In the pit
A few weeks ago we hosted two different days with groups of Vets. We partnered with Pit Properties in Fergus Falls,MN. What a classy hunt. As I sat in the chair of a nice warm blind I felt like royalty. A pro caller and pro flagger stood on each side of us as the cameras were rolling. Was I on TV? Had a won a hunt of a lifetime? No I was with a group of guys who all had something in common we served. And were being treated like royalty. Someone handed me a plate with fluffy french toast and sausage. The smoke, thin as deli ham poured off the griddle. It filled the air and you could feel the warmth in side the pit.
The atmosphere was one of my favorite of the year. Guys were throwing BS around like a baseball back and forth. We heard stories and learned about each other from past hunting trips to families and favorites. Insults and complements sailed through the pit like paper airplanes. Who shot at what, who didn’t shoot, and Army vs Air Force was some of the friendly banter. So fun gathering with each other and not having to be super quiet, being able to connect. We would pause as we heard “cover up” and the pros would start clucking and speaking the language of the sky, hoping to dump some 30lb banded skycarp out of the sky. We pearched our hands on the plywood rooftops, readied our weapons and waited. The grizzly voice of Duncan call out “kill em, kill em, boys” echoed from one end to the other. We stood off our seats, stretched our legs and peered out from the darkness into the bright white light. It was hard to see at first like coming out of a casino after a night of bad decisions. Quickly find your lane and pick one of those black specks that were getting larger and larger as they approached. Wings cupped and birds locked in as they soared downward at us. The smell of gunpowder and French toast and birds are hurling towards the earth. Jordan running out to retrieve the fowl like a Labrador retriever so excited I think I could see his tail wagging. The first bird a double banded Canadian Goose! I have seen them on shows and other guys necks but never on a bird, pretty cool. All I know is sometimes its hard to put yourself out there. To meet guys you have never seen or talked to before can be tough. But by the end if the day or the trip it feels like you and an old buddy picking up where you left off. You can’t be treated like royalty if you never get in the pit. Thanks to all for making this my favorite hunt of the year. Its not always about getting to kill stuff its the hunting and time we spend with each other that are truly the real trophy.