By David DiBenedetto

Pritch and I are headed to Stuttgart, Ark. Come Thursday morning we’ll be hunting flooded timber for a few days. It will be a first for both of us. I’ll be in the blind with my two older brothers and two of my nephews–and Pritch will be joined by Maggie, my nephew’s golden retriever.

I’ve been packing for both myself and Pritch for a few days. Well, I’ve been packing and Pritch has been madly pacing back and forth worrying that I’ll leave her behind. I’ve got her food, leashes, e-collar, vest, and numerous other items stashed in the training bag. We’ll be driving so I don’t have to worry that she’ll end up touching down in Stuttgart, Germany.

Is Pritch ready for a hard-core Arkansas duck hunt? Well, sort of. She still whimpers a bit with excitement when the guns and calls go off. But we’ve been working to curb that. And thankfully this cold snap will have passed by the time we get there, so low temperatures shouldn’t be an issue. Either way, Pritch won’t hunt on Day 1 as I’d like to get a feel for the setup first. But she’ll get plenty of bird work in the afternoon at the lodge.

To be honest, I’ve debated taking Pritch for weeks, but decided she’s coming along. Hell, she’s the reason I’m in the duck swamp more than the deer stand this year. I owe it to her–and me.

We’ll report back next week. But in the meantime, I’m curious if any of you have a big duck-hunting trip planned this season.