Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Late Season Duck Hunting Brings Mixed Bag

Chad Beard and Diva, with Lawton and Marian Huggins
Retrievers are essential 
Dog trainer Chad Beard from Docheno Kennels and I put out our decoys in a semi circular spread in front of the blind, with a motion decoy right in the middle. Our hunt partners Lawton Huggins and his daughter Marian gave decoy placement directions from the blind in the dark of night, and we all felt the anticipation of their father-daughter duck hunt. Daylight always comes quickly despite all the preparations to be ready, so we scurried into the blind and loaded our shotguns.
Ladies First! When legal shooting time arrived a big duck passed by the far end of the blind where Marian was stationed, and she aimed her Browning humpback shotgun and dropped it like a stone with one shot. Everyone in the duck blind can gain confidence when a good shot is made to start the morning. Her father was next to strike, aiming his 20-gauge over and under at a passing duck which splashed down behind the blind. I’m not sure which gun fired the most shells between father and daughter, but I do know that when shotgun shells became depleted, Lawton pledged his remaining ‘poppers’ to Marian’s gun.

Lesser scaup and ringnecks
A Father Daughter Waterfowl Hunt Begins
Beard sent his yellow Labrador named Diva out early and often to fetch up all our ducks, a workday that this young lab made look easy. All four guns in our blind would end up finding success in downing a limit of ducks, and Diva worked flawlessly as Beard directed here via whistle commands and hand signals. Dog work is important to duck hunters in order to ensure that each downed duck is claimed, especially when a surprise duck like a lesser scaup makes your mixed bag that much more special. 

To view the entire feature article in the newspaper click on Colletonian.

To view past blog entries about late season duck hunting click on Filming Migration Nation TV Show - 2015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009


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