Images for a larger View
Trailer ready to go!
Scouting the Fields
Well She Liked the Decoys!
Ice, Ice, Ice!
Snows Down Early!
As usual the Muck Boy
crew was in Minnewaulkan North Dakota located on the west end of
Devils Lake during the week of October 12th on our annual North
Dakota waterfowl hunt.
We had left Michigan on October 10th at 4:00 AM EST and took the
southern route through Chicago. Unlike most years we hit a sever
head wind in Wisconsin instead of North Dakota - costing us extra
time and fuel on this leg of trip. Thanks to the many truckers who
put up with us tucking in behind them to help block. We finally
arrived at Westbay Resort
in Minnewaulkan at 7:30 PM CST.
We knew this week was going to be different because the long range
weather forecasts that were being predicted were for colder than
normal temperatures, we had hoped that they would be wrong. Well
they were right for once and we had to contend with November temperatures
for the first few days causing all but the largest sloughs to freeze
solid. With the lows being in the high teens and the highs being
in the low thirties.
Sunday morning we prepared our gear and headed out to the sloughs
to get a few puddlers. On our first stop we spotted what looked
to be a dozen or so gadwals so we grabbed a half dozen decoys and
headed to the slough, but not all the birds got up and left. Well
this had never happened before, we finally figured out what was
going on, the birds were too young to fly. Later in the week we
found out that there had been a real late hatch, so the birds that
didn't get up couldn't get up. Well this slough didn't work so on
to the next one. Later in the afternoon we entered our second slough
we set our decoys in an opening in the ice were some small ducks
and coots were keeping it open. Didn't take long and the birds were
returning and with the ones we took in the morning it didn't take
long to get to our limit.
Sunday night the temperatures were to fall into the teens again,
so we decided to setup in a field the next morning were we had spotted
about a dozen Giant Canada Geese. On Monday morning we were all
set up by day break and after four hours and not seeing much, we
decided it was time for lunch. After lunch we went out scouting
and to no surpise every small and even some of the larger slougs
had froze solid over night and had not thawed any during the day.
As we were scouting we received a call from Curt Kenner owner of
Kenner Farms and Kenner GuideService (701-438-2451 Cell 701-866-4841)
and said we should do an afternoon hunt the next day because the
birds were not moving until the afternoon.
Tuesday before we were to meet Curt for our afternoon hunt we decided
to scout some area we hadn't been to before, so we headed north
up to Cando and saw multiple enormous flocks of Snow Geese and maybe
a few sloughs for future hunting. We met up with Curt at 4:00pm
and we setup in a worked up barley field, after about an hour of
nothing showing any interest we moved about a mile west into a cut
corn field. We set the decoys out and we had to hide in a standing
soy bean field. It didn't take long for the birds to show up one
or two at a time and before we knew it shooting hours were over
and we were one short of our limit.
We decided based on Curt's recommendation to do the same thing again
Wednesday afternoon since this worked out so well Tuesday afternoon.
Wednesday morning it started to snow and the wind started to pick
up. Curt called and said we should get out to his place, quick.
We setup in the same field at 3:30pm except this time we were in
a blizzard and hiding under goose blind chairs in the middle of
the goose decoys with the duck decoys a little behind us. It didn't
take long and the birds were right on top of us. After getting used
to shooting out of these things we did great taking our limit in
a little over an hour. Except for the fact that your webmaster for
what ever reason could not hit a drake mallard but could hit drake
green wing teal. I took a beating for that and now some of the guys
are calling me teal killer, I just don't understand? If you ever
get a chance at something like this don't even hesitate just do
it. This will always be one of those waterfowl hunting memories
we just won't forget.
We still had time to do some scouting for the Thursday morning hunt
and one of the sloughs we hunt had opened up on the west side and
we spotted a couple of ducks diving in. Thursay morning we were
in this slough by 8:00am and we walked out at 11:00am with eight
more. Getting in was a little tough having to break about an 1 1/2
inches of ice in the cattails.
After eight years coming up here during the same time period we
have not had the same weather twice, that is why we bring, most
everything we have when it comes to clothing. Be prepared and ready
to over come.
Our Lab Kodi again did fantastic considering it was his first time
hunting in the ice. I know his diet of Black
Gold Plantation Blend dog food helped keep his arthreitis from
flaring up in all the cold water he was in and he was the only one
glad to see the snow come. The picture of him to the right was after
he had spent three hours standing in the ice cold water and by the
look on his face he could not understand why we had quit.