WATERFOWL LEDGER

W

aterfowl hunting is by far my favorite pursuit. I love the heritage, I love the camaraderie, I love the measuring of my substance and the depth of my resolve. Southwest Missouri is situated directly between the Mississippi and central flyways and is, as such, not what most people would view as a duck hunters paradise – especially with the majority of my outings taking place on walk in public land. It ain’t much, but it’s honest work.

Date Quarry Animals Shot Animals Retrieved Sex (M/F) Yield
9/17/2019 Teal 0 0 n/a 0
11/09/2019 Ducks/Geese 2 2 M/F 0
11/10/2019 Ducks/Geese 2 2 M 0
11/11/2019 Ducks/Geese 0 0 n/a 0
11/21/2019 Ducks/Geese 0 0 n/a 0
12/10/2019 Ducks/Geese 0 0 n/a 0
12/18/2019 Ducks/Geese 2 2 M/F 3
12/19/2019 Ducks/Geese 0 0 n/a 0
12/22/2019 Ducks/Geese 0 0 n/a 0
1/3/2020 Ducks/Geese 1 1 F 0
1/13/2020 Ducks 1 1 F 0
1/24/2020 Ducks 1 1 F 0
1/25/2020 Ducks 0 0 F 0
1/26/2020 Ducks 0 0 F 0
1/27/2020 Ducks/Geese 2 2 F 2
Totals 11 Birds 11 Birds 5 Birds
Date Weather Temperature Start of Hunt Time Hunting Total Time Yield/Time
9/17/2019 Fair 80F 6:29 AM 03:14:00 06:01:00 N/A
11/09/2019 Fair 46 F 6:12 AM 05:01:00 10:59:00 N/A
11/10/2019 Cloudy 41 F 6:13 AM 05:56:00 11:18:00 N/A
11/11/2019 Cloudy 31 F 6:08 AM 05:30:00 08:00:00 N/A
11/21/2019 Cloudy 57 F 6:27 AM 05:07:00 09:11:00 N/A
12/10/2019 Cloudy 29 F 6:50 AM 02:10:00 07:10:00 N/A
12/18/2019 Cloudy 43 F 6:53 AM 03:20:00 08:11:00
12/19/2019 Clear 51 F 6:54 AM 02:36:00 07:38:00 N/A
12/22/2019 Clear 51 F 6:54 AM 03:02:00 08:16:00 N/A
1/3/2020 Clear 43 F 7:03 AM 05:57:00 14:28:00 N/A
1/13/2020 Cloudy 44 F 6:59 AM 01:48:00 08:21:00 N/A
1/24/2020 Light Snow 33 F 6:49 AM 02:01:00 08:04:00 N/A
1/25/2020 Foggy 39 F 6:51 AM 02:09:00 05:05:00 N/A
1/26/2020 Clear 48 F 6:48 AM 02:03:00 06:35:00 N/A
1/27/2020 Clear 33 F 6:52 AM 02:08:00 05:33:00
Additions 24:02:00 N/A
Totals 52:02:00 148:52:00 N/A
Date Mileage Location Ownership Shots Fired Total Cost Cost/Yield
9/17/2019 71 Dade County, MO Public 0 $0 N/A
11/09/2019 165 Whiteside County, IL Public 19 N/A
11/10/2019 165 Whiteside County, IL Public 17 N/A
11/11/2019 56 Lake County, IL Public 0 N/A
11/21/2019 154 St. Clair County, MO Private 0 N/A
12/10/2019 160 Henry County, MO Public 0 N/A
12/18/2019 76 Dade County, MO Public 6
12/19/2019 76 Lawrence County, MO Public 2 N/A
12/22/2019 76 Dade County, MO Public 0 N/A
1/3/2020 452 Muskogee County, OK Private 7 $146.05 N/A
1/13/2020 116 Dade County, MO Public 2 $4.00 N/A
1/24/2020 118 Taney County, MO Public 3 $0.00 N/A
1/25/2020 52 Greene County, MO Private 4 $1.88 N/A
1/26/2020 118 Taney County, MO Public 0 $8.48 N/A
1/27/2020 48 Greene County, MO Private 13 $6.11
Additions 1,056 $37.00 N/A
Totals 2,959 71 $203.52

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The Duck Hunt

J
ust as it is true that “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord,” it is also true that “to be present in the duck blind is to be absent from your family.” In large part, the choice to chase waterfowl – I mean really get after it – is a choice to be gone, to miss some milestones. I’m as guilty of it as anyone. This last season I crossed multiple states, invested hundreds of hours, and spent hundreds if not thousands of dollars in search of greenheads and honkers. I’ve missed out on more walks to school, more nights in bed next to my wife, and more of my children’s firsts than I care to count.

I Came Here to Have Fun

I
am thankful there is no barrier to the outdoors apart from desire. If I were measured against any other benchmark, I would come up short. I am no great hunter. I’m not a giant in the field of conservation. I can’t track the faintest blood trail or find the smallest sign. I can’t make the longest shot. I can’t sound the most realistic call or train the best retriever…but I can want it. I can desire to be outside in the woods. I can day dream about about sitting in a duck marsh while I’m sitting at my desk avoiding work. I can ache with a desire from the very core of my being to escape to the wild places and fortunately for me, that’s all she asks.

Get Prepared

O
nce again we find ourselves at that stage of the evening where the appetizers are being served, and while they smell and taste better than you could have imagined, it does little to change the fact that you’re starving and at this point you’re not sure if you’ll make it until the main course. Dove season just hit the table and Early Teal is being carried out of the kitchen by the waiter as we speak, but November seems like it might as well be decades away. If you’re anything like me, grateful as you are for the respite from the hunger of the off season, nothing can sate your appetite quite like gadwall & greenheads, the bite of crisp air at your cheeks, and the sound of ice sluicing around your wader boots as you throw out your spread. While that may be true, you might as well do what you can to scratch the itch in another way.

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