© By Othmar Vohringer
Yesterday I sat in my office, also serving as my hunting gadget storage room, getting all my duck decoys ready by attaching new anchor lines to each of them. Each time I finished a decoy I set it on the floor in a neat line, drake, hen, drake, hen... From the TV upstairs my ears caught the faint announcement form the Canadian Comedy Channel, “are you ready to rumble?”
Looking at my duck decoys all lined up on the floor I thought to myself. “Yes indeed my ducks are all lined up and I am ready to rumble – in the duck marsh that is.” For weeks I am lining my ducks up to get ready for waterfowl season.
It started weeks ago with daily visits to the shooting range to get my shotgun patterned. I am very particular with shooting accuracy. I want the best performance possible be that with bows, rifles, muzlleloader or rifle. To get the best out of every weapon I have to spend considerable time at the range. “This will do” has never been an option for me.
I went through several boxes of various brands, shell and shot sizes, trying out different choke tubes until finally I arrived at a consistent pellet pattern. It’s a lot of work but the end result is worth that work. My trusty Mossberg performs a consistent pattern with Federal Ultra Shok 3” loaded with # 3 steel pellets pushed through an improved choke. Fortunately, the heavier BB shot, which I prefer for geese, of the same brand and shell size performs equally well with the same choke. I do not have to waste time exchanging choke tubes in the marsh when ducks and geese fly in together. All I have to do is load quickly a shell with the proper size pellets.
With the gun performing at its best it was time to scout a few good spots to ambush waterfowl. About a ten-minute drive from our house I found several perfect spots. All the spots are accessible by boat only, which is a good thing. Not many hunters here will go out of their comfort zone for waterfowl hunting. It’s just not that popular around here. One of the places I found receives frequent visits from bears, and judging from the prints in the soft shore sand they are huge. It’s a secluded place and that makes it attractive to ducks. When I go there I might take the rifle along too just in case a bear shows up when I am there too.
The other spot is located in a huge reed field. I cut a channel into it that will accommodate my boat perfectly and stay hidden from any approaching duck’s view. All in all I am pretty confident with the locations I have chosen. The gun shooting well and promising stand locations found I had half of my ducks lined up. I could turn my attention to duck and geese calling practice. I am a great believer in game calling because it works when all the conditions are right and the hunter masters the proper sounds and sequences.
The only downside is, that if you hunt so many different game species you need to practice a lot of different calls. There is just no way that I can consistently practice deer, turkey, elk and waterfowl calls on a regular schedule. The good news is that ones you learned the calls its like riding a bicycle. You never will forget, but you get rusty if you don’t do it for a few month. So, for the past two days I am brushing up on my waterfowl language.
The last job remaining to do was to attach anchors to my brand new set of Flambeau duck decoys. Everything is ready to go or you could say, my ducks are all lined up and I am ready to rumble.
Tags: Waterfowl Hunting, Duck Hunting, Goose Hunt, Duck Calls, Mossberg Shotguns, Federal Ultra Shok