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

Wentz Bros Outdoors - Throwback Waterfowl

Wentz Bros Outdoors - Throwback Waterfowl

This video is a classic! Take a front row seat with Carson as he hunted back in college. The clips are all either filmed with a GoPro or cell phone!

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.

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!

Swedish Duck Hunt

Swedish Duck Hunt

Kevin Steele takes part in a family driven duck hunt in Sweden.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

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!

While there's no guarantee they'll make you a better shot, these 8 newly-designed shotgun choke Accessories

8 Best Choke Tubes for 2017

Wildfowl Online Staff - October 25, 2017

While there's no guarantee they'll make you a better shot, these 8 newly-designed shotgun...

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...

Author John M. Taylor has broken down the top waterfowl shotguns for the 2018 season. Shotguns

Best Waterfowl Shotguns of 2018

John Taylor - September 25, 2018

Author John M. Taylor has broken down the top waterfowl shotguns for the 2018 season.

See More Trending Articles

More Stories

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...

The birds were appearing from nowhere. Not from a cloud bank, not from behind treetops, not from Stories

Four Days in Snow Goose Country

Skip Knowles - December 23, 2013

The birds were appearing from nowhere. Not from a cloud bank, not from behind treetops, not...

This is how Zee the Lab became the best duck dog a family could ask for. Stories

The Road to 1,000 Retrieves

Nicole Belke

This is how Zee the Lab became the best duck dog a family could ask for.

In 1988, it was a Model 11-87. Later, a Mossberg 935. Today, Remington's VersaMax. Four decades, Stories

Iconic Waterfowling Figures: First Gun Stories

M.D. Johnson - January 12, 2016

In 1988, it was a Model 11-87. Later, a Mossberg 935. Today, Remington's VersaMax. Four...

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.