Opening day at shooting time.
Last Saturday my alarm went off 3:45am but I was already awake.Â It was the start of duck season in South Dakota and with the number ducks we saw in the area we were going to hunt I could hardly sleep.Â I meet Luke Hagen, the co-author of this blog, at his house and we made the Â½ hour drive east to the flooded corn field we are going to set up in.Â
Through the rain and with a thunderstorm raging to the south we walked soggy field and hauled the 2 dozen mallard floaters, 2 mojo mallards, 2 layout blinds, 12 full body Canadians and 6 shells 1/3 of a mile.Â Soaked with sweat we set up our decoys and blinded up our blinds in preparation for shooting time.
Lying in the blinds exhausted from slogging through the muddy field with several hundred pounds of dead weight one might start to wonder if this is worth it.Â This is a heck of a lot of work very early in the morning.Â Once you hear the slicing of locked up wings through the cold morning air, your heart races and you realize it defiantly was.Â
Even though it was past shooting time we let flock after flock of ducks circle and slowly land into our decoys not 15 yards from where we lay.Â The cloud cover that morning made it difficult to identify ducks so instead of taking a chance on shooting one we didnâ€™t want we waited until the sun had risen a bit more.
After about 15 minutes of teal, pintails and some mallards swarming us and landing practically on Lukeâ€™s blind we decided to take a chance a group of 6 mallards that were coming in.Â We popped up out of the blinds and bang, bang, bang, duck season was on.
That first day we saw over 1000 of ducks in the air and had over 100 come into our decoys.Â Some needed convincing through calling while others were locked up from the moment they saw our decoys.Â We ended with a limit of mallards each along with one pintail and one wigeon.Â
Sunday we went back out again this time inÂ thick fog.Â We limited on ducks again with me shooting my first wood duck, and also go two bonus candian geese that were driven down because of the fog.Â We gave them a few clucks and honks and they came right over.
Â The hunt, as it mostly is, was about more then the number of ducks we bagged (even though we limited out both days).Â It was great just to get out in the field again and to hear the noises and see the sights that go along with an early morning hunt.Â Perhaps the best thing about this hunt was being about to share it with a hunting buddy, this was Luke and my first hunt together but we will have many more together this season. Splitting the work when you are setting up and being able to talk and laugh about the hunt after you are done, makes the experience that much better.Â Â
Luke in the blind
One more in the bag
My first wood duck
Â Luke and I will be sharing hunting and fishing stories along with reviews, and insight throughout the year on this blog but we would also love to hear from you.Â Let us know how you did this weekend in the field, either by commenting on a story or sending us an email with photos of your outdoor adventures and we can post some of the blog.Â Â Â