Natural Escape: The Drive

By HUNTER REDFIELD – Student contributor

Her eyes shifted toward me in chemistry with a repulsive look cast over her face and no words exited her mouth except “Why?” after hearing what time the alarm would go off for our duck hunt the next morning. The question was simple, but yet it seemed to have such a deep background behind it.

I began to ask myself the same question: Why do I do it? What makes me want to wake up at 4:30 a.m. and tighten down frozen ratchet straps and watch snow drop from the sky underneath the beam cast down the road by headlights, or why I find the struggles of busting ice the entire way across lakes fun.

How to me, a canoe ride across a lake with two foot waves seems exciting and, yet, with that, there’s a slight fear that one of the waves will dive into the canoe and send us to the bottom of the lake.

Why the deafening sound of steel launching out the barrel is music to my ears. The vision of feathers floating across the water sticks in my eyes. Deep hail calls, quacks, and feeding chuckles seem to be more like music than what all the rappers are putting out.

The way decoys smack as they hit the water, and being able to back the canoe into the blind are such satisfying feelings. Birds will give it up over the decoys feet down one minute and buzz by like nothing is happening the next.

The sunrises always seem to be nothing short of outstanding and the pictures we take of them with numb fingers will never do the moment they were taken justice.

The most nasty, gruesome weather is all I want to see on the radar, and yet it is the most horrid weather to be out in it.

To say that I don’t remember all of the work behind the pile of bird pics, or that I didn’t enjoy every second of it is most likely false.

Yet it is still hard for me to look at that one word, “Why,” and answer without trying to find a million reasons to convince her why it is amazing.

Duck hunting is exactly what you make of it and, to me, the whole experience is nothing but fun from the second we load the truck to sitting in the garage drinking whatever pop is the closest before we end up crashing on the couches, only to wake up soon after.

To me, it is one of the best feelings in the world and no one can convince me that it is awful, but I can’t quite answer the initial question without just saying, “Why not?”


Columnist Hunter Redfield is a student at Cranberry High School and a member of Cranberry Chronicles, the school’s journalism/publications group.