The past duck hunting season was one of the best ones I can remember. It wasn't the amount ducks we shot which made it good, personally that doesn't matter, but the number of times we were able to get out. As far as hunting goes, it is top of the list for me personally. We are fortunate to be an a location we can go out if the conditions are good and if we only have 45min to a hour, typically the best time to hunt anyways. If the kids miss first hour, we can call and say they were hunting and be excused instead of making up an excuse! Also, the weather this fall has made it very nice to be out. Maybe too nice for duck hunting but the days the wind was right, a northwest flow, cloudy and some weather (rain or even a little bit of snow), it was pretty good. The favorite part I like is paddling out in the dark, setting up in the blind and watching the sun rise over the horizon. We had many different combinations this fall of hunters, from friends to family and was good to see all four boys get out at some point.
The first morning I got out was the coldest to start out fall. The moon was setting to the right as the sun was rising to the east. Usually the winter months when I am grooming I enjoying this nature occurrence.
Fog rising from the lake from the cool morning. The temp actually dropped, which is typical, as the sun cracked the horizon.
Heading back in through the fog.
The low areas were free of frost when we left but the trademark dip at dawn with clear skies set a coating of frost on the low lying areas.
Taking a photo of ducks inside the kitchen breaks code but these pair of wood ducks were unique. Jens and his friend Reed with a pair of woodies from the morning hunt.
One of them had a band. Ever time we are out, my dad asks if there were every any banded birds. He was pretty excited and even more so after he logged in the number online.
When I was Jens age, if we shot a banded bird, we would mail in the band. Now you go online and record the number than they send you a pdf to print off. All good. Pretty interesting the duck was banded in Hampshire County, Mass. Probably migrated south for the winter, hooked up with some Midwest birds and decided to go back north with them.
The boys like to eat duck. Myself included. We immediately clean the ducks when we return and freeze them. Usually we save a few for consumption for lunch or that evening.
I've got a few different ways to cook them, this time just a simple pan fry with some seasonings for a quick lunch.
Nice variety one morning during MEA. Jens and his friends got out every morning except once.
Drew and Jens with a ruffed grouse after duck hunting earlier.
View from the lake towards the blind.
Included in were two beautiful red heads. One of the neat things about duck hunting is the variety of waterfowl species.
Whatever color meat you want to call it, doesn't get much better.
Paddling back in.
What a great season!