Pro Staff: Another Duck Hunt, Another Limit

width=500 Hi everyone. It's Wesley, checking back in after another successful Eastern Colorado duck hunt. My story begins like this: It was an outstandingly cold morning with temperatures well below zero. Before I even got to the river I knew it would be frozen. But I also knew something many other hunters didn't know—the spots that would have open water...and attract birds. Having grown up hunting this particular river, I know it like the back of my hand. I know where the ducks will be, and I know when they'll be there. I chose to walk into a spot about a mile from the road, which, in all my years of hunting, I have never seen frozen. When I saw that the rest of the river was indeed frozen, I knew that was a good sign. On past hunts whenever the rest of the river was frozen the birds packed onto the spot where I was headed. I arrived at the spot well before light and tossed the heavy decoy bag off my back. I thought, Man this is going to be a great day.  I set out my decoys in hen-and-drake pairs and family groups, which mimics how the birds behave in the area this time of the season. Once I had my decoys set out and my dog Cedar settled in a thicket of small Russian Olive trees next to the river, we both waited for the sun to poke up over the horizon. About 20 minutes later the sky was full with the faint sound of whistling wings. Every once in a while, right above me, I'd hear tweet tweet tweet tweet. And although it was still too dark to see, I knew the ducks were flying everywhere. As the sun rose and shooting light came around, I began to see all kinds of ducks in the sky. There were teal, wigeon, and mallards everywhere. I began calling at the first group of mallards, and it was like they were on a string: Right when I hit those notes on my call, they turned on a dime and circled my setup once, cupped their wings, and, before I knew it, they were in my decoys. I rose up. Two shots rang out—_BANG! BANG!—_and two nice fat drake mallards fell to the water. I called out mark! to Cedar and sent her to retrieve the downed birds. This same routine continued for about an hour and a half until I had my limit. When it was all over, I walked the long mile back to my pickup and headed for home with another successful Colorado duck hunt under my belt. The day was extremely cold but getting out there and braving the extreme temperatures paid off with a nice full stringer of ducks. —Wesley