them talking with the remaining friends, defending themselves as he casually pulls the missing friend’s thermos out and guzzles what he can before they return.
He never misses a beat in the conversation and acts like the thermos is his. The returning hunter reaches for his or her thermos to refill their cup now that they are more comfortable and finds it nearly empty! “Billy” is happy he got his coffee! Or perhaps that was you?
AWOL Toaster Tart
I do not know if this is a local thing or not but, in my region, many of the younger hunters love to bring toaster tarts with them to the goose or duck blind. (In my day, it was Mama’s egg and sausage biscuit. Also, I was wearing an onion on my belt as it was the style at the time.) The brown sugar and cinnamon ones are particular favorites for many hunters. After sitting in a blind for a few hours, that pop tart begins to sing its siren call.
There's just one problem. Some poor soul is going to reach in his or her blind bag only to find there is no tart. Chaos is going to break loose. First, if a shiny silver wrapper is seen shoved in a crevice in the blind, the accusations are going to fly about who stole it. The other scenario is far worse. Heaven forbid the hunter missing the pop tart leans forward and looks up the row of fellow hunters and sees someone guiltily chewing, or a crumb-speckled beard. Someone may end up going for a very chilly swim!
A guy that works for a very well-known waterfowl shotgun company once told me about how they messed with each other in the blind regarding their guns. As he explained, “If you want to mess with your buddy and cause him or her to not get a shot, just slyly reach over when they are not looking and ease their bolt back just a hair on their inertia driven shotgun, so it is not locked tight on the shell.”
Now THAT is just low! Imagine a good flight of birds coming by and they curl around, feet down heading for your spread and you all stand to fire and your gun just makes a low “thunk” and does not fire. Your buddies all laugh as they splash birds and you are left staring at your gun wondering what happened. Hopefully your friends are nicer than this, but hey ... it's a great way to remember to check your gun's condition frequently!
Caught with your pants down
Yet another joke played on friends when the shooting is slow involves making them think they missed a great opportunity. After a few hours, a lull invariably happens and people begin taking turns relieving themselves of the coffee they have been drinking. What generally happens is the person that normally does the most bragging or sky busting is out taking care of business. Everyone else in the blind has a simultaneous and silent idea, nodding and giving each other “the look.”
Another nod occurs and simultaneously everyone stands and fires into the air (over the decoys and away from the buddy), startling the person out back in the middle of a visit to the “office.” Oh no, everyone just limited out except him! Have a giggle as he comes waddling back to the blind still getting his waders back on.
There are just a few of the high crimes committed in the blind each season. Hopefully the joke was not on you this year. Unless, perhaps, you deserved a little payback for something you did last season.