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Duck hunting

Youth Duck Hunting Weekend 2011

He’s at least a foot taller since I last saw him. Reclined in the passenger seat. Camo from head to toe. Passed out cold. My brother and I greeted Karin before she woke him up with a motherly tone. He was up by the time I walked out of 7-11 with essentials for the hunt. The usual staples donuts, water and coffee. Hunter loaded up his stuff including his black lab pup Abby. This was her first hunt on Lake St. Clair. And Hunter’s second.

Our hunt last year wasn’t exactly an easy one. Hunter only shot once but dropped his first ringneck. It took me a hilariously long 20 minutes to back-down the trailer and load the boat. A story Hunter was quick to share as we pulled into the boat launch at 5:15 am. I assured him things would go smoother this trip. Smart-assness is a quality that can’t be taught. And it’s a prerequisite in my duck boat.

Three guys, two dogs, 50 decoys and 2 mojos. Check. We cut through the darkness and knee deep water until we found a good spot. With the wind in our face we set a pod of diver blocks to the right and a pod of puddlers to the left. We left Hunter stationed in the reeds as legal shooting time set-off the alarm on my cell phone.

Dawn breaks in the duck marshIt didn’t take long. While my brother and I camo’d up the boat a lone drake mallard was introduced to Hunter’s brand new Remington 870.

Shooting in Little Muscamoot bay pushed ducks our way.  Flocks of birds, confused and anxious, settled safely into the weeds between groups of hunters. The wood ducks were really talkative and in bigger numbers in the bay than I recall. Hunter didn’t pull the trigger a lot in that first hour but at least there was constant duck action to keep him interested.

Hunting labs waiting for birdsA break in the action. I left my brother with the dogs and snuk up to Hunter’s blind with a bag of donuts. I figured a kid who grows an inch per month must be hungry by now. We talked about his upcoming hunting trip to Saskatchewan with his cousin. We talked about school. His pup. His new duck call. His shotgun. Each question answered like an adult. Only slightly muffled by mouthfuls of a giant cinnamon roll.

A few flocks worked closer and closer to the spread. I was retreating to the boat when movement low on the water caught my attention.  I grabbed my call. A few low notes then a rolling feed chuckle. Three bluebills banked right and set their wings set. Eyes locked onto the diver decoys sitting just yards in front of Hunter. The first shot dropped a drake. Then the unmistakable sound of an 870 racking the next round. The second shot hit nothing but air. The third shot cleaned up a double. Zeus and Abby went to work.

Abby, Zeus and Hunter sitting on the boatNothing but smiles and high-fives all around as Hunter hauled his double back to the boat. Another first for the sharp shooting kid on Lake St. Clair.

Three ducks ain't bad at all

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Discussion

6 thoughts on “Youth Duck Hunting Weekend 2011

  1. that looks like fun… I would get into duck hunting but my wife would kill me…

    Posted by greg shadley | September 29, 2011, 2:48 am
    • Brother I can’t lie. Duck hunting is expensive. But there’s no bigger rush for me than calling them in and watching those wings lock up. Plus working the dog is awesome. Maybe we should join forces for a hunt. All you need is waders and a 12 gauge. Trust me. I’ve got everything else.

      Posted by Pete from HuntDucksHookFish.com | September 29, 2011, 2:55 pm
      • I definitely would be interested in that but don’t know if I have the time with fishing and deer hunting… when does the season go to?

        We should definitely do some icefishing together on LSC this winter.

        Posted by greg shadley | October 9, 2011, 11:55 pm
      • Duck season ends in the middle of Dec. The best hunting is late oct-early nov. Right when the rut is peaking for you fur chasing deer hunters. Or at least what I’m told.

        I’ll see you on the ice for sure!

        Posted by Pete from HuntDucksHookFish.com | October 10, 2011, 2:10 pm
  2. Have fun, be careful out there… Today is the 25th anniversary of my brother’s death, he died on Muscamoot Bay duck hunting… They got caught in a squall and the boat capsized… Heard tell he bagged a 10 pointer or some really beautiful duck that day before the mishap that claimed his life. These pictures remind me of him so much.
    Just be careful out there and do not test fates with inclement weather. The Great Lakes deserve respect.
    God Bless the Michigan Sportsmen.
    Love You Kevin.
    Your little sister
    kimmy

    Posted by kimmy williams | November 18, 2011, 11:53 pm

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