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In July 2011, Ramsey Russell GetDucks.com proudly became Life Sponsor with Ducks Unlimited.  Ducks Unlimited Life Sponsorship requires a minimum $10,000 commitment to wetland habitat and waterfowl conservation.  Says Russell, "It's a way of giving back to a tradition that has given to me since I was 12 years old; a way for me to personally ensure that my children and theirs can continue to enjoy waterfowl hunting as have I."  Learn more about becoming a Ducks Unlimited Life Sponsor.  Ducks Unlimited is the world leader in wetlands & waterfowl conservation - filling the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. Join Ducks Unlimited today.

Ramsey Russell's GetDucks.com

The Lifeblood of Tradition

Like most of life's best moments, my youngest son, the middle child, posed a big question out of the blue: is there anywhere in the world left to discover, places that no one has ever been?  If so, it was plainly evident by his earnest demeanor, he intended soon to explore and to discover them, barefoot of course, with nothing but his trusty, iron-sighted air rifle slung over his shoulders and a pocket full of loose pellets so that they didn't noisily rattle in the canister like they would, later and inevitably upon his much celebrated return, clatter in his Mother's ill-fated dryer.

A thousand images of a young adventurous boy probing the wildest and most impenetrable corners of the world overwhelmed me.  Before I could speak he continued with the fascinating depiction of discovery and fame that only a young boy with a trusty pellet rifle can conjure.  Good stuff.  I smiled and soaked it in. As it grew quiet except for the hum of all-terrain tires over asphalt, I sensed he awaited an answer. It's a big world full of dark woods and long rivers, I told him, but whether someone's been there before, or even if it's smack in the middle of the world's third-largest city, I shared, it's our true selves that is the most enduring discovery.  Unimpressed, the conversation abruptly turned to the downrange trajectory of flat versus conical pellet types.


Ursa Major

Bear hunting. I like it. I think I would especially liked it in Mississippi nearly 150 years ago before the railroad companies penetrated the virgin deciduous hardwood forests, as described by Faulkner, that rivaled the Amazonian rain forest. Early Delta settler, Bobo, reputedly shot more than 300 bears during a single season back in those days, and his dogs went on to become the most legendary lion dogs in Africa. I've got the manuscript about a gentleman, as written by his grand nieces, whose father never kept count of the deer and bears killed near Tutwiler, but knew for fact he'd killed 19 panthers over the years. Holt Collier, of Teddy Roosevelt bear-guide fame, was an expert bear hunter that ironically made an above-average living selling bear meat to the rail road to feed their labor. Bear was more profitable than venison because bears weigh more than deer.

I'll tell you a bear story many haven't heard. My dad, who never really had much, called me as I was nearing college graduation, and offered to throw in on a hunt if there was one to be had. I booked a Saskatchewan bear hunt. Had always wanted to hunt one and it's a comparably cheap big game hunt.

I traveled way, way up into northwestern Saskatchewan, deep into the boreal forest.