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Great Shoot on Small Ducks

Small Ducks are Down

Great Shoot on Small Ducks



The weather was not cooperating, and then it took a turn in our favor.  A front moved out of the southwest bringing a lot of moisture.  The wind moved to the north to northeast.  On Monday morning the order of business was north to Tekamah.  There were only two other hunters besides myself and the wind changed from strong to light and variable.

As we walked into the blind, ducks and canadas that had been spending the night jumped up and took off.  We are never able to make it to the blind with the birds on the water.  They always are spooked whenever we get to within 50 yards of them.  It was a good sign and meant that some fresh meat had moved into the area.

After getting the wing ducks set and moving some decoys, we were ready to hunt.  The flocks were small, anywhere from five to fifteen birds per flock.  Even though it was slowly lightening up before sunrise, the silhouettes were easy to make out. The ducks locked up in front of the blind and glided into land.  It was not shooting time and we had to wait. 

As the time approached, off they went.  I can say that I have never seen ducks come into land, and be taken  when shooting time arrives as they come off the water.  The ducks taking off right before shooting time is the norm, in my experience.

After a short pause, shooting time was here. We had ducks everywhere.  At times there were eight to ten different flocks working the blind.  The one person calling was getting exhaused.  Our blind faces straight east on a peninsula.  With the northeast wind they were hooking right over the top of us.  These were not good shots.  We paused several times waiting to fire, only to have them leave the area. 

High up in the sky we could see that migration was taking place, as big flocks of snows moved south.  Our spread is set up for ducks and canadas. Snows in big flocks rarely decoy.  We do get some stragglers periodically.

Good shots came and birds were harvested, but no mallards.  The entire bag for the day was mixed with gadwall and widgeon.  Early, we had several flocks of teal sweep in and fly by us, but not a shot was taken.  They were on us quick and in the dim light were hard to see.  Then they were gone.

We left early, but planned to be in the blind the next day as the frontal weather was moving in.

The following day we had a really good northeast blow, and the forecast was for rain turning to snow.  The morning started off like the previous day, but with a lot more birds in the sky and a lot more hunters.  When it was over by 1 PM, thirty-one ducks had been harvested with 15 shooters in two different pits. 


Deer Hunting Sale at Basspro.com
Orvis Logo  120x60

Each one of these outdoor suppliers are having great sales.  This is a good time to go Christmas shopping and cash in on all the great buys.  You cannot own enough gear.
It will just get better the later it gets.

Good hunting, good fishing and good luck.   Hank

http://www.outdoorswithhank.com/

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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