‘Tis the season … for waterfowl hunting

This is that special time of year when time seems to speed up by about 400 percent. It has something to do with that holiday coming up, but also all the hunting seasons that are winding down.

The holiday season is upon us. It’s a time of joy and celebration, as you rush from store to store, spending all your money on gifts for loved ones. Maybe even a few gifts for people you really couldn’t care less about.

And when you’re not spending money, you’re spending your time at your company Christmas party, your spouse’s company party, and one or more Christmas pageants for each of your kids. And heaven forbid you should screw up with the video camera while you’re taping any of those seven pageants. Ah, yes, it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

I know some of you are saying, “Hey, it’s Christmas! This is a time for selflessness and giving, not a time to be whining because you don’t get your way.” I agree to some extent, but when my duck hunting gets curtailed, no matter how good or altruistic the reasons, I get a little cranky.

During the duck season, if I can go hunting two to three times a week, I become so generous I’d almost wrap up my truck and give it as a gift. Almost.

If I only get out once a week, I start adding up all the money I’ve spent on presents, and compare it to what I’ve been able to spend on shotgun shells. If the shotgun shell budget is less than an eighth of the gift outlay, I begin to get a little crotchety.

If I can hunt ducks twice a month, I’m still able to smile for pictures with Santa and make small talk at Christmas parties, but nobody will accuse me of laughing like the jolly fat man.

If I can’t get out at least once every other week, I get downright grinchy. I start breaking out the list and checking it twice. If any of my intended gift recipients get on my bad side, I begin contemplating returning their gifts and exchanging them for boxes of three-and-a-half-inch steel 12-gauge two-shot.

I haven’t done that yet, and I hope I never sink that low. It is the Christmas season, after all. I just wish Christmas could have been in June, or July, or some month other than the best one for duck hunting.