Maybe More

Last hunt of the season.  Public land, too.  We need go about 3/4 mile deep into the primevial hardwood forest in the pitch black dark of night, well ahead of other possible hunters.  Across: an undulating, Mississippi delta topography, wading waist deep cypress sloughs-deeper if you find a hole, and much colder if you stumble on the wrong submerged obstacle.

Crossing: oak-studded ridges to yet another brake.  Listening to the winter woods awaken: a beaver slapping his tail on the water just around the bend, raucously vocal barred owls sounding off their mating season, a few ducks flushing blindly out of our way, a buck's antlers clashing brush as he departs the thicket.

Decoys deployed, we wait.  Watching: silouettes of a few ducks trading, the stars fading, a pair of bluebirds feeding on mistletoe, two black labs exhaling frosty plumes of steam as they also search the brightening sky intently.

Then: a whir of wings, a splash of water as a pair of wood ducks land a few feet away, another pair darting through the tall snags.  Finally: shooting time arrives and a single shot fells the lone greenhead that came in hell-bent on landing in the small hole enshrouded with buck brush.

Other ducks trickle in.  The rest is history.  It beat a day at the office, or anywhere else for that matter, by 3/4 mile.  Maybe more.

Ramsey Russell's GetDucks.com


Hunting Atlantic Eiders and Brant

New England Sea Duck Hunting.  We contacted the Captain in July, checked our calendars and made the necessary travel arrangements, never dreaming it'd be an unseasonably warm 80 degrees in Mississippi while we were hunting near Cape Cod for eiders. The rain and unseasonable warm Massachusetts weather wasn't ideal for eiders, but all things considered it was probably better than blustery single-digit temps, gale force nor-easterly winds and ice-encased everything more common to the area in mid-January. At least for a couple duck hunters from the Deep South.