A duck hunt of firsts

rsz 1dsc_0004Cows were the first obstacle of the duck hunt near Waco, as they cast annoyed glances toward me as I snaked my way through their sleepy group.

Not only was this my first duck hunt of the year, but it would also be my first Texas duck hunt ever and I did not want to be late. The start of duck season is my Christmas; a fact my body was sure to remind me of as I woke up almost every 30 minutes throughout the entire night before, and finally got up nearly an hour before my alarm was set.

Executive Editor Craig Nyhus and Managing Editor Conor Harrison soon joined me, and at first shooting light ducks were landing in the decoys and circling our spread. I whimpered and whined like a poorly trained lab as Craig waited an extra five minutes after legal shooting time before giving the “go ahead.”

What I really wanted was a redhead — growing up in Arkansas I had never seen one. After the first few volleys I already had four of my six ducks, including gadwall and wigeon. I sat back for about the next hour and helped with the calling and duck retrieving, waiting for the sun to light up the red-headed beacon I was hoping for.

Finally, a small group of redheads flew in later in the morning and I finished off my limit, but I was not to be the only hunter who took a new duck; soon after, Conor shot a drake canvasback.

The three man mixed limit consisted of redheads, pintails, wigeon, gadwall, ringneck and canvasback. Craig shot a great drake wigeon, Conor got his canvasback and I conquered my quest for a redhead.

Now I’m just wondering when we are going to go back.