Abbeville, MS> I was about 14, learning about all kinds of hunting and ready for anything. We had bowhunted on an island in Graham Lake on
Sardis Reservoir that year and when the weather turned cold, the ducks flocked in.
That morning, it was horribly cold as we put the boat in the water and headed up the river with my dad, Hershel Howell. We broke ice most of the way up and he put Paul and I out along a slough that we knew was full of ducks. He moved to a different location to deerhunt.
We broke ice and got ready as the sun came up and had a good shoot that morning. Paul was pretty good with a duck call, and with the wind in our faces and ice forming on our barrels, we managed to take a couple of greenheads apiece and some trash ducks. It was a good and exciting hunt for two young boys.
After the ducks quit flying, the cold started to get to us. In those days we did not have the clothes we have now.Thank goodness, Dad showed up in the nick of time.
He pulled to the bank, got out of the boat and came over to see how our hunt went. He could see both of us shaking with cold and our lips almost blue. He got us moving and made us gather up enough wood for a fire. We stacked it up but I was doubtful there was any way it was ever going to light. After it was ready, he pulled a pint bottle out of his pack. It was Apricot Brandy.
He took a large swallow and handed the bottle to me, telling me it would warm me up.
I stared a second realizing that he was treating me like a man, not a boy.
I turned it up, the liquor went down smooth with the apricot taste and three seconds later set the inside of my whole body on fire. Paul took a big drink too. Dad made sure we held it down, then poured a large amount over the wood as I watched in awe,struck a match to it and Voommm!, the fire sprang up.
Holy mackeral! I just drank that!
We stood around the fire and got warm that morning, sipping the brandy and sharing our hunting adventures as men.
I will never forget my first experience with Apricot Brandy.
Tag duck hunting