Tis the season and I don't mean Christmas. Finally after a slow start with the early days of waterfowl season in Illinois Southern Zone, the birds are arriving. Artic cold fronts and blowing snow for our northern neighbors has finally driven the waterfowl south. Snows and blues pouring in as if they were being dumped from the sky by the bucketful, Canadas tumbling into the corn fields in huge honking groups, and the ducks, at last the ducks screaming overhead and dropping into the stip pit lakes like battalions of fighter jets.
Tis the season - so this where I'll be.. running the rivers and the sloughs along the Southern Illinois section of the Mississippi flyway. Up every day around 0330, following the birds. braving the frigid winds, the rain and the snow. Slogging through muddy fields, and hunkered down in the blinds and the pits. A car full of cammo,cameras and dog treats, that smells distinctly of wet dog, cheap cigarettes, and blue mud. Muddy boots litter the hatch back., Bibs are draped across the back seat so they can dry and air out a bit. Muddy paw prints dance across the console and the dash. Floorboards littered with empty coffee cups and cigarette packs. There's a tangle of chargers for the phone, the cameras and the laptop cascading out of the dash. If you see a slightly frazzled, slightly frozen lady barrelling along in full killer weed camo and headed towards the water. just wave - I'm on a mission because, 'tis the season. I'll see you when the birds go home.