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The Duck Hunting Starts Now

Back from a three week trip, heading to the duck blind was at the top of the agenda

 

Back from a three week trip, heading to the duck blind was at the top of the agenda.  Scouting out the ground north of Fort Calhoun for turkeys was second.  The report for opening day and the week that followed was outstanding.  A good shoot took place on the first day and the next five days that followed.  Weather was cool with a northerly flow.  That makes for good duck hunting.

Arriving at the Big Chicken for breakfast on Monday, there were only myself and two other hunters.  That was okay, and off we went to the blind.  The weather was balmy with a southerly flow as we arrived at the blind in the dark.  No ducks were on the water.  That was not a good sign.  As it slowly got light, the action started and we had some gadwall work us.  One dropped out of the group of six, and he was dispatched.  As it got lighter the wind went down and by 8 AM, it looked like the action was all over.

Staying till 11 AM was the plan as we generally get some Canada shooting around 10 to 11 AM.  It did not happen this morning and I left by 11:30 and headed to Fort Calhoun to scout for turkeys.

Looking towards the northeast out of the blind.  This is a bluebird day.

The next day, I was at the Big Chicken for breakfast and only two other hunters showed up.  The weather was stable and the southerly flow prevailed.  Into the blind ten minutes before shooting time we were loaded and ready to go.

By shooting time several groups of pintails worked us.  This was amazing.  The first of November and we were seeing pintails.  What was more amazing were the large flocks of pelicans migrating.  They were really late, and it was unusual to see these birds this time of the year.  They generally go through earlier.

Three pintails flew in low over the blind and headed east.  Then they hooked and flew into the wind, locking up and sailing toward the decoys.  One dropped low and he went to the freezer.  We did not wait for the other two.

 

Looking straight east from the blind.  Behind us is more water and Canada decoys have been place there.

By 11 AM it was over.  We folded our tents and left.  The forecast for the next day was nasty with winds from the north along with snow and rain.

I did not make the nasty day due to commitments, but the shooting was outstanding as reported.  The weather was horrible as predicted.  This was just perfect for ducks and geese.  The club had an outstanding shoot with over ten members at the site and 40 birds harvested.  They were migrators moving with and ahead of the stormy weather and dropped into the lake.  Due to dry conditions, all the wetlands north of Tekamah are dry, and the lake is the only open water around.  Farther south is a commercial hunting spot and they have open water, but ours is an island of water as they come south.

The following day was like the first two.  There was good northerly flow, but the day turned into a cloudless sky.  There was no shooting.

Things will continue to get better.

 

The sales are on at the hunting and fishing stores.  This is an excellent time to purchase your favorite item at a good price.  You cannot own enough gear.


Deer Hunting Sale at Basspro.com
Gander Logo Orvis Logo  120x60

 

Good hunting, good fishing, and good luck.  Hank

 

More Stories By Hank Huntington

Hank Huntington, Esq., is a native of southwest Iowa, healthcare professional, entrepreneur, accomplished pilot, hunting and fishing enthusiast, connoisseur, father and husband. He developed this web site for people to share their fun and excitement about the great outdoors. The best part of this hobby is, after a successful hunting or fishing trip, you are able to dine on fresh game or fish, after all, “ How do you eat a golf ball?” asks Hank. Hanks father and grandfather were both avid outdoorsmen so Hank learned his hunting and fishing skills from them and has passed the tradition down to the fourth generation. Plus the love of the outdoors, and a craving for exquisite dinning, would round out the package.

As a small boy, he fished a local oxbow lake formed by the Missouri River. The lake is primarily old river bottom mud, is not real clear, and has a lot of vegetation. The southeast corner holds a huge lily pad bed, and it was there Hank learned to drag through the water and across the tops of the pads, a Johnson Silver Minnow, with a pork rind attached. This was the place for big mouth bass, and there were lots of them, and young Hank loved to catch them.

At age of 12 Hank started going with his Dad hunting, and by age 14 he was an accomplished shooter with a 12-gauge pump. Shortly after that he was given his first shotgun a Winchester Model 12 pump; he still has it today. It looks like almost new, but the gun is never to be hunted again. Duck hunting in the late 50’s had little pressure after the first two weeks of the season, and when the north wind blew and it got really damp and cold, the big Canada Mallards came.

After graduation from high school, Hank attended Midland College in Fremont, Nebraska. There he met a fellow outdoorsman, and their friendship developed in the fields and streams of central Nebraska.

Hank had little time for hunting and fishing while attending professional school at Creighton University. After graduation he married his college sweetheart and they settled down to career, family, and as often as possible, hunting and fishing.

Hank and his family frequently flew their plane north to Canada to the legendary Canadian fly in lodges to fish for Northern and Walleye. Here he taught his son all the things his father had taught him about fishing. Most of the time the two went alone to the north woods, but when camping was not involved, his wife Pam went along. She always enjoys the fact that she has caught a bigger Northern Pike than Hank, and he has been fishing for 60 years. Today along the Missouri River valley, the deer population increased to the point that in many areas they are a nuisance. The duck, goose, and turkey has also population have also soared.

Area lakes have been well stocked. Many even have a walleye stocking program that makes outstanding fishing. Several are within easy driving distance of Hank’s lodge-like lakeside home. All packaged together is great dining. By the way, Hank harvests only what he will share at a table with family or friends.

Hank says, “Whenever I am on a lake, in the woods, or in the blind, I am always reminded of God’s great bounty and His constant presence. And whether in the great outdoors or at home with my wife, I strive to be a good steward of nature and all that God has given us.”

Good hunting! Good fishing! Good day!

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