Excerpted from the Martha’s Vineyard Magazine by Nelson Bryant, who died Jan. 11.

My waterfowling adventures have taken me as far north as James Bay, Ontario, where I shot snow geese coming in over vast mudflats as the tide rolled in nearly as fast as a man could walk, and as far south as the Yucatan, where, crouched in a makeshift blind in the mangroves, I had trouble convincing my Mayan guide that I wasn’t going to shoot at any of the teal hurtling past until it got light enough for me to see them clearly.

I have huddled on the windswept, spray-drenched rocks of Connecticut’s Thimble Islands in below-freezing cold with the late Bud Beckley of Brandford, Conn., waiting for blue-bills to come to our enormous spread of decoys — more than one hundred — and I have lain on my back in an anchored, wave-tossed sneakbox on Long Island Sound, wondering if when the birds did come I would be able to hit them.

On the Vineyard, I have shot Canada geese from hay bale blinds in pastures and have knelt in a thicket of Rosa rugosa on Chappaquiddick as flights of scoters and eiders — and once in a while a pair of brant — came in from the ocean over Cape Pogue Pond.

Now, at eighty-one, I have only an occasional urge to go far afield in the quest of ducks, and am usually content with occasional visits during the hunting season to Town Cove, where waterfowling began for me seventy years ago. I don’t abuse the spot, don’t hammer it every day throughout the season. I regard the marsh, the cove, and Mill Brook that enters it with reverence. My trips there are like re-reading a favorite poem. I never tire of the place, even if no birds are flying, and I am deeply grateful to the various owners of the property who have allowed me to hunt there over the years: Etta Luce; her nephew, Arthur Doane; and, presently, Arthur and Mary Doane’s children, Richard and Robert Doane, and their sister, Muriel Bye.

On occasion, I go there alone, but most of the time my youngest son, Jeff — who loves the spot as much as I do — is with me. In a typical year, we take less than three dozen mallards, plus an occasional Canada goose, from the spot.

My son and I have a relaxed ritual when shooting from the same blind. For starters, I shoot left-handed and Jeff shoots right-handed, so he takes the birds on his side and I take those on my side. On lone birds coming up the middle, we take turns.

Our blinds are surrounded by dense, swampy thickets, so we often pass up shots when we know, even if the ducks are cleanly killed, that we might be unable to find them. Having no dog, we want to drop them in the water, the marsh or at the water’s edge.

In short, we are relaxed, sometimes so relaxed or absorbed in talk — duck blinds are superb places for first-rate conversation — that occasional birds slip by. Other opportunities are sometimes missed because we have become engrossed in watching otters and muskrats, or a great blue heron wading and fishing.

The waterfowl we do bring home are prepared for the table with care, gratitude and delight. My companion, Ruth Kirchmeier, and I have wild duck for dinner on Christmas Eve, and Jeff and his youngest son, Sam, join us for a roast-duck or roast-goose feast at the beginning of the New Year.