2015 has come to an end, and it has been one for the books! From dealing with Mother Nature’s wrath throughout planting season and most of the summer, to opening two new Lodges in Saskatchewan and Kansas, it was a whirlwind…and passed all to quickly.
After planting corn three times this year from flooding in the spring and summer, never touching a bean and still not having much to show for corn, there were a lot of unknowns going into the Missouri Duck Season. We still had plenty of food, especially in the moist soil variety. Our moist soil foods were excellent and the Indian Summer lingered well into October while pumping water, which allowed for more bug and great invertebrate blooms. With mild weather, bugs and moist soil foods are exactly what ducks want.
The weather ended up perfect for us this fall, given the types of food that we had in greatest abundance. It stayed mild for most of the season and we only turned ice eaters on three nights. That said, there were just enough small fronts up north to get a lot of ducks on the move, and they found their home in our area for the vast majority of the season! Mother Nature threw a couple of big floods into the mix at the end of November and mid-December, and although a great deal of maintenance, they were actually blessings and provided some excellent hunting. All in all, the 2015 Duck Season in Missouri ranks right up there as one of the top three overall seasons I have seen. Despite day after day of little to no wind, the hunting was strong in a big variety of different situations and habitats. The memories made this duck season will be hard to top…but we will be working our tails off again in 2016 to ensure Fall ’16 is even better! I hate to see a season like this end, but with a few new farms to develop this off-season, I’m already excited next year.
Our inaugural season in Saskatchewan earlier this fall was fantastic. Our guests enjoyed great hunts in a beautiful and new setting. The spacious lodge, amenities, and great staff made sure the time out of the field was just as memorable as the time spent in it. Big bunches of mallards, Canada geese, Sandhill cranes, and snow geese greeted our guests daily in the endless Saskatchewan sunrise. There is no better place to get the season started than in Canada. With liberal limits and endless opportunities, it is a high volume wingshooting experience for multiple species!
The new Kansas Lodge is off to a great start as well! The Lodge turned out beautifully and the off-season weather was a little more forgiving, providing excellent crops and habitat. Fortunately, the Kansas season runs through January 31st so there is plenty of time left to enjoy what we love so much. Big numbers of mallards in the flooded corn and flooded green timber never get old!
The Year 2015 might be over, but it never really ends. With a month to go in Kansas, then right into Arkansas Snows, then Missouri Snows, then turkey season, Saskatchewan snows, and all the off-season management work that takes place…there is no true “off-season”. We are blessed to literally be able to do something we love to do year round. The management work when hunting season isn’t open ensures great hunting and is almost as much fun as the actual hunt.
I would like to thank all of our guests who make this possible and all of our staff who work so hard to provide great experiences, both in the Lodges and in the field. We are lucky to have such great guests who become friends through the years of hunting with us. Our guests and staff are all like one big family, and for that we are very fortunate. I wish you all a very healthy and prosperous New Year, and thank you for the countless smiles and memories made in 2015!