Into the Green
Duck Season 2012 is underway and rolling!! Opening Day at Habitat Flats on October 27th was a highly anticipated one after months on end of grueling summer preparations. As always, there’s not enough hours in the day as the season opener looms ahead…but we pulled together and got the last details nailed out. I get asked a lot about my typical day during season. Long story short, I hunt with my clients from around the country every morning, and if I’m not taking out more clients in the afternoon, you can find me in the blind with the rest of my guides buddy hunting in the PM. It’s a fulltime job, but I wouldn’t ask for any other life. As co-owner of Habitat Flats and fulltime manager on-site, we’re constantly moving!!!
A good cold front the week before the opener brought plenty of fresh ducks that made for memorable hunting from the get-go. Fast paced, mixed bag hunts consisting of mallards, pintails, gadwalls, wigeons, teal, and woodducks, among others, were the rule rather than the exception the first week of season. Young and old dogs, new and old friends…there is nothing sweeter than listening to the whistling wings overhead after a long, hot summer! I’ve had the good fortune to host 3 different outdoor writers, as well as a couple television shows and our own camera crews. Luckily for us, the memories we make out there are well-recorded!
A strong cold front brought falling temps and snow to the upper Midwest and ushered in A LOT of new greenheads to Habitat Flats on November 11th. Since then the skies have been filled with cupped-up greenheads dropping into the decoys. Game straps have been weighed down with mallards fresh from the prairies and our guests have memories that will last a lifetime. I have been able to watch my wife shoot her first greenheads ever, get my 3rd Blonde Mallard in 3 seasons, watch my young dog Junior retrieving a pile of ducks and my old dog Ruff retrieving ducks that my Dad shot…my mind is on sensory overload and we aren’t even to the half way mark yet! As you get older and more seasoned in the sport…you realize more and more: it’s all about the little things. The kills are all you see as you become a hunter during your youth, but the moments with real meaning stand out in your head as years go on.
Wet dogs, hot coffee, watching the world wake up in a marsh….it doesn’t get any better! As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, I am thankful for all of my family, friends, guests with whom I’ve shared a blind, our nations hunting heritage and Second Amendment that allows us all the oppotrunity to enjoy everything Mother Nature has to offer. Have a Happy Thanksgiving and a great rest of the season!