If I learned anything while on my trip back to Louisiana, it’s that Cajuns are passionate about duck hunting. Why else would they wake up at 4:30am with a nasty hangover and just two hours of sleep to get dressed and head out to the duck blinds? I honestly didn’t expect my friend Danny to wake up after a night of partying but apparently, he really loves to hunt.
On Tuesday morning, I woke up in Lafayette around 4:15 am, fixed a cup of coffee (Mello Joy!), put on some warm clothes and headed out to Kaplan. Danny and I were to meet my good friend Dennis at Suire’s grocery near Forked Island at 5:30am and we made it just in time.
While Danny went into Suire’s to pick up a few items, I noticed the lil marketing sign outside the grocery store. I got such a kick out of it that I took a picture.
That’s right.. the low-carb craze has taken over. Pistolettes, gumbo, plate lunches, alligator, homemade sweets and a *drumroll* a low-carb menu. Cajun food though.. that’s all fat anyway 😉 Take out the rice and viola — low carb!
After the laugh, we got into Dennis’ big truck and made our way to the duck blind. A duck blind is a section of land setup for hunters to hide themselves while they coax the ducks to land nearby. They are usually rented out on a per season basis. The blind we were in was $1500 a season. It comfortably fit 3 hunters. Our blind was basically a 5’x8′ tin can in the ground. Danny complimented Dennis on the “real nice blind” and that started a conversation about some super fancy blinds. Supposedly, some of these are like underground camp houses complete with a mini kitchen. I think they also had lil beds in them too.
Each day begins with the duck hunter checking sunrise time. This is the minute that hunters can begin shooting ducks and boy do they start on the minute. Tuesday’s sunrise started at 6:12am and we heard other hunters in the distance start shooting at 06:12:01.
While we waited for the ducks, Danny and Dennis started talking about calling ducks.
“Baw, you should hear lil Ryan call.”
“Aw yeah? Ryan who?”
“They call him Poopie. You probably know his sister Christy — she’s married to Big Tee.”
“Oh yeah.. I know her. We graduated together.”
That’s how you figure out who someone is down in Cajun Country. Who’s their momma, daddy, spouse or sibling. It’s probably the same in any Small Town, USA.
I brought my camera along to capture images and audio of our duck hunt. The most enjoyable parts of the hunt, in my opinion, are the conversations that go on while in the duck blind. I recorded clips of a few of them and have them available for download below. Cajun accents, for the record, change every 30 miles. What you’ll hear below is actually the Kaplan/Gueydan accent 😉
I also took a few pictures. I wish I could share all of them but bandwidth restrictions for the both of us just wouldn’t permit. Here are a few of my favorites.
Dennis and Drake
Danny overlooking the water
Dennis and Danny walking
Me and Danny
Me and Dennis
Danny and Dennis ended up getting one bird each. They’da got even more if they weren’t so engrossed in conversation — they couldn’t get over how much we pay in rent here in Los Angeles and missed a few birds while repeatedly asking me “And that’s really per month and not per year?” teehee. Another time Danny was busy fishing some toilet paper out of my ear with a twig. I didn’t bring any earplugs with me and I didn’t want my hearing to be damaged even further by the gun shots so I figured I’d stuff some TP down my ear. It worked really well until I tried to get one small piece out. Oops! Danny offered to fish it out with his big knife but I opted for the nice small twig that Dennis found.
I really loved watching them hunt. I’d do it every day possible if I lived in Louisiana. While I was there, I went twice and would have gone a third time had I not been sick. The second time I went with Danny and a guy I grew up with named Ryan. He is indeed an excellent duck caller but unfortunately, most of the birds had already caught on to the fact that hunters were in the area so we didn’t get any that time.
I can’t wait to go next time I’m in.. maybe I’ll fly in for the opening of duck season. I hear it’s nothing short of amazing on the first day!
RealCajunRecipes.com is devoted to building the largest and most accurate collection of Cajun recipes handed down from one Cajun cook to another. If you are from or have lived in Acadiana and have some Cajun recipes, feel free to share them with the world!...
This cookbook is filled with more than 40 traditional Christmas recipes, from boudin balls and Cajun firecrackers, to crawfish etouffee and cornbread dressing, these are the dishes Cajun families in Southern Louisiana will be cooking for Christmas!