The Tale of Muck-Boy
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2016 Muck Boy
North Dakota Waterfowl Hunting Report
The plans have been made and we are just waiting
to begin our 2016 North Dakota trip. We will be traveling to Westbay
Resort in Minnewaulkan, on the west end of Devils
Lake on the 22nd of October. As like last year we will be
starting out in the afternoon due to some of the younger crew
members having a football game. The plan is to stop in Hudson,
WI a little over halfway, then finishing up the rest of the drive
on Sunday. This will allow us to see the last football game of
the season on the 22nd and get an afternoon hunt in on Sunday
the 23rd. As always we will be hunting with Curt Kenner owner
of Kenner Farms and Kenner Guide Service (701-438-2451 Cell 701-866-4841).
Weather: The long
range forecast looks good with a few clouds and little or no precipitation
being predicted for the whole week. The weather up in northern
Canada is forecasted to be cold enough to keep the birds pushing
New This Year: We
will be taking Gaddy our a nine month old Black Labrador puppy.
I have been training her since March and she is ready to go. You
can read all about her getting to this point by going to Growing
Up Gaddy at Muck Boy
Outdoors. We will also be posting daily reports during the
week, so you can follow the hunt. This year you will be able to
follow us on both of your sites, Muck-boy.com
so check back often to see how things are going on this years
Afternoon Hunt - Weather was warm about 50 degrees and sunny with
a southwest breeze. We set up on the edge of a a harvested bean field
using a dried up slough for cover. The hunting was no where as productive
as it was last year at this time but we did manage to take four ducks
three drake mallards and a hen. The good news - this was Gaddy's first
hunt and she got to make her first retrieves of what I hope is a long
career. She was a little tentative picking up the first bird especially
when it flapped its wings when she got close, with a little coaxing
she finally picked it up and brought it right back. On the second
bird she went right out, picked it up and returned it with no problem.
The third one was something special, I wish I would have had the video
camera on, when she approached the bird it took off flying low with
Gaddy right on his tail going around the end of the slough before
folding, Gaddy didn't give up and made the retrieve. Next year I know
Gaddy would catch it instead of running it down. The fourth bird made
it out about 150 yards before hitting the ground, when I sent Gaddy
she raced out made a nice retrieve and returned it with out a hitch.
I think we have a retriever?
Hunt -Weather was cold and frosty with very little wind and what wind
we did have was out of the southeast. For this hunt we were joined
by another group from Michigan called the Michigan Boys they are from
around the Lansing area. We were setup on the edge of harvested corn
and barley stubble fields. We set the blinds in the corn and with
the decoys all around us. There was around six dozen full body goose
decoys and another six dozen full body duck decoys, a large spread
of decoys for this part of North Dakota but we had to battle a large
mass of snow geese (50,000 or more) about a mile northwest of us.
Unfortunately we did not have the numbers of decoys and the snow goose
mob drew anything that flew into it and we did not have a bird work
Hunt - Weather was windy and out of the southeast
at 10 to 15 MPH. We were setup in the same field as we were yesterday
afternoon but on the other side of a huge coulee. We have never had
any luck hunting this area and our luck didn't change for this hunt.
- Morning Hunt - Weather
was cool with another southeast wind about ten MPH. We moved our setup
about a half mile to the west of were we were yesterday morning. We
were setup where dark geese a mix of both giant and lesser canada's
were see feeding the night before. This time we did have a couple
groups of lessers work our spread with both groups skirting the slough
that we were using to hide in not ever giving us a shot.
- Afternoon Hunt - Weather was windy and out of the southeast
at 15 to 20 MPH with temps in the 50's. We were in one of our favorite
spots on top of a hill next to a lake that holds thousands of birds.
Hey! Something new a few birds looked at our decoys and didn't make
it home and again Gaddy made good retrieves, she's really got it now.
- Morning Hunt - Weather was cloudy, misty and foggy with a light
southeast wind. We once again teamed up with
the Michigan Boys.This time we moved south of Maddock
about twenty miles, where there was about 2000 ducks and a good number
of geese roosting on a slough next to a harvested corn field that
they were seen feeding in the day before. We set our blinds and spread
where the birds were seen working. The ducks worked early and we took
19 we also managed to take four giant canada's who worked our spread.
It was decided we would hunt this same spot in the afternoon as most
of us thought the birds had really not feed yet, hoping they would
feed in the afternoon. No such luck we only managed one drake mallard.
- Morning Hunt - Weather
was cool with a slight southeast wind. Then a very, very thick ground
fog rolled in (see pictures below). Needless to say with a fog, what
birds did fly couldn't see our decoys and we couldn't see them. By
time the fog lifted it was 11:30am and all the birds we did see were
headed back to the soughs and water. Its easy to say this was by far
our slowest week of the fifteen years years we have been going to
Notes: Like I stated earlier, it was slow for us
this year, there was just not enough birds that had migrated into
the area and when you hunt ND at this time during the season, you
are hunting the migration and if it isn't happing your in for a
long hunt. From what we understand the birds were hung up north
of HWY 2 where there was water in the un-harvested bean, pea and
corn fields, in other words Duck Heaven. There are also reports
of a lot of birds still in Canada, the weather has and still isn't
bad enough to force them to move south. The unfavorable weather
also played a part, warm, cloudy, misty, fog and southeast winds
all combined made it so the birds did not have to feed as much if
it were cold with heavy winds.
We are already planning next years hunt, same time, same place.
We still believe this is the week we need to be out there and like
Kurt says he has never seen a lack of birds like this year and he's
lived and hunted in ND his whole life.
Gaddy did great for her first major trip, she traveled well in the
truck for a young dog. She did very well in the field staying in
her blind when instructed. She had to stay in her travel crate a
couple of times with no problems. Most of all she now understands
for the most part, what her job is. Before this hunt she seen birds
but didn't understand what they were for, now she can't take her
eyes off of them no matter if its a sparrow, sea gull or canada
goose she stops what she's doing to watch them. We couldn't be prouder.