Archive for duck hunting

How to Enjoy Every Duck

Our society often puts emphasis on the idea that more is better. I don't believe that to be so, especially not as it relates to duck hunting. I'll cut to the chase: Those who think a limit of ducks is what our sport's all about are setting themselves up for failure. For one thing, it's not a reasonable goal in most regions, but most of all it blocks one's ability to appreciate and enjoy every duck bagged.

December 19, 2012

What Happened to this Mallard?

My friends and I had a pretty good duck hunt last week, and all returned home with fat mallards to eat. However, as I was preparing to pluck one of the birds, I noticed something odd: Its left foot had a split running through a digit and extending partially into the webbing. At first I thought the injury had resulted from our shooting that morning, but closer examination revealed it to be an old, healed wound. Here's a photo:

December 15, 2012

2012 Duck Stamp Winner Announced

Here's the duck stamp you'll tuck in your wallet for the 2013-2014 season. Robert Steiner of San Francisco, Calif., painted this rather stunning acrylic rendition of a common goldeneye. It's available June 2013 at your local post office or—thank goodness I can finally write this—online. A Steiner painting was previously selected for the 1998-1999 stamp, which featured a Barrow's goldeneye.

October 08, 2012

Winchester Giving Away "Blind Side Dream Hunt"

One Grand Prize winner will receive a Maryland Sea Duck hunt with Winchester's champion caller Sean Mann.

September 19, 2012

Video: Fried Mallard Sandwiches

There's a chance that somehow, somewhere there's a duck hunter who doesn't eat sandwiches. I know, it's hard to believe given that sandwich eating is practically part of waterfowling culture. However, our fraternity is of substantial size; it's bound to have a few weirdos.

September 17, 2012

Southbound Teal

The arrival of September means a lot of things, not the least of which is the opening of teal season. Are you ready?

August 15, 2012

Will We Get a Four-Bluebill Limit for 2012-2013?

Any day now the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is expected to release the most highly anticipated waterfowl season framework in years. Why the added attention? There is rumor and speculation that the limit on scaup will increase to four ducks in all flyways except the Pacific, which may jump to a whopping five-scaup limit (some say the Central Flyway also has a shot at the five-duck limit—who knows, it's all conjecture at this point).

July 27, 2012

Hunting Sunburned Ducks

When the weather is more suited to sunbathing than waterfowling, hunters must adapt or get burned.

July 26, 2012

Video: Mallard Duckling Hatches from Egg

Delta Waterfowl researchers captured the extraordinary video below of a mallard duckling's first moments of life. The video was shot while performing nest checks near the group's Minnedosa, Manitoba, research station. What a cool stroke of luck.

July 20, 2012

Meet RoboDuck: Duck's Bill Repaired with Wire Mesh

The injury was horrific—when the mallard was rescued by a local New Zealand SPCA, the lower half of its bill was completely torn off and broken, leaving its tongue dangling through a hole under its chin.

July 19, 2012

Duck Populations Hit All-Time High

We duck hunters are prone to irrational optimism. How else do you explain a group of people who can spend an entire day freezing our butts off in windy, pounding surf for just a duck or two (if we're lucky), only to go home, convince ourselves tomorrow will be better, and do it all over again? All we need is the slightest indication the duck hunting may improve.

July 10, 2012

Video: Woodie Ducklings Jump From the Nest

California Waterfowl board member and long-time volunteer Jay Goble shot this tremendous video of wood ducklings (or is it wood duck ducklings?) plopping from their nest for the first time. I don't normally use the word "cute," but friends, this is one cute video.

June 22, 2012

Ducks Unlimited Studying Sea Duck Decline

The curious thing about sea ducks is that there are 15 different kinds—constituting 42-percent of all North American species—and yet we know so little about them. Their habitat, in particular their breeding areas, do not lend themselves to study. And, for similar reasons, their population estimates are not considered as accurate, nor are they available across as large a breadth of years as those of divers and dabblers. Perhaps the limited opportunities to hunt them also plays a role in the lack of research. Far more hunters have access to good mallard hunting, for instance, and hunters' dollars drive a vast amount (if not the majority) of waterfowl research.

June 07, 2012

Pro Bird Chaser: Salary $76,000

A good friend of mine is fond of saying, "I may not get a bird every time my dog and I go out, but I sure as heck move a few!"

May 25, 2012

Waterfowler Numbers Take a Dive

Recent trends indicate that waterfowlers are ditching their duck blinds for deer stands.

April 30, 2012