F-ing Chucking Ducks for 60 Bucks
It's just like duck hunt...well kinda
The sun is just breaking over the horizon. Mist swirls with uncertainty above the lake. The occasional dog bark echoes across the still morning. I am handed a bag that weighs about fifty pounds and told to go off to the left where five trainers are waiting with their leashed hunters. My friend Dave is handed a .22 and I am instructed to throw a duck in the lake five seconds after the shot is fired. I open the bag to take a look at the soggy pile of dead ducks. The coordinator tells me I will need gloves, as the smell is difficult to get rid of. It has already sunk deep into my nose, permiating every inhaled breath. I stamp my feet to get warm, rub my hands. The bag is cold and wet having already gone through an earlier round of throws. I walk to the waters edge and put on the latex gloves. I reach in the bag and pull out a duck by the neck. The bird is colder than I expect. Dave fires his shot and I hurl the duck into the air. It spins end over end into the mist and lands with a splash. A shout issues behind me and a golden retriever launches itself into the water, paddling out into the mist. A short time later, the dog returns, the dead bird clutched in its mouth. I retrieve the duck to make certain it is not too mangled before returning it to my bag. It is at this time that I realize that all those hours of duck hunt never prepared me for this.