Archive for duck

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

Man Arrested with Live Wild Goose in SUV

A Chicago man was concerned, to say the least, when he saw an SUV in a parking lot with a live wild goose locked in the back. So he called police, who later arrested Angel Bautista-Perez, 29, on charges of animal cruelty and possession of a migratory bird.

December 07, 2012

Fight Invasive Species: Wash Your Duck Dog

Here's a photo of me doing my best, apparently, to prevent the spread of invasive species. You see, the non-profit conservation group Wildlife Forever (WF) has launched a campaign encouraging duck hunters to wash their dogs, lest our furry mutts spread invasive aquatic species such as the dreaded zebra mussel. WF also advises proper cleaning of waders, decoys and boats prior to transportation using the "clean, drain, dry" technique.

November 30, 2012

2012's Best Duck and Dog Pumpkin Carvings

Ducks Unlimited held a DU logo pumpkin carving contest for Halloween and the results were, well, amazing.

November 02, 2012

Meet a German Shepherd Duck Dog

Eastern Shore market hunters loved the Chesapeake Bay retriever. The new breed fetched ducks all day and guarded the boat all night—just what these men needed. But perhaps they overlooked a dog that would've been even better suited to those dual roles: the German shepherd.

October 10, 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

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

What's in Your Blind Bag?

An all-important question was posed a couple days ago over on the Final Approach Facebook page: Besides shotgun shells, what do you feel is the most important piece of equipment in your blind bag? Here are some of my favorite answers:

September 10, 2012

How to Call Ducks with Just Your Vocal Cords

Who needs a duck call to call ducks? The video below posted by Delta Waterfowl is one of the most impressive things I've ever seen. Leland Davis demonstrates how to call ducks using just his hands and vocal cords, and he's so darn good that you barely notice how much he's spitting all over himself.

August 06, 2012

USFWS Proposes Most Generous Duck Limit in Years

There was a lot of speculation on whether the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) would increase the scaup limit, and now that the official proposed framework has been released--WOW--the news is better than anyone imagined.

August 02, 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

Happy Duck Stamp Day

Federal duck stamps go on sale today and, while competition for the winning artwork is always fierce, I think Joe Hautman's woodie drake is as pretty as they come. Therefore there's no better year than this to join a growing waterfowl conservation tradition: buying not just one, but two duck stamps. I like to frame one stamp, and tuck my signed stamp (the one I hunted with) inside my duck journal as a memento. It also never hurts to keep an extra duck stamp handy in case an infrequent waterfowl hunter suddenly wants to join you. Duck stamps often aren't as available as they ought to be, after all.

June 29, 2012