A Low-Tide Escape

A Low-Tide Escape

Casper Osborne and I went jump-shooting for puddlers in a low-tide Southeast Atlantic Coast river. Marsh grass and migratory songbirds abounded on either side. Estuary life teemed all around us. Sun-dappled shadow painted the pristine landscape. Beautiful! A sight to behold.

Casper was impressed.

"Right purty swamp, ain't it?" he offered.

"Marsh," I corrected. "On the coast it's called a marsh."


With that, Casper suggested I perform a difficult physical feat: Something involving an eliminatory body function exhibited in ascending vertical fashion. Something gravitationally impossible. Something I couldn't do even if it was not. I didn't have a rope.


Casper scanned the water ahead and made no further comment, except a muttered, "Ain't no bleepin' ducks in this worthless bleepin' creek."

"River," I interjected. "On the coast it's called a river."

Ensuing circumstances made it prudent to pause to check my shotgun chamber for moisture, allowing a perturbed Mr. Osborne to proceed upstream and create ample (and safe) distance between us. Soon he was a mere speck in the distance, and I was out of range.

Minutes passed. I glanced inland and noticed the mere speck exiting the river. Rapidly.


"Strange," I murmured. "Is that my stalwart companion dashing headlong across yonder marsh? And what, pray tell, is that mad conglomeration of debris falling in his wake?"

My eyes did not deceive. Casper was in full flight. Reaching the spot where I last saw him, I found hard evidence. Gun, shotshells, and duck call littered the bank. A trail, spontaneously and haphazardly constructed, wound through streamside flora and cut zig zaggedly across the salt flat.

I surveyed the debris field. Here, a hat. There, waders. Yonder lay shirt, pants and a bedraggled pouch of chewing tobacco.


Carefully, I crossed the marsh, painstakingly gathering these telltale shards of frenzied flight. I followed the trail to an island causeway and crossed to an overgrown hammock on the other side. The path was lost in the storm-tossed litter of the dunes and sand spits. I stopped and looked about.

"Now where," I said aloud, "did he go from here?"

"I'm right over here, fool," growled a gnarled windblown live oak.

No, wait. It's Casper, peering sheepishly from the other side of the tree. He stepped out, completely naked save the waistband of a saw-palmetto-ripped pair of Fruit-of-the-Looms.

With downcast eyes (the sight of a nude Casper Osborne has turned more than one viewer to stone) I tossed my burden of discarded clothing at my friend's feet. While he dressed, he explained.

"Dadblasted crab," he said. "Great big 'un. Stepped right on 'im and thought it was one a them stingrays you said to watch out for. I jumped out of the water and bumped into one a them round wasp nests on that old boat dock. Got three in my clothes, took off like a striped ape, and got nekkid. Now you can just shut up and lead me to the truck!"

Silently, we trekked back across the lovely coastal marsh. Suddenly, in disgust and frustration, Casper blurted, "Wasps! Dadblasted wasps!"

"Hornets," I instructed. "On the coast they're called..."

Ouch! That Fruit of the Loom elastic could choke a fella to death.And I hate to admit it, but the boy was right. There wasn't one bleeping duck in that whole bleeping "creek."

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Arkansas Snow Geese

Arkansas Snow Geese

Wildfowl Editor Skip Knowles took this short video showing all the Snow Geese flying. Let's just say, he had a very good hunt!

Browning A5 Shotgun -

Browning A5 Shotgun - 'Gun Stories'

Gun Stories host Joe Mantegna talks about the origin and history of the Browning A5 shotgun.

Puppy Training Getting Started

Puppy Training Getting Started

Puppy Training Getting Started

Cowboy Fernandez Commemorative Yentzen Classic Duck Call

Cowboy Fernandez Commemorative Yentzen Classic Duck Call

As Groves, Texas duck call maker Sure-Shot Game Calls celebrates their 60th anniversary during 2019, company CEO Charlie Holder shows off the limited edition Yentzen Classic aimed at commemorating the life and times of company founder Jim 'Cowboy' Fernandez. With a special autographed box and a laser engraved call body, the Cowboy Classic is a perfect way to honor the legacy of the 1959 world duck calling champ and inventor of the double-reed duck call.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Jim Orth needed'a simple blind for hunting Lake St. Clair. A staffing recruiter and outfitter from How-To

Building a Duck Boat Blind on a Budget

Mike Marsh - May 10, 2016

Jim Orth needed'a simple blind for hunting Lake St. Clair. A staffing recruiter and outfitter...

As Groves, Texas duck call maker Sure-Shot Game Calls celebrates their 60th anniversary during 2019, company CEO Charlie Holder shows off the limited edition Yentzen Classic aimed at commemorating the life and times of company founder Jim 'Cowboy' Fernandez. With a special autographed box and a laser engraved call body, the Cowboy Classic is a perfect way to honor the legacy of the 1959 world duck calling champ and inventor of the double-reed duck call. Calls

Cowboy Fernandez Commemorative Yentzen Classic Duck Call

Lynn Burkhead - January 28, 2019

As Groves, Texas duck call maker Sure-Shot Game Calls celebrates their 60th anniversary during...

Consistency is what pushes today's shotshell makers to constantly improve new waterfowl loads Ammo

11 Best New Shotshell Loads For Waterfowl

Wildfowl Online Staff - August 17, 2017

Consistency is what pushes today's shotshell makers to constantly improve new waterfowl loads

Check out our picks for the best new waterfowl guns from the 2019 SHOT Show! Shotguns

Best New Waterfowl Shotguns for 2019

Lynn Burkhead - January 23, 2019

Check out our picks for the best new waterfowl guns from the 2019 SHOT Show!

See More Trending Articles

More Stories

When you first tuned into an episode of A&E's Duck Dynasty, I suspect you asked yourself the Stories

How Duck Dynasty is Changing the Waterfowl World

Kyle Wintersteen - March 27, 2013

When you first tuned into an episode of A&E's Duck Dynasty, I suspect you asked yourself...

Six mallards swung past the decoys as the sun broke the horizon and two of us put four of them on Stories

"Kill that€¦that...Duck!"

Brad Fenson - September 30, 2016

Six mallards swung past the decoys as the sun broke the horizon and two of us put four of them...

At first, Travis Mueller didn't think much about the wave that washed over the front of the boat. Stories

Duck Hunting in Deadly Waters

David Hart - October 14, 2016

At first, Travis Mueller didn't think much about the wave that washed over the front of the...

A dainty English setter suited for the uplands has the drive for waterfowl. Stories

The Accidental Duck Dog

Jack Ballard

A dainty English setter suited for the uplands has the drive for waterfowl.

See More Stories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.