Muck Boy Annual Waterfowl Hunting Highlights




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Muck Boy Annual Waterfowl Hunting Highlights
On this page we will be posting our annual waterfowl reports for past years. It will include our trips to North Dakota and our waterfowl hunts in Michigan.
2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 Arkansas
Report
Pictures
2008 Waterfowl Hunting Highlights
Once again the Muck Boy crew was in Minnewaulkan North Dakota located on the west end of Devils Lake during the week of October 13th on our annual waterfowl hunt.
We left Michigan at 4:00 AM EST and took the southern route through Chicago. Our I-Pass Unit helped to speed up the process of getting through the Illinois toll booths without wasting too much time fumbling for change. The Tom Tom Navigation Unit guided us through Chicago and Minneapolis/St Paul without a hitch.
We arrived at Westbay Resort in Minnewaulkan at 5:30 PM CST. Jim and Diane as always had the cabin ready for us and the hospitality was great.
We spent the day Sunday waiting out the weather as it rained (poured) and the wind howled most of the day delaying our scouting efforts for an afternoon hunt. According to Jim, the area had received over 7 inches of rain since the beginning of September. At about 3:30pm it slowed enough to venture out to find a slough to hunt in that evening. We found the area gravel roads slick and the class "B" roads were impassable, so we decided to hunt a slough near the cabins where we had taken birds in the past. Well as it were we should have stayed in the cabin.
Monday morning found the weather had cleared but the wind was still blowing at about 30 mph forcing the ducks to hold tight on their roosts or fly high. We did manage to take a couple of Canvasbacks and Spoonbills. After the morning hunt we started to scout more and we were finding many, many puddles and small pools in the middle of bean and corn fields, and of course the birds were sitting in them thus spreading them out all over the area.
Tuesday morning and the weather was improved with light winds and colder temperatures. We were hunting on Curt Kenner's farm. Curt also guides for waterfowl ( Kenner Guides Service 701- 438-2451 Cell 701-866-4841). Curt had us set up for geese in a harvested barley field next to a standing corn field. There was only a few geese working with most holding tight on the roost for most of the day. We did manage to take two out of a flock that passed over the corn too low. In the afternoon we were setup on a slough for small puddle ducks and we ended the day just short of our limit.
Wednesday found the morning sky clear with stiff west winds. The decoys were set up in a harvested bean field that the ducks and geese had been piling into the evening before. The winds blew so hard that the birds were a little decoy shy with most working the edges of the spread. We still managed to take a mix of ducks and geese along with four Ross Geese.
Thursday morning the wind was calm and the temperature was below freezing, we were in a slough that we had spotted earlier in the week and it was holding plenty of ducks. The decoys were out by 8:00am and by 8:45am we were back at the truck taking pictures of a great hunt.
Overall, the crew had a great time as always, visiting with old friends and hunting and relaxing. But there is just one problem – for some reason this year! The week just went by to fast.
Just one more thing, earlier this year we picked up Black Gold Dog Food as a sponsor and of course Kodi our six year old lab has been on this food ever since. Ken Hessling, our local distributor and owner of White Rock Kennels, told us that the one thing he saw in his dogs was how fast they recovered after a hard hunt. Well Ken you are correct, because in years past by Wednesday morning it would be hard to get Kodi out of his bed and he slept the entire 15 hours Friday during the trip home, this year there was a marked difference in Kodi, he just never seemed to run out of energy as far as hunting goes and as for the trip home he was up for a good portion and the only change from other years is Great Food!

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Rig Ready & Clean for the North Dakota Trip
Rig Ready & Clean
Mud Every Where in North Dakota
Mud Everywhere!
Current Rain has left Puddles throughout the Devils Lake Area
Puddles Everywhere!
Hunting the Sloughs in North Dakota
Coming off a Slough
Good hunt in North Dakota
Weather improves and the so does the hunting!
Early Migrants Arrive in North Dakota
Ross Geese
Webmaster with a few North Dakota  Drake Mallards
Drakes
Great Dog work in the Sloughs in North Dakota
Great Morning Results
Kodi Takes a well desered nap.
Well Deserved Nap
Our Chey Truck was Clean when we left Michigan
Well it was Clean!

2007 Waterfowl Hunting Highlights

The Muck Boy crew was in North Dakota the week of October 15th on our annual waterfowl hunt. The crew again hunted around Minnewaulkan which is located on the west end of Devils Lake.

We left Michigan at 4:00 AM EST and took the southern route through Chicago. This year we had a couple of new gadgets to help with the 14 hour drive. The first was an I-Pass Unit to help speed up the process of getting through the toll roads in Indiana and Illinois. The other was a Tom Tom Navigation Unit, these compact units really help guide you through the larger cities like Chicago and Minneapolis/St Paul. Both units are easy to use and worked well and we would recommend them for your next trip.

We arrived at Westbay Resort in Minnewaulkan at 6:30 PM CST. If hunting, fishing or just vacationing in the Devils Lake area give Jim and Diane a call, this is a great place to stay.

We spent the day Sunday scouting and found the sloughs had a little more water than last year, another good year of rain and snow would really help. We set up on a slough that we like to hunt, we took 4 Gadwalls and 2 Widgeon before the ducks quit flying for the afternoon.

Monday the Muck Boy crew hunted with Curt Kenner, an area farmer that also guides for waterfowl (Kenner Guides Service 701- 438-2451 Cell 701-866-4841). Curt had us set up in a harvested barley field next to a slough. Before shooting started we had many ducks landing in the decoys and slough behind us. When it became shooting time the ducks continued to pour in and within 50 minutes we had our 5 man limit of mallards. It could have been quicker but some in the party, myself included were having a hard time picking out the drakes.

Tuesday we lost the weather, it had become cloudy, windy and was spitting rain. In case you are wondering that is not the best weather to hunt in North dakota. Curt had set us up for those elusive Giant Canadian Geese and of course they didn't show. So in the afternoon we hunted a corn field the was next to a harvested barley field, that offered us a great view of one of the large sloughs on Curt's property. We managed to take eight evening ducks.

Wednesday found the skies still cloudy and occasionally there was a light rain. We were set up in a slough we had not hunted before, but plan to hunt in the future. We ended this hunt with a mixed bag of small puddlers including Gadwalls, Widgeons, Mallards and Teal.

Overall, the crew had a great time as always, visiting with old friends, hunting and relaxing.

Note: You know you had a busy week when your hunting dog was this tired. "Yes Kodi you really have to get down".

 

 

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2006 Waterfowl Hunting Highlights

The Muck Boy crew was in North Dakota the week of October 8th on our annual waterfowl hunt. The crew hunts around Minnewaulkan which is located on the west end of Devils Lake.

We left Michigan at 3:00 AM EST and took the southern route through Chicago and arrived at Westbay Resort in Minnewaulkan at 6:00 PM CST. The Muck Boy crew highly recommends Westbay. The cabins and resort have everything that you need, including an enclosed bird and fish cleaning station, laundry area, satellite TV and some of the best beds we have slept on.


We spent the next day scouting and found many of our favorite sloughs dry from a lack of rain in August and September. There is one thing that the crew has learned by hunting a large area like Benson and Ramsey counties: the more local folks you know the better. Jim and Diane of Westbay Resort are always ready to help get permission for an area that may be posted. Note: Every year we are finding more and more ground posted. Not that this is bad, but when you are there during a given period of time, finding and calling land owners to get permission can take away from your hunting time.

The Muck Boy crew also hunts with Curt and Brian Kenner, an area farm family that also guides for waterfowl (Kenner Guides Service 701- 438-2451 Cell 701-866-4841). Curt is also a North Dakota Ambassador for the Hunt of a Lifetime Foundation, their Guide Service donates a portion of all guide fees every year to this very worthwhile cause. We have posted links for this organization, so everyone can look it over. To us it is one of those organization, that most hunters and fishermen would find very important to the future of our sports.

On our first hunt, Curt sent us to check a few small sloughs that were holding birds. We managed to take a couple teal in the first, but the second slough produced us a limit of gadwalls and teal. Unfortunately, North Dakota has reduced the daily limit from 6 ducks to 5 ducks this year.

Day two was cold and very windy with gusts up to 35 mph. We were set up with Brian in a harvested grain field near Harlow and we managed to take 2 huge geese and 8 mallards.

Day three was even colder. The morning temperature was 24 degrees and the wind was gusting out of the northwest over 45 mph. The hunt was not that productive due to the fact that the birds were more interested in getting out of the wind. We spent most of the morning watching ducks ignore the decoys and calls and just dive in the sloughs surrounding our hunting location. Wind is a good thing when hunting waterfowl, but this was way too much of a good thing. The ducks taken that day included widgeons, gadwalls and mallards.

Overall, the crew had a great time as always, visiting with old friends, hunting and relaxing.

Note: You know you had a busy week when your hunting dog was this tired.

 

 

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2005 Waterfowl Hunting Highlights
2005 was by far our most productive year in North Dakota. The ducks were using the sloughs and decoyed very well. When scouting sloughs to hunt, pay attention to where the ducks are sitting, making sure that the location of the ducks will allow you a proper set up. Will the wind direction and cover be adequate to hunt this slough today? Remember you can always return tomorrow.
When walking into the slough, don't make too much commotion. Just walk quietly and fast enough because you only have about 20 minutes to get set up before the birds start to return. We believe that if you make excessive noise and commotion it will reduce the amount of birds that return to the set up.
We prefer the smaller sloughs; the larger sloughs give the ducks way too many options when they return. We have found that a dozen decoys are all you need in most cases and even that may be too many. Experiment with the number of decoys you set and let the ducks direct you. If they are cutting at the last minute and won't commit, try reducing the number of decoys. We like to use the standard size decoys in sloughs because we think it represents the ducks (gadwalls, teal etc.) that use these smaller sloughs. That does’t mean that mallards, pintails and the occasional diver won't use these sloughs - because they will.

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2004 Waterfowl Hunting Highlights

2004 was a good year for ducks in North Dakota. The crew continues to meet new folks and hunt different areas. We now have been hunting this are for three years and have not hunted the same field twice. A first for the crew we managed to take a couple lesser canadians.

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2003 Waterfowl Hunting Highlights

This was by far our least productive year we have had waterfowl hunting in North Dakota. When ever you plan these trips there are plenty of things that can effect your hunting success. It is a roll of the dice, a one week window. There are things outside of your control that can effect your trip - Example: will the weather cooperate, the week before this trip the temperature was in the 80's and this had stopped the migration. The only birds in the area where local birds that had not left, and they had already been hunted for 3 weeks. So you have to make the best of these situations. We took the extra time we had, to work with Kodi and reinforce his training, during actual hunting conditions.

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2002 Waterfowl Hunting Highlights
This was the Muck Boy's crew second trip to North Dakota. Highlights for this year included one of those hunts that every waterfowler dreams of. I have heard it refereed to as being a "Duck Tornado", and as I remember, that was what it was - imagine 5,000 to 6,000 ducks circling overhead, landing it the decoys, what a hunt. Within 45 minutes we had shot our limit, had the decoys picked up and were out of the field just watching the birds work the field for another hour. The other highlight of 2002 was the addition of "Kodi", the crews new labrador retriver. Kodi didn't make the trip to North Dakota because he was only 9 months old, but the crew did manage to get him out for a couple of hunts here in Michigan.

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2001 Waterfowl Hunting Highlights
This was our first duck hunting trip to the Devils Lake North Dakota area. This trip has became a must do. We have found that the people are very friendly and glad to have you visiting there, most are willing to help in any way they can to get you on birds. As with any new adventure there will be highs and lows but for the most part every year we learn more about the area and how to pursue the local waterfowl.
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