Last-chance ducks for Minnesota hunters
Too much treestand time and a few too many days spent chasing upland birds have left me thinking about my missed waterfowl opportunities this year. Some of my normally consistent wood duck spots were anything but consistent, and this is by far the worst season I’ve had for waterfowl in years.
That isn’t sitting too well and I find myself looking at the calendar and checking out weather websites frequently. I also find myself staring at the backyard pond each morning, as well as eyeballing the Rum River each time I take the girls to daycare or pick them up. What I’m seeing is a few random mallards, but nothing that leads me to believe there is a big push going on.
Like all years, I know it’s going to happen, but the bigger question, of course, is when? For this father of twin 4-year olds, I not only need some fresh ducks to flap their way into my neighborhood, but also for them to do it when I’ve got enough free time to sit at the water’s edge staring skyward.
It won’t take much to make me happy, in fact a single greenhead hitting the water would just about do it. I don’t need a limit, and more importantly, I have no expectation to experience the falling skies so prominently featured in outdoor media (especially television shows). The heft of a single drake in my hands would do it.
That’s not to say I won’t take a few more if given the chance because I not only like eating ducks, but also I love watching my dog suss out a water retrieve or three. She has gotten in plenty of work this fall for all kinds of birds, just not ducks. And I know Luna, as I am, is ready to remedy that situation and get out there.
Perhaps it will happen, perhaps not. Either way, some morning soon I’ll skip the deer hunting and sneak out long before first light, with an eager black Lab in tow and the thought of cupped wings heavy on my mind. And maybe, just maybe, a few birds making their way down from the far north will pay us a visit on their way through.