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Split River Outdoors -

When searching for opportunities to successfully hunt waterfowl, it’s often necessary to adapt in order to overcome obstacles. Every die hard ‘fowler’ has developed strategies to circumvent challenges, because it’s necessary when chasing weary, migratory birds. One such strategy that we employ, we call a “boat float.” We load our gear onto a 12 foot jon boat, and with paddles in hand we ventured out in search of birds hiding in inaccessible locations.

This past weekend we did just that. I met with my friend Marshal at 4:30 a.m. and we drove our vehicles to an area in western Colorado that we have floated many times. We dropped my truck off at the location where we would pull out of the river, and drove his truck to the location that we would put in.

As we were getting ready Marshal noticed that a mouse had chewed a golf ball sized hole in his waders. It was his first time out this year, so he had just pulled his waders out for the first time. It’s not something you want to see, but we weren’t going to let something like that ruin our day. So we pulled our waders on, layered up, pulled the boat out of truck and placed it in the river.


We’ve done these floats many times throughout the years and most of the time all goes well. There’s always an element of danger involved, and that’s what makes it unique and exciting to us...

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Split River Outdoors -

I can’t necessarily say that I love every aspect of winter. I hate waiting for my windows to defrost. I hate when my hands, nose, and ears burn from the bitter cold. I really hate driving alongside the geniuses that underestimate the danger of icy or snow packed roads. However, I do find myself waiting the entire year for ponds and lakes to freeze. I can’t wait for massive winter storms to pass through. I want North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Montana and all other states north of me to be buried in snow, but just enough so that the birds migrate south.

When winter arrives, ducks and geese come with it. When the lakes and ponds freeze, ducks and geese head to the river; and that’s our home away from home, mid-November to late January. Now when I’m talking about winter, I’m not talking about the winter solstice. Yes, that dictates when winter begins according to the calendar. I’m however talking about winter weather: below freezing, cold winds, snow, and ice. That stuff that reminds you that you should have bought merino wool base layers and a bigger coat. That’s what sends the birds our way and that’s the kind of weather that good stories are made of.

We pride ourselves on our willingness to deal with the most uncomfortable of situations. We’ll forgo sleep and leave in the middle of the night to go set up and sleep on the riverside at 2 a.m. when we have to...

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Split River Outdoors -

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and I’m not talking about Christmas. It’s waterfowl season! Regular season waterfowl hunting begins in early November here in Colorado, but since we spend much of early November chasing deer and elk, tomorrow marks our waterfowl opener! There is an early goose and early duck season that act as teasers, allowing us to knock the dust off the guns and gear. However, tomorrow is what really kicks off the most grueling two and a half months of the year. It’s time to rummage through the drawers, closets, and storage units. It’s time to pull out the merino, the camo, the ammo, and the duck calls. We’ll give the guns a thorough cleaning, make sure the decoys are rigged, and from now until the end of January, we’ll set our Friday and Saturday night alarms for four, three, or two in the morning. No more sleeping in on the weekends. It will wear on us and we’ll have moments when we laugh at the absurdity of what we choose to do...

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Split River Outdoors -

And another tag gone unfilled, but.... It was one of the best seasons I've experienced. Deer daily, new areas discovered, units explored, and I had opportunities that just didn't work out for one reason or another. It can be frustrating leaving empty handed, but I didn't feel unsuccessful. Every move I made seemed to result in everything I was after, just failed to find a comfortable, ethical, or safe situation to pull the trigger...

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Split River Outdoors -

As hunters, we recognize that some hunts will end without a bang. Some hunts are even likely to include stories of missed shots and squandered opportunities. It Happens! The weather, the moon, other hunters, and countless other variables can negatively impact a hunt and leave the most confident hunters scratching their heads. You just can’t allow these variables to negatively impact your experience! Preparation and know-how can increase your chances, but location, timing, and luck play a tremendous role during a hunt. It’s important to hunt for the right reasons or you’ll become discouraged...

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