The probability of hunting accidents is highest on that first day or as we call it, the opener. Your first downed duck, a flock of mallards coming to the decoys low, several shots heard around the periphery of your hunting area, or a flock of snows heading your way at 45 yards all increase the heart beat and turn a nostalgic period of time into some forgetfulness, me included.
This kind of excitement can turn into some real bad decisions, especially if you are hunting with fellow hunters. Discuss among yourselves exactly how you'll most likely react to some of the situations that arise during your hunt. Make a plan among yourselves and review it. Always speak up to keep each other in check and don't be offended. We all learn. We all make mistakes. The point is to have a safe and enjoyable hunt, no matter how much waterfowl you shoot.
2 teenager hunters hunted together on opening day from a blind in Minnesota back in the mid seventies. One stood up to shoot at some ducks while his buddy, still sitting, accidentally shot him. Took his life. I don't need to get into the gory details. A sad opener. Bad memory. This could happen to anyone at any age in any circumstance. Don't let it happen to you.
Remember, we are all outdoors men and women. It doesn't matter how much you shoot or how many ducks you bring home. What matters is a safe and enjoyable hunt ...... and a love for the outdoors. There are plenty of hunting days in the Washington duck hunting season. Just enjoy the opener, shoot safely, and communicate to yourself and your shooting buddies. The more communication, the better.
Have a safe, happy, and memorable opener all ......!
"decoyless, pass, jump, and sneak hunting ..... falling to earth and getting your face dirty"