by Adam Brassfield - Pro Staff Contributor
By all estimates, the duck population is at an all-time high. Mallards are up 9%, Gadwall up 9%, and Pintail up 26%. Prairie breedinggrounds are soaked up north, with all signs pointing to a long-term up-rise inthe total population of waterfowl.
Statisticslike those are great for hunting, but let me give you the bad news. From 1996 to 2006 the number of duck hunters has dropped 25%! You do not hear that every day. This makes me hotter than a billygoat with a blow torch. That ispretty mad. Think about it: while mostof us are enjoying tons of ducks, our sport is slowly dying. We can change that!
Honestly,when is the last time you took a kid duck hunting, or hunting period? When isthe last time you got your wife involved in hunting? I know most of them do asmuch good as a screen door in a submarine, but that is not the point. We areall guilty of letting another season pass us by without taking the time to takeyoungsters waterfowl hunting or a family member to the duck blind. Success issometimes defined by 14 inches… the distance from your brain to your heart. Believe it!
I involve my whole family in duck hunting, as well as other families, every season. Tashaand I enjoy duck hunting together all the time. I am going to have to cut herloose though. I am afraid she has become a better shot! After the first timeshe picked up that Beretta shotgun, she had the fever. Now she has become apart of my Pro Staff. I have her battingher eyes at me like a toad frog in a hail storm.
Ethan, our10 year old, went this year for the first time, and has gotten to go duck hunting with me and my staffseveral more times. I let him shoot my new Beretta A400 Xtreme, got him a pairof Lacrosse waders, and realized that I had created a monster. I thought he wasgoing to flip the boat over after bagging the first greenhead he ever shot.Seeing the excitement in his eyes when a group of Mallards lock up over ourdecoys is priceless.
The point is,if I can do this so can you. None of us want to wake up one day and discoverthat our sport is missing the sparkle that it once had. Do what you can, withwhat you have, right where you are, then watch and see the difference it makesfor the future of our sport.Continue reading our blog here at Beretta.Together we all can help each other and make a difference. You can visit mywebsite at www.hunters247waterfowl.com or follow me on Facebook.