Saturday, February 20, 2010

February 2010 Featured Member:

Chris Epping

I was born in Adams County, Illinois. Have been a duck hunter all of my life. My Dad and my brother Terry taught me every thing that I know about duck hunting and calling!!!!

Finding Your Fix.... Volume 1

The Duck Junkies Newsletter is now available on the website!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Keep Atwood and Barnes family in your prayers

Hey everybody I would just like for everyone that reads this to keep the Atwood and Barnes families in your prayers. This past Sunday at 3:25 George Barnes and Elizabeth Atwood were on there way back to Hopkinsville, KY (my home town) from a UK basketball game and George fell asleep at the wheel making the car flip into the median. This ejected Elizabeth killing her instantly and George is still in a wheel chair. She was one of my best friends and will be missed dearly but I know good and well that she is watching over us and it would really mean a lot if everyone would just say a prayer for the families and us friends back here in Hopkinsville. Thank you all and God bless!!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Its Been A Long Winter

Here in MN, the winter has taken its toll on my patience. We have had extreme cold followed by short warm ups, then extreme cold again. With snowfall being below average again for yet another winter I know that the water levels are going to be very low, if not dried up unless we get a lot of rain this spring.
Though the winter has been long, it has also come with sorrow. Many of you know my faithful hunting partner King and his love of the hunt. But I also had another dog, Hailey. She was my first dog I ever had and at the age of 13, her age onset complications finally had gotten the best of her, and I had to make the decision no hunter should have to make. About 1 month ago I had to take her into a late night ER and say my last good bye and wish her well.
Loosing a dog such as Hailey, although very hard, is even harder to watch as King looks for his buddy to cuddle with at night, or to show off the rabbit he caught running across the back yard. Hailey was never a great hunting dog, but she did have many other great moments that will stay with our family for years. The one I will never forget is the one and only time we took her duck hunting. What a nightmare!
It was a "ducky day" and my dad and I were at our favorite WI hole. We tied Hailey to the gas tank on the boat to keep her still, even though she was not covered very well. She loved to swim, Jump, and retrieve squirrels so we thought that duck hunting would come naturally. Not so.
We waited for a while as the ducks were slow to move, but one look back a Hailey and all you could do is laugh. She looked so miserable. Ears down, wet shivering and whining. But soon the ducks were moving. We began to call and shortly we heard the meanest barking coming from the boat. She had stood up on the highest point on the boat, dragging the gas can with, and started to bark her head off at the flock of ducks flying around the lake! What the heck! After calming her down we thought that if we didn't call she wouldn't bark. NOT! The birds flew by and again she came unglued.
When we got her I was 14 yrs old. I knew nothing about training a dog for hunting as I had just started hunting myself. We did how ever leave her at home from then on, but always brought her our morning kill for inspection. After 13 yrs she has left me with many memories, but this whole trip is one I will never forget.

Now that Alabama's season is over..

Pulling the trigger for one last time for the season brought a surprising relief to me this year... Not because I was tired of hunting, but rather the fact that I had such a life changing event occur in the middle of hunting season. Me and my wife had our first child on December 14th which was born 2.5 months premature. I will never forget the day that I got the call while I was at work... My wife had gone to the doctor because she was beginning to swell extremely bad in her hands and feet. During the visit, my wife calls me balling her eyes out screaming they are going to take the baby..... TODAY!!!! My heart hit the floor, not knowing what to think or what to do... I hadn't prepared for this at all! I rush to the hospital. Once I get there, she was in an ambulance headed to another local hospital which specializes in Neonatal care... At this point I knew there was more to it that her just delivering early.. I get to the other hospital and get in the room where she is at... 6 doctors surround my wife's bed and the words that were coming out of their mouths horrified me... One doctor looked at me and said your wife is dying! They said your wife has an extreme case of preeclampsia and HELLP disorder. Basically the nutrients that were going to the baby were becoming toxic to her and the baby, which in return was causing my wife's vital organs to shut down. The doctors rushed and prepped her for surgery so that they could deliver the baby immediately... My emotions became evident... I was speechless... All I could think about was the fact that everything dear to me could be gone within a seconds notice. After an agonizing hour of waiting they wheeled my new born baby girl out into the hall way weighing in at 2# 1 oz... The doctor said our baby was doing great but my wife on the other hand wasn't in the clear... She ended up spending 2 weeks in the hospital and went through several blood and platelet transfusions. She ended up coming home on Christmas day, which was the best present ever! We just got to bring our girl, Ashlynn Kate home last Friday and my life hasn't been the same ever since!!

I guess the thing I want to throw out there, and I know I have been guilty of this before, is that you never know when the good Lord is going to take away someone that is close to you. I know duck hunting makes you do some crazy things and causes you to neglect people you love just so that you can go hunting fill your addiction. But please, take some time during the season (and especially the off season)to show that you appreciate your love ones, because you never know when it could be the last time.


Hunter Maples

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Northern East Texas off season

East Texas has become a cold place... We are experiencing freezing nights followed by 45+ deg afternoons. This weather sux...Saw quiet a few birds still in the area about 2wks ago but have not been able to get out & about since end of season. My annual Oklahoma goose hunt that was set to take place the weekend of Jan. 30th fell through due to the horrible weather that struck us that weekend. Was driving out of drive around 1:30 in the afternoon when I recieved a phonecall from Shannon(Flying Aces) saying that he had pulled over on the side of the road to be notified that the weather had already increased drastically within 3hrs prior to our first conversation. Needless to say, we more than likely wouldn't have even been able to get out of cabin the next morning. & sure enough, Oklahoma was locked up with snow & ice. We will prevail on those geese & seek revenge as the weather saved them this time. But come 2010-11 season, they aren't gonna know what hit em when we get done with em!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

January New Jersey Hunt

Well it was an awesome time in New Jersery we ended up with seventy four geese. It was a great experience. Can't wait to go next year. This photo is of the first day, we limited out with thirty.
-Jim Grove

Monday, February 15, 2010

Down Time in NW Wisconsin

So it's mid February and there is not a whole lot goin' on... Or is there?
While many people sink down and don't come out during out our cold weather, us diehards are out and about sitting on water or chasing rabbits or predators. These activities can be a good way to maintain your adrenaline and fill the freezer with some other types of tasty game!
The rabbit population is way down this year so I have been spending my free time out on the ice. The fishing has been slow but it is starting to pick up again. The perch are starting to head shallow and the crappies and gills are getting a little more aggressive. Work the weed lines an breaks for crappies/gills and the sand/rock flats for some big perch.
Other than that, we are in need of a lot more snow up here or we are going to have even less water in the lakes/rivers/ponds! And that does not sit well with us waterfowl fanatics. But all we can do is pray for precipitation.
See ya on the water and in the woods!!!

Bear DeNucci
Duck Junkies Pro Staff

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Post Season Sales

This is the best time to get good deals on gear and goodies.... most companies are running awesome sales on their remaining stock, in order to make room for new inventory, etc...
Check your favorite retailers for clearances sales and discounts.
I use this time of year to re-supply and restock the items i will need for next season. Use this tip to save money and get a head start on your gear needs. Good shopping!
-Josh Bourne