a twin pair of MH-65 Dolphin US Coast Guard Rescue helicopters lifted off out of Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi heading south. They buzzed low over the treacherous sea, their AGL only a couple feet above the rolling waves, their search lights glaring. Their target: an overturned fishing boat somewhere within Laguna Madre, marooned smack in-between Corpus Christi and Port Mansfield.
It meant getting back into the old pair of waders, cutting and replacing old decoy lines, checking the weights, conducting touch-up paint jobs on the seasoned decoys, purchasing duck stamps, reading recent migration reports, scouting new spots, taking out the old duck calls, taking the long road trip, and connecting with lifelong hunting buddies and dear family members.
The sudden silence was almost deafening. The adrenaline rush from knowing they were miles from civilization, miles from the concrete jungles of everyday life, miles from help if something went wrong - was a unique sensation worth every drop of sweat to get to where they were.
Looking up, at the last moments of dusk, the pair sat in silence and took it all in. It was time call it a day.
Public access and use of natural resources for recreation is a hot topic - especially as the federal and state government continue to fight over control and use of America’s public lands and their precious resources. Furthermore, this topic is critically important for us - as public land owners, as our passions, livelihoods, and way-of-life are at stake.