Blog Post

This is Almost a Crime

The morning started off at 4 AM and it was the drive up to Tekamah for a day of duck and goose shooting


I almost felt guilty.  The morning started off at 4 AM and it was the drive up to Tekamah for a day of duck and goose shooting.  That is the good news.  The bad news was winds were out of the south forecasted to move to the southwest around 5 - 10 miles per hour.  In addition, temperatures were to be climbing from the middle 40s in the morning to the mid 60s by noon.  Still, it has happened before, and it doesn't always hold true that this type of weather does not produce good waterfowl shooting.  Northerly flow, cold weather, and a spit of precipitation seems to work the best.


There were only three club members and two guests for a total of five hunters.  Fortunately one of the hunters there owned an outstanding yellow lab.  When we did, or if, we got into some birds watching the dog work would be one of the highlights of the day.



Watching a good dog work is one of the highlights of the day.


The lake was empty when we walked in, and that was not a good sign.  At shooting time a small flock of mallards flew overhead and stayed way out of gun range.  They had been there before and a burning bottom was probably well etched in their memory.   Several other small flocks of ducks worked the lake with a couple of passes, but they seemed to get higher as they approached.  The comment was made, "We need some fresh birds and a snowstorm in the Dakotas."


And then it happened.  A flock of low flying Canada geese locked up and began to sail towards the lake.  As they got closer, they re-formed into a V climbed and flew directly overhead.  Another comment was made to the effect that they know this place. Finally a group of about 15 Canadas locked up and sailed into the kill zone coming in from the northeast.  At the edge of the lake they began to pump and started up.  The shot was called and four were dropped.  There was debate about the call on the shot.  Some people felt they were just going around again to set up and drop into the water.  Another opinion was they must not have like what they saw and decided to get the heck out of Dodge.  These Canadas are really big, and they will make a lot of meat for someone.


Sitting there for another two hours was more that my backside could take.  The Big Chicken had a patty melt special and since we had been eating so much healthy game a little fat and chlosterol was to be enjoyed.


Calling my good friend north of Fort Calhoun, I asked for permission to stop on the way home and try out his farm for turkeys.  The week before the Nebraska Deer Season, a spot was found in the afternoon where they were running.  Nebraska is a rifle state, and when the deer hunters are out in force, staying out of the timber is a good rule to follow.


At the farm a quick check in with the owner was done.  Down below the farm house at the bottom of a steep hill runs a small stream.  Two weeks ago it was discovered that the turkeys were coming up from the stream and then moving up the hill to an area that held a lot of oak trees.  This location was where the first one was taken.  Finding a downed tree with multiple branches, I wedged myself into the fallen timber to blend in with the mix.  Sixty+ degree temps and a light wind made for a perfect opportunity for a short nap which turned a little lenghty.  The crunching of fallen leaves woke me up and here they came.  There must have been 30 hens scratching and pecking the ground, and they were not quiet.


Slowly moving the gun to my shoulder a nice big hen was selected from the flock, and at the right moment, ker-plunk, dinner was made available.  This was way way too easy, and the total time invested was not over 90 minutes including the nap.


This was just too easy.


I am limited out on Nebraska Turkeys and now have one more tag to fill for Iowa.  The farm has not been scouted so there needs to be some immediate contact with the landowner to find out where they are running.  


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The Christmas Sales are on.  Now is the time to stock up on all the gear you can afford to buy.  Whatever you do in life, do not let the golfers own more gear.

Good hunting, good fishing, and good luck.  Hank

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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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