Living in Minnesota, my family and friends are blessed with amazing opportunities to be outside shooting game and catching fish to help put food on the dinner table.

Prior to duck hunting, Justine and Nate practiced on clay targets at the trap range.
Prior to duck hunting, Justine and Nate practiced on clay targets at the trap range.

For example, on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016, I had the privilege to sit in a duck blind for the first time. It was a beautiful morning with my little brother, Nate, and a close family friend, Chris Gulden.

Nate and I had a 2-week head start on the regular waterfowl season thanks to Minnesota’s Youth Waterfowl Day. This special 1-day hunt allows youths to learn new things and experience the outdoors without having to worry that the adults will beat them to the prime duck hunting spots.

Nate and I helped put out and take in duck decoys, retrieve our ducks, and we learned how to clean them. It was a great first duck hunting experience for my brother and me. We both shot our first ducks, and it was a wonderful day spent in the outdoors.

It is definitely an amazing feeling when you pull the trigger and kill an animal. I felt successful and confident.

Justine and Nate with their first ducks.
Justine and Nate with their first ducks.

A big “thank you” goes out to Gary Johnson, the land owner who allowed us to hunt his property, and the Marsh Madness Chapter of Delta Waterfowl for letting us participate in the youth duck hunt. I’m definitely looking forward to the next time I am able to get out!

Images by Chris Gulden

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