When It All Goes Wrong…

Chris JenningsMurphy’s Law is an adage that is typically stated as: “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” I’m under the impression that this is my waterfowl hunting creed. I’ve stepped into 6 feet of suspected knee-deep water, been attacked by spiders, lost in the woods and even lost my decoy bags – if you’re hunting with me, it will go wrong.
Hunter at sunriseI’m notorious for hunting blunders and hosting a bad case of terrible luck. Last weekend, a good friend of mine called me to share his experience and I have to share it with everyone because it ranks in the top tier of Murphy’s Law regarding waterfowl hunting.

My friend, name omitted for fear of ridicule, lives south of Denver, Colo., and leased some property outside of Greely, Colo., along the north fork of the Platte River. He built a blind along the edge of the river so he and his golden retriever, Indy, could spend a few mornings hunting this fall.
Making the nearly two-hour drive Friday morning, his optimism soaring as the temperature had dipped into single digits and the weather forecaster was calling for a crispy 1 degree morning. He left the truck well before shooting time and walked towards his blind. I can picture him and Indy marching in the darkness, the cold air creating a fog as they exhaled with every step. The excitement of the morning hunt surrounding them, there was quickness in their movements.

Hunters calling

The Platte River’s water level is extremely high and with his blind being built earlier in the year; the water has risen, nearly touching the bottom of the blind. Merely a few steps in front of the blind the dark swirling waters of the Platte rush passed. Reaching the blind, he leans over to knock the ice off the Master Lock he keeps on the blind to discourage trespassers, then he reaches into his pocket for the keys and doesn’t feel them. As he pulls his hand from his parka the keys must have caught on his parka sleeve and before even Indy can blink an eye, the keys fly from his pocket into the Colorado pre-dawn darkness.

“I just want to tell you how discouraging it is to be standing there in the dark and hear the unmistakable sound of your car keys hitting the water with a bliiiimpppp,” my anonymous friend claims. “It’s one degree out here and you just kind of stand there asking yourself, ‘Did that just happen?'”

View from the boat

Oh, yes, it did happen and two hours away from home his keys were washing down stream. When I spoke to him, he was sitting on a log along the side of the road waiting on a farmer to drive by so he can hitch a ride into town to rent a car. Fortunately, he contacted the property owner who lives in the area and the guy let him borrow his truck to drive home and get a spare set of keys.

Fourteen hours after leaving his house in his truck, he returns in his truck. The long day produced memories from the field that will never be forgotten, ever. He calls me to explain how he just got a voicemail from the dealership to tell him the replacement key will cost $230 because of the theft protection system, another jab from Murphy’s Law, but more than expected at this point.

I ask him if he is planning on going again this week and he explains that he is, but the issue now is that his blind is locked. He just laughs, “Isn’t duck hunting great!”

Share your experiences regarding Murphy’s Law while waterfowling.


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