Hunting Stories, Tips, and Tricks RSS
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...
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...