On the night before the last day of duck season last year, my friend gave me a call and asked if I would want to go out with him and another friend for one last fling before the season ended. At the time, I had absolutely no experience with duck hunting - my dad had only done it once when he was much younger and didn't care for it much - so I was a little apprehensive about what it would be like. Because I didn't have a duck stamp, I just tagged along for the fun of it. Long story short, it was a blast. In fact, I had never had so much fun hunting in my life. From breaking the thin sheet of ice on the pothole we were hunting in the pitch dark to watching birds work the decoys to picking up the decoys after we all got too cold to be out any longer - it was all so much fun.
This summer I got a job at a local grocery store. As soon as I earned the neccessary funds I went to Cabela's and picked up a pair of waders, a camo fleece sweater, and started counting down the days until the duck season started. My friend, who is also my second cousin, has two absolutely perfect duck ponds only a mile outside of our town. When opening morning rolled around, three of us found ourselves crouching behind a homemade blind made of 2X4's, chicken wire, and covered in marsh grass. That first morning we shot a mixed bag of Green-Wing Teal and mallards. Nearly every weekend after that until the end of the season, we were out hunting.
One thing that caught me off guard this season was when our group shot a pair of snow geese the second weekend. One was pure white, with the other in its blue phase. This was suprising to me because I had never seen any snow geese in our part of Minnesota, let alone in the early fall. I'm really not sure if this was just a rare occurance or I had just never paid any attention previously to what was flying in the sky.
Next September I hope to get in on Minnesota's early September Canada goose season. I have yet to get a shot at a one. We did see quite a few Canada geese this year, but we rarely put any goose decoys out so it was hard to convince them to land in front of us.
When the season ended after Thanksgiving, I started building up my waterfowl arsenal. I bought a dozen Flambeau Storm Front mallards on sale for $25. There are decent decoys for the money, but the paint does chip pretty easily. Later I picked up a box of four Tanglefree mallards on sale for $10. So now I have 16 mallards, but in the future I plan on adding to and switching out some of them out for other species. I bought a cheaper polycarbonate duck and goose call to get myself started with calling and today I picked up a nice jacket for half price at Cabela's. I'm already excited for next season.
I learned so much about duck hunting in general this year, and I must thank my friends who took the time to show me the ropes and take me out with them, even though I had no calling, equipment, or experience to contribute. I essentially just showed up and shot. As we all know, hunting in general has a huge learning curve, and duck hunting is no different. For you experienced waterfowlers, consider taking a Newbie out next season.
Edited by runNgun, 31 December 2011 - 10:08 PM.