February 08, 2012
My old man stood at the end of the driveway. He would wrench on that goose call for hours, my younger brother and I nagging him incessantly to perform the "gun powder trick." That's where you spread a line of the black stuff down the driveway and make a tiny mound at the end, dispersing a large POOF! I guess you can set fire to it with a match, but dad preferred the lit end of a Marlboro Menthol Light. The boys satisfied, he continued to call, awaiting sunset and the flock of resident geese to pass directly over our house. Decoys in the front yard — I'm not kidding — the Canadas never gave him a second thought. Weird, right? He cursed them. He cursed the call tapes. He cursed the call. Ah, he probably should have been cursing the caller. But, that was his religion in the off-season.
A few weeks ago, we got a batch of Wing Nutz goose calls in the office from Sean Mann. Not long after, I hear the boss wailing away on one in the office. So, I joined in. Thinking back, we should have grabbed some dekes and taken them out to the parking lot, ala Don Genzel. He would have been proud, or maybe ashamed his eldest son was following in his footsteps.
I've been blowing my new call ever since, and Skipper continues to bark office calls, pulling me out of late-afternoon, coffee-induced comas. On the way to and from work, I hammer that thing, along with a custom-made duck call (post-Christmas present). It's become my off-season project, my religion. What's yours?