A large part of what we want to do at Riverbrothers is to show other outdoorsmen’s stories about how they got started in the hunting or fishing world. Everyone has their own version. Some started because it’s in their family blood, some just had the itch to try it from watching TV shows and some had friends that had the passion for it. There’s nothing much more fulfilling than introducing someone to the outdoors, sharing your passion with them and watching them grow into an avid outdoorsman/woman. A buddy of mine was eager to share his story.
My name is Ben Esterley, and I really don’t hunt too often, but when I do, I’m with my best friends. One of my first times hunting I was fortunate enough to go with the one and only, Jorgen Dahl, co-owner of Riverbrothers Outfitters, and the slayer of all animals legal to hunt. We went out one cold, rainy morning and sat in a field with goose decoys and waited for birds to show up. Like I said before, I’m not the greatest hunter nor do I hunt very often so therefore I became very bored. I was in a blind for nearly three hours. Another two went by and we still didn’t see anything so we decided to call it a day.
As we were leaving, Jorgen spotted a nice little pond with about twelve beautiful mallards. I knew they were mallards because Jorgen said they were. We decided to jump them. Jorgen and I stayed low behind bushes, sneaking up on the pond as our other good friend, Brandon, snuck up towards the other side of the pond. We counted to three, and you can bet your ass we jumped out faster than the filling of a hot pocket after you put a fork to it. The birds started flying and we started shooting. I accidentally only had two shots in my shotgun but was lucky enough to knock down one of them. When all the chaos cleared and the feathers fell, we had dropped four, two of which were in the middle of the pond filled with algae and weeds. “Well shit, we don’t have a dog,” Jorgen said. I smirked and knew it was my time to shine. Before you could say hold the popsicle, I was in the water swimming after the ducks.
I’m pretty sure I was the best dog those boys have ever hunted with. Needless to say, that was my first duck hunting experience and that’s the reason I keep going back for more. It’s all about the memories and the occasional harvest of these beautiful birds. I’m thankful for the friends I have.
- Ben Esterly