The Blind

Helping You Get the Most From Your Hunting Dogs

The Blind

by R. Michael DiLullo

The old blind was a familiar place; one we had shared many times, many seasons before. It was a place of memories, of laughter, frustration and the quite reverence that only a hunter can know. The marvel of experiencing, and being part of nature herself. Of being witness to the first and the last, sunrise and sunset of the season, year after year.

The old blind held many almost forgotten familiarities. The sound of waterbeating against the hull of the boat, of soggy soil and crunching ice beneath rubber wader boots. And the smells that were as much of the subconscious memory as the event itself; burning cordite, rotting wood, mud, grass and wet dog, all the essence of fall.

Like ghostly laughter the wind blows through the ancient oaks and flaxen reeds triggering the recollection. Through a gray and dimly lit sky the first dull shapes become apparent against a pinkish-red horizon. Silhouettes of timber and near-by hills are illuminated by the growing dawn. Closer to ground level, the string of decoys becomes more detailed through the raising veil of morning mist and the vanishing gloom of the night’s cold and quiet darkness.

A thin black band stretches and dances across the sky, geese! The sudden, almost magical appearance of ducks crashing into the blocks and the far-off rhythm of Canadian music, growing closer as another wave of honkers crosses the horizon. The eruption of several distant volleys of twelve gauge thunder, rolling across the water and pounding through you like the methodic beat of a drum. The dog’s alert, wide-eyed expression as she scans dawn’s horizon in search of the next flight.

The sting of the windblown freezing rain and the long ride back to the warmth of the truck. Stories told over a big Saturday morning breakfast, that last for hours; killing time until the afternoon flight.

Stroking the dog’s ears and reminiscing; the promise of another season in the blind.

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