Tag Archives: duckhunting

The Most Magical Time of the Year

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Christmas is one of our absolute favorite times of year! Last December, Greg and I got engaged on the 23rd so Christmastime will always hold a special place in our hearts. On Christmas Eve we hunted and then got all cleaned up, and went to Greg’s aunt’s house. His whole family was there, and it was so fun seeing everyone. When we got home on Christmas Eve we still had presents to wrap and lots to get ready because we hosted Christmas Day for our families! Greg and I made a pizza, wrapped presents, and then we dozed off on the couch for like an hour before we went to bed lol.

When Christmas morning came, we got up early together and exchanged gifts just us two and had some coffee and cuddles together. I put on Christmas music (I like the Jessie James Decker Holiday pandora station), and we cleaned and cooked together, with the help of Greg’s sister Katie before our families came. Greg is a master chef in the kitchen. He did most of the cooking because he is such a pro. Seriously, everything he makes in mouthwatering. I always try and copy his cooking, but his always turns out better. I was really just in charge of cleaning up and making the gluten free brownies for Greg’s grandpa; brownies are my speciality lol. Oh and my sister, Olivia, made the green bean casserole.

We were super excited to have everyone over at our place for Christmas, and it was really special and fun. We had my mom, dad, my brother and sister (Kevin and Olivia, Greg’s grandparents, his dad and dad’s wife, Colleen, and his two sisters (Katie and Emily). It was so nice having everyone together to eat, have some drinks, yummy desert, open presents, and have some good sports on in the backgrounds thanks to my dad and brother :)! My mom made pretzel jello, which Greg loves. Greg’s grandma made the most amazing salad, and Olivia made a turtle cheesecake that turned out like it was professional! Christmas always makes me and Greg feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and we definitely felt that way being able to share all the fun and create really special memories with our families together.

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A Christmas Goose

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Duck season is officially over in central Illinois, but Greg and I have started field hunting for geese! I absolutely love field hunting. It is super comfortable, and you can get all cozy in your layout blind. I even bring a sleeping bag and blankie with me so that I stay extra warm. They’re camo, too, of course! Hunting on the water for duck is not always the warmest or most comfortable experience because it’s wet, but in a field you can hide well and just stay warmer. If you are a new hunter or want to try waterfowl hunting I would recommend field hunting first because sometimes the lack of comfort while hunting can be shocking, and field hunting is the perfect way to ease into the sport.

At first we weren’t sure if we were going to get to field hunt this year because we didn’t have an official spot once duck hunting was coming to an end, but one of Greg’s super sweet coworkers knew of a farmer who had land with water, field, and geese, and the farmer is letting us hunt it. I am just super excited about this because field hunting is my favorite.

These pictures are from two hunts from this weekend. We hunted the eve of Christmas Eve and Christmas Eve. It was merry and bright (lol) to be able to hunt those two days together! We would have also hunted Christmas morning, but Greg and I hosted Christmas day for our families (totally magical and fun and more about that tomorrow). Plus,the weather was beautiful. Setting up decoys, Greg  and I even got a little sweaty and had to take off our jackets.

This is also a really sweet spot. Driving to the field the geese were swimming on the water. We didn’t harvest anything either day because we’re still kind of scouting the land, but we did see a TON of birds! Watching the sky while hunting is one of our favorite parts. Geese flew over us and we could just hear and see them so clearly. It is honestly fascinating watching animals in nature like that, and I always leave our hunting spot feeling a deeper connection to Greg and nature. It is a total endorphin high because your heart just gets pumping as the birds get closer to you!

We’re going to go hunt this spot again this Thursday, and hopefully have some better luck. We learned some lessons like hiding our layout blinds better, and we think we have the feeding times for when birds get to the field nailed down. We are just itching to get out again because of how many birds we did see on those 2 hunts!

My hunting gear: jacket – overalls/bibs – boots – sweatshirt

Greg’s hunting gear: jacket similar here – pants – boots – shirt similar here

Deer Hunt Turned Turkey Sighting

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Gosh, it has been such a warm fall, and I am absolutely loving it! I always get so chilly when we go out hunting, especially my toes, but these sunny days in the 60’s and 70’s have been heaven! This past weekend Greg and I took a break from duck hunting, spent some time in the woods, and we were hoping to see some deer. We grabbed our bows, sprayed down with sent away, and we were ready to go!

Greg is super adventurous when it comes to the woods. He grew up in the woods so he’s very comfortable walking deep into the forest to find the perfect spot. This always make me a little nervous, but in the daylight I can always keep up, and I always end up really enjoying the walk, nature, and little animals we get to see.

We did not see any deer, but I have to say this was one of my favorite hunt outings. As sunset was approaching, all of a sudden, I heard this really loud flapping noise. The hunting spot that we had chosen was a turkey roost. They were flying home before sunset (turkeys live in trees), and they were all around us. It was so exciting and fascinating.

Because we watched the turkeys as the sun was setting, we ended up walking out of the woods in the dark. Greg gave me the only flashlight, but I was still really kinda scared. We were like 2 miles into the woods, which I think is why we got to see so many turkeys, but as we were walking out I was convinced that we were lost. We were walking in water and had to walk up this really steep hill, and so our little hunt ended with me in tears. Greg knew exactly how to get back even in the dark without a light, and the absolute cutest part was that he kept turning around and giving me little kissies and encouragement even when I was telling him I was never hunting again! lol

Luckily that did not last long. We made it back to the truck, and we were already planning our duck hunt for this Sunday! It’s supposed to be 27 degrees, but luckily I have this new electric hand warmer that I can’t wait to test out! Also, Greg is super excited for the cold weather… the birds should be flying!!

Fall Beauty at Starved Rock

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Here is our little trip to Starved Rock State Park and definitely one of my favorite dates! Greg had been wanting to take me to Starved Rock for a while, but last year we missed the fall time when all the leaves are so pretty, but this year we made it at the perfect time. The leaves were so colorful, and the weather was sunny, warm, and crisp!

We hiked the different trails for two hours. All of the different trails have really cute names like Lover’s Leap (the cutest one)! My favorite part was playing by the waterfall, walking across fallen logs, and holding Greg’s hand on our walk! It was so nice to be together. I never want our Sundays to end!

Before we headed home we a sunset dinner of cheeseburgers looking over the state park. This was Greg’s favorite part. 🙂 It was a really busy day at Starved Rock; I think because of how perfect the weather was. We did have to wait a little to have our sunset dinner, but we filled our time reading about the history of Starved Rock and sharing some kisses.

We also really want to go back in the winter time after a snowfall.