Monday, November 23, 2015

Good Times in the Duck Blind

It wasn't a total loss for my group of duck hunters but the action wasn't fast and furious by any means either. However, these guys are awesome dudes and know the drill. Most of them were here for big game and to just hang out with their buddies. The duck hunting was kind of a bonus and they all said they will do it again. Congrats by the way, to Danny on the right as he was able to take his first bull elk. It's definitely a trip he'll never forget.
As you have probably already gotten from the last few blog posts, duck hunting this time of the year is incredibly unpredictable and there are a ton of variables that can make or break the day. The weather has to be right. The birds have to be in the area and the pressure on the river has to be enough to get them moving but yet, not push them out all together. If I could just make a couple suggestions to those guys doing it themselves, trying to get in on the action I'd just say this:
First of all, pick up after yourselves. I know I've said it before but I'm going to say it again. I can't tell you how many times I've set up in an existing blind to find boxes of spent shells littering the ground in and around the blind. I realize it's tough to get them all but please, make an attempt. It's because of trash like this that landowners limit access to their property. Let's not ruin what we have on the Missouri. The access is pretty generous compared to other places so don't "F" it up.  
Second, give each other space and be mindful of setting up on islands where the current is too quick to actually retrieve ducks. Again, there have been so many times in the past where we were set up downstream from hunters that couldn't retrieve their birds and as they floated by, Cutter had to go out and get them. Many times they've been golden eyes, which are nearly inedible so I'm not sure if the guys even tried to retrieve them or if they were shooting at them just to shoot.
The last thing is PLEASE, quit sky blasting at ducks. Yesterday we watched these guys that were set up about 3/4 of a mile away shooting at birds there's no way in hell they were going to touch. After they shot, the ducks left the river and set down on Stickney Creek where nobody has access. Taking shots like that just messes it up for everyone and you're not going to hit them anyway. There's no point unless you like donating money to Federal Premium Ammunition.
There are plenty of places to hunt on the Missouri and if done right, each group can actually make the experience better for everyone if they just have a little common sense. We're not in a competition. We are not adversaries in the outdoors. We are partners.
Keep 'em where they live...

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