been planning this moment since I was
twelve years old. You have to be
fourteen to go hunting by yourself.
I just turned fourteen and decided to
go out on a grand soft Thursday morning.
My eyes opened wide to the sound of my
alarm clock. It is 4:00am and I
was all ready anxiously waiting for my
mom to leave for work.
finally got ready and took me out to the
"one mile". On the way
we saw a four point buck! I knew
it was going to be a good day.
my supplies: a 20 gauge pump, decoys,
food, and water from the back of the car.
After saying goodbye to mom, I hit that
long trail to paradise. There was
no light except for the dim shine from
the factory of John Deere. I have
never walked this trail in the dark, so
everything looked totally different.
I heard many small animals scurrying around
me, darting into the woods that seemed
to never end.
fighting my way through the broken down
trail, I hit the halfway marker.
This meant the trail could only get worse.
On that trail there were several spots
that were eroded into the Rock River,
and I almost slipped twice. I finally
got to my destination. The walk
was one mile and hard, but in my heart
I knew it was worth it.
my decoys and set them up just left of
the peninsula I was on. It was finally
getting light out so I gathered some branches
together and made a blind, just to make
sure I didn't stick out too much.
I then heard boat motors as all the other
duck hunters were finally heading out.
I was ready. I sat down in my blind,
loaded my gun, and waited for the sun
to rise in the east.
it got light, I saw a couple of Green-winged
Teals in the distance as they flew by.
One of the best things about hunting is
watching animals while you're hunting.
I sat for hours watching an occasional
duck or two fly by, although too far away
I saw it. A Drake Mallard heading
my way. With my heart beating strongly,
and my excitement level rising, I slowly
raised my gun, popped off the safety,
and BANG. I heard a guy closest
to me shoot at other ducks and the duck
nearest to me turned around and flew off
into the vast marsh. After not seeing
anything else, I decided to pack up and
way home I was thinking about the great
time I had. Even though I didn't
get anything, I still had fun. I
know now that I'm only fourteen and think
of all the hundreds of other hunts in
my future. I happily listened to
the birds chirping around me as I headed