FORT COBB LAKE — Life is about attitude.
That was certainly worth remembering on a duck hunt at Fort Cobb Lake Wednesday morning where not a single gunshot was fired.
But that didn't matter for two duck hunters from Oklahoma City, both in their mid-70s, who were happy to be in a duck blind even though no ducks were flying.
For Roger Stephens, 74, Wednesday was his first chance to go duck hunting this season after undergoing surgery and chemotherapy for colon cancer.
The cancer already had robbed Stephens of the dove season, so he wasn't about to let it steal the duck season, too. He was going to go duck hunting at least once before the season ends next Sunday.
“I missed dove season this year for the first time ever,” Stephens said. “I am big on the doves and big on the waterfowl.”
Stephens, who retired as a sales manager from Browning, has been a duck hunter for more than 40 years and still loves everything about it, except getting up at the crack of dawn.
“At my age, it's good that I don't have to get up that early in the morning,” he said.
The hunter Stephens shared a blind with Wednesday morning didn't have as much duck hunting experience. Terry Mock, 75, was introduced to the sport just three years ago by some friends who wanted his help in designing and building a duck blind.
They asked Mock, even though he was not a duck hunter and had never even seen a duck blind, because he once was commander of civil engineers for the Air Force Reserves.
Mock gladly offered his expertise, and his friends then felt obligated to invite him along, he said.
Neither Mock nor Stephens knew each other before Wednesday. They have a mutual friend in Roy Loris of Jenks, an avid waterfowler and former Oklahoma City resident who served as the guide for Wednesday's duck hunt.
“I am not that terrific of a shot,” Mock said. “Honestly, I kind of hate to shoot them, they are so beautiful. I just like to get out and enjoy the outdoors.”
While the morning didn't provide any opportunities for blasting ducks from the sky, it did provide plenty of time for swapping stories. Mock and Stephens were so busy telling tales, that if a duck had flown by they might not have seen it.
Both are Air Force men. Stephens, an enlisted man who served four years, and Mock, a career man who was primarily a navigator.
The two struck up a friendship, and as they left the hunting blind together that morning, they exchanged phone numbers and were planning a spring fishing trip together.
“I can say I went waterfowl hunting today,” said Stephens, who is still bouncing back from the chemotherapy treatments. “I didn't do any good, but at least I was there. As you age and your health sometimes bothers you, those are positive things.
“We had a really good hunt. The only thing short was the shooting.”
Like I said, life is about attitude.