What began as two guys sharing a passion for the outdoors, developed into a friendship and tradition that grew stronger with every passing season. Years ago, Sitka Athlete Matt Brimmer and I exchanged common ideas and experiences on waterfowl hunting through a website we both belonged to. These conversations lead to the mutual realization of our enormous appreciation for goose and duck hunting, and the crazy manner in which we lived out that passion. Before long, strangers became friends, and we started talking about how “lucky” the other one was to hunt different species in their respective flyways (Matt in the Pacific Flyway, myself in the Atlantic). We looked forward to traveling across the country to renew our friendship and hunt waterfowl every season.
However, with time comes change. Without intention, a gap developed in the seasons as they passed by. Growing families and professional responsibilities required more time and gave less to hunting. Before long, three full seasons had passed.
This past spring, Matt and I were recapping our seasons as we typically did. While we both had exceptional years, something was not quite right. Almost on cue, we both realized that our yearly hunts together were the piece of the puzzle that was missing. The wheels started spinning and within minutes, the plans materialized - I was going to get out to Oregon no matter what!
For the rest of the summer and fall, December 5th could not come quick enough. Our plan was simple: fly out Wednesday, home on Sunday and hunt like we were possessed the three days in between. Our goal was to hunt hard, and, more importantly, appreciate the hunting companionship.
Perhaps it was the low expectations or our light hearted perspective, but we had one of the most fruitful and consistent three days of our East Coast/West Coast tradition. Each day found us increasingly excited as we seemed to be in “The Zone” with our scouting, planning, set-ups and shooting. To quote one of the corniest sayings from an 80’s sitcom, the A-Team, “I love it when a plan comes together”!
As we drove home the final day, we couldn’t help but notice the smiles that were etched on our faces and the laughs that had built up over the trip. Before even pulling up to Matt’s house, we already had the plans laid out for next season.