When I am hunting and fishing now I am almost always alone and I have conversations with myself. Some say that when someone does that, it is an indication that they are crazier than a pet coon, but I ain’t. Crazy people ask themselves questions. I don’t do that. I did sometimes when I was younger, but I could never answer any of the questions I would ask myself so I gave that up.

I often take a notebook out in the woods with me and write something while sitting up against a tree waiting for a squirrel, or while sitting in my boat when the fish aren’t biting. When I walk in the woods or paddle downs the river, I sing songs beneath my breath, quite often making up my own songs or poems. So here is what happened folks and I swear it is the truth.

I was walking along a crop field at the lake waiting for some ducks to come into my decoys. It was late afternoon and there had been no ducks all day so I went out in that field to look for arrowheads. I find a lot that way, most of ‘em broken. I just never have been lucky like some people.

As I walked, I worked on a poem… “Lord please give me just one mallard drake. I’d druther have that than a chocolate fudge cake.”

Let me say here that I am bad addicted to sweet stuff, and I would almost never put something ahead of a chocolate fudge cake or peekan pie, or a donut with icing on it. Or a strawberry cheesecake! Geez, do I love strawberry cheesecake! But that is neither here nor there… as I continue to search for arrowheads and work on the song I am singing.

“Dear Lord, you ain’t never granted me much luck, (going back to those broken arrowheads) but I’d thank you anyway if I just got a duck. One big old greenhead is all I need, just let one fly by at an extra slow speed.”

What I am praying for is not just a shot at one, but an easy one I can hit, and take home and eat. I really like grilled breast steaks off a mallard duck, with banana cream pie afterward.

Still walking I get really stumped with a verse I come up with. If any one out there knows a word that rhymes with mallard, I would sure like to know what it is. So here is verse three…

“So Lord I ain’t asking for much but a green-head mallard, even a small one, skinny and squallard,”

And I was going to continue with verse 4, 5, 6 and 7, but folks I will say this with my hand on my grandma’s Bible and no fingers crossed…honest as I can be or ever was! Just after that last verse, looking at the ground trying to think of a word to rhyme with aggrevated, sitting between a row of Milo stubble, right in front of my front boot… there was a beautiful green-headed plastic mallard drake decoy. Kinda makes the skin stand up on the back of your neck, don’t it?

I am not going to say it was an act of God, but what would you call it? I have always thought the Creator has a sense of humor. But then, I have a lot of duck decoys like that one. I wonder if I should have asked for a goose.

Now for something very very serious. The Missouri Department of Conservation has just entered into an 18 million dollar contract with a private company to restore the Schell Osage waterfowl area. An engineer for MDC told me about this. Apparently there were no bids taken for this project. This needs to be investigated, but it will not be. The MDC has all the equipment, millions of dollars of it, and the personnel to do this themselves. A few years ago they built a private waterfowl hunting marsh along the Sac River for a judge, on his land. It is a great hunting marsh for him and his friends. Read more about this and see photos of the historic Schell-Osage Area on my website, www.larrydablemontoutdoors. It is quite a story. I wrote and article about it years ago for a national magazine. The story about what is happening cannot be printed in many newspapers because of MDC disapproval of the facts being given to the public. Something is bad wrong here. Eighteen million dollars would build a dozen such waterfowl marshes and hunting areas! How long can a state agency get by doing this?

Contact me via lightninridge47@gmail.com to learn more. I am forming an organization we have named Common Sense Conservationist. I would like to have you join us.

By the way we are having a new Outdoorsman’s Swap Meet on Saturday, March 9th. Get info on that at the above website.