Lots of ducks and a few deer

Lots of ducks and a few deer

Posted: Friday, December 21, 2012 12:00 pm

By JOSH GOWAN
Special to the Press
Another warm, wet weekend in the heartland afforded some opportunity for those willing to brave the mid-60 degree temps. The wind did howl intermittently and gave the hardcore fishermen some headaches, but there was still plenty of tasty wildlife to harvest and catch if so inclined, and I was.
I managed to find my way out to the duck blind Sunday morning, with my son and stepbrother in tow, and do a little bird watching. This was my son’s first time in a duck blind, and he had a blast. My buddy, Joey Priggel, was heading north for the weekend to muzzleload hunt and let me babysit his blind for him. The big box blind was brushed in well and sat in the middle of a flooded corn field with an array of decoys. The geese were deafening from the moment we got in the blind, and the excitement was evident on my son’s face. He wasn’t wielding a shotgun, but instead a less lethal, but easier to handle, Red Rider BB gun
Once the light broke across the vast flatland that makes up the Missouri Bootheel, there were geese flying everywhere. They had no intention of coming down from the atmosphere for a shot, but they were fun to watch while we waited for ducks. Around 8 a.m. the ducks began to fly in steadily. They’d come over, pause for a look, and then fly on. I threw every call in the book at them, and nothing seemed to work. We watched thousands of ducks fly over, and even more geese, and had a great time. I was asked why a seasoned outdoorsman like myself saw that many ducks and didn’t kill any, so I formulated a few reasons (not to be confused with excuses).
1. Someone stole a wing off of my Mojo (battery operated wing-flappin’ decoy for those not in the know). It is very difficult to convince a duck to work over a one-winged flapper.
2. Joey’s decoys were too nice. The ducks were flying over and looking down at these colorful, athletic, life-like mallard and pintail decoys and probably expecting a corresponding call from them, but I’m only practiced in speaking for my decoys, which come in two styles, brown or gray.
3. The ducks were “fresh off the bus” from up north, and still quacked like a yankee, therefore my rich, southern, gray or brown duck calling was hard for them to understand.
4. Probably the main reason, the barometric pressure. I’m not sure what it was doing, but as an outdoorsman, I know without a shadow of a doubt that when I have a rare, unsuccessful trip afield (or awater) it’s probably due to the barometric pressure. Oddly enough, I’ve never heard of anyone contributing the success of a great day to the old barometer. Published in The WCP 12.20.12

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