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Sitting in the snow freezing and wet is not the way most kids would want to spend their day off of school. I am 5' 11", 180 lbs. and don't get cold very easily. I have brown hair. My companion star is my black lab. She is 80 pounds. We were duck hunting. Was it worth it?

On my way up the main channel, with snow blowing in my face and fingers already turning numb from the freezing temperature. I pulled into a small bay formed by the surrounding cattails. Setting up my decoys was cold. The freezing water sent a chill through my insulated waiters and up my spine. After camouflaging my boat , we sat and waited for daylight to come.

Enduring the cold, it starts to get light. My dog that was once black is now white. My hands are freezing. The silence is broken by a faint wind against the cattails. Star's jaw is clicking together in a shivering order. It's snowing so heavily that when I do see a duck it disappears quickly into the thick cloud of snow. I see it. A green wing teal in the distance swimming towards my decoys. Moving swift and gracefully in front of me. I sat and waited for awhile. It started to swim away so I jumped up, made a noise so it flew up, and pulled the trigger on my gun. It fell out of the sky so peacefully, so lifeless, and weight less as it plummeted to the surface of the water. Everything was calm seeing the dead duck floating on the still water.

I slowly set my gun down. Star is just sitting with her tail wagging. Her dark brown eyes drove into mine as I said, " Fetch it up!" She dashed out of the boat. Nothing could hold her back. Her excitement level was very high. As she broke through the calm water the marsh seemed to be alive. She happily brought me a decoy. Laughing to myself I sent her out again, and she got it right. She brought me back my duck. " Drop it," I said and her jaws opened releasing the duck into my hands. It laid limp in my hands. I thought to myself, " it's amazing how God created every species of duck different, and how we get the thrill, and pleasure of hunting them." The duck was a prize in my hand. I was deeply appreciative. I set it next to my seat, and I sat some more. After not seeing anything for a while. I knew it was time to go. I was dreading taking in my decoys. The cold water would only make my hands colder.

I jumped into the freezing water. It was cold. With every decoy I pulled in, my hands froze. My hands were so cold I lost all physical strength in them. I could barley grasp the head of my decoy to put it in the boat. The snow started to let up. My hands were hurting. The only comfort I had was my dog's fur coat. Somehow I managed to get all the decoys in the boat. I jumped into the boat and headed home. It was worth it.

by Tim, Horicon