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Duck Hunting with "Average" Joe
Author: Joe St. John
Groups: Tribe Stories
Dec 9, 2013
I am an “Average” Joe. I love to look at pictures and dream…
…dream of thousands of ducks swarming the area.
…dream of having a huge spread of decoys, calling in birds and each of them wants to work the area.
…dream of piles of Drakes locking up and dropping right in on top of me, only to shoot enough shells to take a limit of ducks, leading every bird I focus on just enough to fold them in flight.
…dream of sending out my perfectly calm, trained and well-pedigreed lab to fetch each bird without fail and bring them right back to me.
…dream of walking back to my new truck that has plenty of room for all of my gear; only to have each bird in my bag cleaned, dressed and cooked to perfection when I get home.

But my reality is different. I live in the middle of a desert where there is very little water, few birds and small flocks to boot.  I typically drive what used to be my wife’s car — a twelve-year old VW Cabriolet — while she drives our children around in our Jeep (you know, the one I sold my pickup to buy because we needed more seats for our growing family).

I don’t have room in my apartment for too many decoys so I limited myself to about a dozen floaters and a Mojo. I have a lab-mix that prefers warm beds to frozen river banks. As for her training? Let’s just say she would rather bring me my decoys than the bird I finally shot (more than likely on the third shot as opposed to the first). I usually only have enough time to hunt close to home and then have to race to one of my two jobs, and sometime I have to leave the blind just when the birds start moving so I am not late.

I may not have what others would consider optimal equipment or the ideal time allotments for pursuing a relationship (or better yet, an affair) with duck hunting.  But from mid-October to late-January, I have become very successful at maximizing my time and gear to do what I do—hunt ducks. I have learned to hunt my environment, which isn’t exactly a haven for waterfowl hunters.

But I am not complaining. The limited time, resources and duck numbers have made me a better duck hunter.  There are a few things that I have picked up along the way, and success isn’t always defined by the number of bands on your lanyard as much as doing the best with what you have to work with.

Featured Gear

At first I agreed with Josh. What a refreshing entry. To think that there are actually other guys like me who don’t get to spend 200 days afield like everyone famous that you read about online.

Another guy that actually has to squeeze in a few hours hunting between work and picking kids up from school and with other commitments tied down on both ends.

Another guy whose best chance for hunting is limited to a not so popular or productive spot 10 minutes from home…instead of the Sawtooths, or the Wind River Range, or the Gila National Forest, or Argentina.

Another guy who makes due with a sedan instead of that sweet F150.

Then I paused and thought for a moment. Wait a second…what kind of “Average Joe” gets to write a column for one of the biggest hunting apparel manufacturers in the world?

“Average Joe”? Nope. Not buying it.

“Average Joe’s” don’t wear $400 hunting jackets from Sitka.

“Average Joe’s” are lucky to just get a decent set of camo out of the bargain room at the big box store.

Sitka wouldn’t have an “Average Joe” as a field rep & ambassador.
I guess I will just keep on dreaming…like the genuine article…average joe.
Posted by Tanner on Dec 26, 2013 8:49 AM
Sitka killed it with this article! I felt like you were writing this article about me and deer hunting. Every Saturday morning for the past couple of months I have been loading my VW Passat up with my gear and heading to the back seat is barely large enough to close my doors with my cooler in back, so my bow rides in my front floorboard.
You guys have really acknowledged that there is a niche market for urban dwelling hunters that love the outdoors but for whatever reason are stuck in an environment that does not facilitate ready action. I feel that this company is 'about' niche markets - I encourage you to keep it up you guys are doing a great job!

Posted by Joshua on Dec 9, 2013 7:37 PM

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