Posted by Tom Reder of the Mighty Layout Boys on January 24, 2000 at 9:50:41 a.m.:
I've been visiting Eric's page for quite a while so I figured it was time to get on the roll call so here goes. I've been duck hunting since I was a teenager with one of my oldest & best friends, Mark of the MLB. We started hunting pheasant & duck in the marshes up the street from our houses when we were early teens. When we were in our early twenties Mark started hunting a lake in southwestern Michigan & invited me to come up & hunt with him & Greg (Whom also grew up with us in our neighborhood). He & Greg had bought a couple of little hunting boats off a friend of theirs called layout boats & they were both very excited about the results they were having with them. I was game for anything new so I went. My first try in this little kayak looking vessel was the begining of a long love affair with a facet of duck hunting that was widely overlooked by most duck hunters. Mark had just dropped me off after explaining how to hunt from them & was on his way into shore when the first flock of birds desended on me, a nice flock of redheads & greater bluebills! They hit the deck & flew right up the line of decoys just as Mark said they would. At fifteen yards I came up shooting & dropped a drake redhead & a banded drake greater bluebill! That was it , I was now hopelessly addicted! In the years to come, the three of us have never missed a season together and as Greg says the only thing better than duck hunting is duck hunting with your best friends. Equipment: I have several boats, lots of decoys, tons of gear & not enough room to store it all. I think duck hunters are natural pack rats, I know I've got equipment I haven't used in years but it's there just in case! I believe duck hunting is such an enjoyable sport because it has so many different facets. One facet I enjoy is building decoys. I've been building cork decoys for a little over twenty years & never tire of it. To sum up duck hunting I think Gordon Mac Quarrie said it best. " I pity the duck hunter who goes for ducks alone. I pity the duck hunter who has not filled his being with the dawn magic. I pity the one who cares not, or knows not, what he has killed." Tom Reder of the Mighty Layout Boys.