Duck hunting

People are inventive. They have found many ways to pass the time. Sport is one of them.

But sometimes sport is more than that.

People have also found ways to elevate the soul. Some play Bach and watch David Gower. Others have their souls elevated by fiddle-music, Ford pick-ups, the squeal of a pig, and the clacketty-clack of automatic firearms.

I don’t like guns, I don’t like shooting, and I don’t go hunting. But I know there are those who do.

In Australia there’s a fair dinkum struggle between those who value the right to shoot and hunt duck, and those who believe every duck is sacred.

In America there is the Deep South.

They are just as inventive in the Deep South.

Recently I came across a sport where clearly those participating were were in an elevated state: duck hunting.

Here’s how it works:

Ducks need water, so you need a lake or its equivalent, where two blokes wait high on a tower above a huge airbag. Standing nervously on the far end of the airbag is a bloke dressed in a feathered nappy: the duck. Other blokes sit in boats on the lake brandishing firearms. They start yelling, “Quack. Quack. Quack.”

This is the signal for the two blokes to jump off the tower and freefall onto the airbag. Their landing propels the human duck high into the air.

As the duck sails through the air he is peppered with paintball bullets.

This causes much screechin’ and hollerin’ and laughter of the type that cannot be artificially created. This is the genuine laughter of the genuinely amused.

The reason there is so much laughter is that it is really funny.

Here, then, is an example of how some people pass the time and reach a higher state of consciousness: (Check the flight path of the duck, and the waft of the feathers).



About John Harms

JTH is a writer, publisher, speaker, historian. He is publisher and contributing editor of The Footy Almanac and He has written columns and features for numerous publications. His books include Confessions of a Thirteenth Man, Memoirs of a Mug Punter, Loose Men Everywhere, Play On, The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story and Life As I Know It (with Michelle Payne). He appears (appeared?) on ABCTV's Offsiders. He can be contacted [email protected] He is married to The Handicapper and has three school-age kids - Theo, Anna, Evie. He might not be the worst putter in the world but he's in the worst four. His ambition was to lunch for Australia but it clashed with his other ambition - to shoot his age.


  1. JTH – that’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen!

    There’s a business opportunity if ever I saw one.

  2. John Butler says

    Wait’ll you see how they play chess.

  3. JTH, I’d like to know what it was on YouTube that you were searching for that led you to this.

  4. John Harms says

    Gigs, I don’t usually divulge my sources but I am happy to make this case an exception. A mad mate of mine, Hughbert, seems to have a steady supply of this sort of thing. Not sure who his dealer is, but he sends me some classics. He has been going through a red-neck phase. He is a true liberal.

  5. Having spent some time in the South, this does not surprise me.

    That said, thanks for sharing this, JTH. Very much.

  6. Quack. Quack Quack. Love it!

  7. I think hose dudes do indoor dwarf throwing to keep themselves fit in the off season.

  8. The ‘Red Neck Pride’ tube on that page is well worth a look.

    I think there is a young Sarah Palin pic in there.

  9. That would be the Jackass boys strutting their stuff. Like much of their oeuvre, great to watch, would be pretty good fun to perpetrate, although much less fun for the victim. Has been interesting to see the development from the Japanese game shows of the 70/80s…

    Reminds me of the game PainPong, where a game of table tennis is played to 5 and the loser must take of his shirt, back up to the table while the winner takes a free shot. Leaves fantastic welt marks.

  10. Mad?

  11. S. Baker and a St Kilda team mate used to play that. I know that because on the first day I ever had Foxtel there was a story about them. There was a Fox Footy channel then. I thought, “They get the big stories here.”

  12. Yes JTH, I saw that very Foxtel/St Kilda show and introduced the concept to enliven Saturday night table challenges. Ususally while working up a hangover to appease the surf gods, who graciously provide better quality waves to those who make the sacrifice.

    Do you remember any of their other ‘games’? There were at least three, although I can only remember this one; exercise ball body surfing. Line up 5 or 6 exercise balls in a row, run and, keeping body rigid, roll from one to the next. Hilarious! Especially seeing about 200 grand of football get the 4th ball yanked out from the line and ending up face first in the carpet tiles.

    And this from the club that banned the wearing of thongs for being unsafe…

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