Thursday, October 13, 2005

A blast from the past, courtesy of a decoy

Originally uploaded by Brite Lights photos.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The long non-blogging dry spell might be over, now that I have caught up on other aspects of my life (school, freelance writing, moving the boat around).

And tonight I knew it was time to blog when I was trying to warm up my writing fingers a little before tapping on the keys about a local dentist whose hobby is to carve wooden ducks - using his dental equipment.

I didn't ask him if he needed to sterilize the drill before he started creating mallards, pintails and wood ducks.

I'm not sure I want to know.

What I remember about duck decoys is how lifelike they look in the water. When I was about 15, I blew the heads off several that belonged to my Uncle Gordy Puls. I was sitting in the boat not paying attention and a half dozen live mallards dropped in, right with the decoys, of course. I blasted away, missing the live ducks but doing a fine job of making splinters.

My punishment for destroying the wooden replicas? To clean the dead ducks that he and his son, (young Gordy Puls) bagged that day, and to never, never be allowed near their string of decoys again with a loaded shotgun.

That same day, in the heat of hunting, I managed to jam a shotgun shell in the clip backwards, which gun people tell me is virtually impossible.

I haven't hunted since, except with a slingshot when the seagulls and frigate birds land on the spreaders of Sabbatical, dropping bird crap on the deck.

Enough procrastinating for this evening.

Time for this duck to lift off.


  1. In my youth it wasn't shooting at duck decoys with a shotgun. It was shooting bow and arrow off Packard dock at the big carp that were always close to the surface in the Spring. The water was always crystal clear. I attached my fishing reel to the bow and the fishline to the arrow. It never worked of course. But it was fun trying :-)

  2. Mike,

    You might get a paintball pistol for those seagulls. They're a lot of fun, and if you hit your mast, the spray will wash it off (the paint ain't permanent, but it might put psychedelics on your sails!). Course, I'm not sure how durable the pbg would be around saltwater. Maybe paintballs as ammo in your slingshot?

    I use one to shoot at the tree rats (squirrels). Haven't hit one yet, but someday...


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