The moment I received my first plastic-packaged, economy-sized bundle of boxer-shorts for Christmas, I knew the days of sleepless Christmas Eves and giddy Christmas mornings were over. There seemed to be an instantaneous shift in the dates I circled on the calendar and dreamt about months in advance. Good-bye holidays, and hello opening days.
So as I was recently lying in bed, visions of roosters were flushing ahead. Minnesota’s pheasant hunting opener was almost in sight and I couldn’t wait for my pup to put some birds into flight… Okay, I’ll stop. But honestly, being awake all night in anticipation of the season we’ve all been not-so-patiently waiting for got me thinking… You know it’s opening day when:
- While you were physically at work last week, you’ve been mentally absent the past three days
- That quiet, little gas station in the Middle of Nowhere suddenly has more traffic than the Vegas Strip
- You find yourself rubbing dirt on your shiny new chaps just so no one can possibly confuse you for a rookie
- There’s so much unnecessary gear packed in the back of your truck, you had legitimate concern over suffocating the dogs
- Various blaze orange militias have been staking out properties so early in the morning that even duck hunters would blush
- Three generations of family members can come together at one spot and not argue
- Your normally quiet and well-behaved bird dog sounds more like the Tasmanian Devil is waiting to be unleashed from your kennel
- The second your boots touch grass, you get an ear-to-ear smile and instantly know you did it – you somehow managed to survive another off-season
Whether you’ve already been chasing birds, your season opens this weekend, or you have to wait until November (sorry, Kansas), how do you know it’s opening day?
- Andrew Vavra, Pheasants Forever’s Marketing Specialist