Anyway, I’d start chopping through the ice and find myself in the icy water more than once. I guess it was all part of the game.
When I lived up north many years ago, a friend of mine wanted to hunt late season mallards on Veteran’s Day.
Back then, we had real winter by the second week in November. The Kunjamuk River was still open, so we put a canoe into Duck Bay just south of Speculator and started paddling.
In almost every backwater, we’d flush some ducks and get a few shots. As we paddled farther upstream, we knew of a great section of flat water that curled around. That made it a good spot to get some ducks.
We eased toward the riverbank, where we planned on getting out. Just up over the steep bank was a major flock of mallards waiting for our arrival.
I stepped out of the canoe as we hit the icy shore, but there seemed to be no bottom. The water was far deeper than I thought. Instantly, I went head first into the river.
When I came back up, I didn’t have my shotgun. It took several dives back into the depths of the river before I retrieved my old Ithaca.
Trust me, the 2-mile paddle back to the truck was a cold one. With skim ice along the riverbanks, we knew it was cold, and I can surely attest to that fact.
Cold, icy water doesn’t bother me, which is good because I usually end up in it by accident. But now I’ve opened my big mouth and will have to live with it.
I’ve made a couple promises that I will jump into Goodyear Lake next year and help raise money for a very worthy cause. I hope you show up and join me.
Rick Brockway writes a weekly outdoors column for The Daily Star. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.