Wednesday, November 23, 2011

You May Know It But Your Dog Doesn't

Bart RickMcCurleySome trips to the vet with your hunting dog might be preventable.

So we get to vet office and Bart, after smelling all of the food and treats they sell there, decides he is hungry. I go over to the receptionists desk where there is a jar full of dog treats and grab a few. I lean down to give Bart one and he nearly bites my hand off. Then I feed him another...then another. About this time the vet finally comes out and asks what the issue is. I felt really stupid telling him Bart won't eat lately as Bart is sitting there chewing a mouthfull of Snausages.Read More READ MORE

Monday, November 21, 2011

Slow Down Hunters! Please Slow Down!

slow downWe are alllllllll guilty, even as I write this article I KNOW I'm guilty of "Getting In a Hurry" ... either pre-hunt or post hunt. How many times have we gone out on a hunt, telling ourselves that we need to leave by a certain time and extend that time because the birds are flying?

Story time.Read More

11 Years old growing up in Pennsylvania... READ MORE

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Giving Back to your Mentors

be a mentor to your mentorMost Waterfowl Hunters gained their knowledge or love for the sport through an influcial person in their lives.It could be your father, grandfather,or another adult figure. For me it was my father and best friend.One of the most memorable hunts happened with them.Read More

The story was on a the day.... READ MORE

Limited Time: FREE Long Sleeve Max 4 Camo Shirt


**Order any Sweatshirt or Fleece and we will include a FREE Long sleeve max 4 t-shirt!**
No code needed!
This is a pretty big hit so we will extend the offer through Wednesday (11-16-11) at 11:59pm CST

buy hoodie- get max4 FREE

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Red Heads of Red Fish Bay by W.S. Allen


Was the barely audible command whispered by Paul Stewart, our guide.

In unison all the shotgun barrels that were leaning against the top of the duck blind began to move slowly. The several sets of hands that only a second before delicately held acrylic and wooden duck calls now were firmly grasping foregrips and buttstocks.

At the same time the ears on the two gun dogs lying on the floor of the blind perked up as their heads jerked skyward.

"Steady, steady." READ MORE

Thursday, October 27, 2011

More land to possibly be added to Wabashiki Fish and Wildlife area

Under the Healthy Rivers INitiative, the Department of Natural Resources and its partners are working with willing landowners to permanently protect 43,000 acres in the floodplain of the Wabash River and Sugar Creek in west-central Indiana and another 26,000 acres of the Muscatatuck River bottoms in southeast Indiana.

Wabashiki Fish and Wildlife Area already encompasses 2,400 acres along the west bank of the Wabash River between Terre Haute and West Terre Haute. At this time it is not sure if the new area will be public hunting or controlled by land owners. READ MORE

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Video tip: Blowing the bouncing hen or hiccup call

Want that extra edge when out in the duck blind?

The bouncing hen, also known as the hiccup call, adds an extra note that will help you call in those birds when the pressure is on. In this video, Shannon Smith will help you learn to blow the bouncing hen step by step.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Pumpkin Photo Contest!

Show us your pumpkins!
Enter the Duck Junkies 2011 Pumpkin Photo Contest!

The contest is super simple!

  1. Add your pumpkin pictures to the contest photo gallery (please don't submit pictures that do not belong to you)
  2. Get your friends and family to vote for your picture

That's it!

The winner will receive a turn with the Traveling Decoy, a gift certificate to the online store and more!

Entries will be accepted until Monday, November 7th, 2011 and the winner will be announced the following week based on number of votes.

*(You must be logged in to submit or you will get a message saying you are not allowed. Maximum file size allowed: 2048 KB so please reduce large files before submitting. If you are having trouble submitting your photo, please email it to: with username and photo description.)

My Hero by W.S. Allen

These selfless folks are hero’s heroes...

The road looking out the windshield gives the illusion that it goes on forever. The hills, lakes, fields of golden corn and wheat, or rivers that are running wild with energy provided by the latest storm can’t or won’t impede the black strip of asphalt that looms just outside the 3mm thick piece of glass. READ MORE

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

He Has Come Full Circle by W.S. Allen


I love circles. We’ve all driven in circles at one time or another, some more times than others. Even if you don’t believe in them I’m sure you’ve all heard of crop circles. As a sophomore in high school after many hours trying to figure out what PI meant I learned how to find the circumference of a circle and who hasn’t heard of circle the wagons, circle back, form a circle, perfect circle, circle time, circle of friends, magic circle, and least we forget Arctic Circle? After everything is said and done Ferdinand Magellan was pretty fond of a circle. READ MORE

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Outdoors with Kendall: Father Daughter Hunting

Nothing beats the intrinsic rewards of mentoring the next generation of waterfowlers, especially when it's your own child.

Follow our Pro Staff Rick McCurley this season as he films his daughter Kendall on dove, teal, duck, deer and squirrel hunts. Check back here often for the latest segment!

Monday, October 10, 2011

New iPhone App: Migration Central

MigrationCentral-iPhoneDuck Junkies has broadened waterfowl hunters migration information sources has launched an iPhone app, Migration Central, to compliment their existing web-based community and hunting resource for waterfowl hunters.

The online community provides hunters with networking opportunities and a wealth of information including a migration map featuring a detailed weather component.

Migration reports come from a variety of sources ranging from waterfowl professionals to weekend warriors.

The new mobile app for the iPhone allows waterfowlers to follow the migration from their iPhone. The app will automatically pull up current reports nearest to your location or allow you to search on your own.

Icing on the cake: All member reports submitted each week are entered into a drawing for gift certificates and prizes!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Waterfowl Scouting & Migration Map


weeklyreportsdrawingIT'S MIGRATION TIME!

View migration reports from our Staff, Guides, Biologists and other members just like you!

Plus, all reports entered on the map each week are put in a prize drawing so encourage everyone you know to submit reports each week for a chance to win!

*Drawing will only be held if 10 or more reports are submitted

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Another 1st in the Duck Blind

by Chris Skillings

As some of you may remember I posted a story last year in reference to my neice Talayia. The story was that she was able to kill her 1st mallard during the MN youth last season. The cool thing about that was that it was only the 2nd mallard shot on that pond in 15 years, it is primarally a wood duck pond.

Well two years in a row I can report another first in the duck blind this ones hits a little closer to home as it involves my son Xavier.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

On The X Outdoors

Webisode 1.0 "Scout N Shoot"
Is ready for viewing here.... it's gonna leave you looking for more!

Watch more waterfowl hunting, view our Beyond the Blind video tips and more in our Media section!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Earn A Mentor Band

1No better time than the present to step up and be a mentor!

YourGoal EarnMentorBand-180px

You may have read Scott's article Youth Events Made Easy or flipped through Delta's Mentor Manual but what's next? It's time to put that knowledge to work! By doing so, not only will you earn a Duck Junkies blue MENTOR band that you can flaunt on your lanyard with pride, but more importantly you will create lasting memories for everyone involved.


Monday, July 11, 2011

The Hitch Hiker: Duck Junkies' Traveling Decoy


We are pleased to announce that in addition to the decoy we are sending overseas for the troops to pass around, we will also be sending a duck decoy through each flyway for the 2011-2012 waterfowl hunting season! Each weekend a new person/group will hunt over the decoy assigned to their flyway. They will take pictures and maybe a video and then make a journal entry about the hunt and send the decoy and journal on to the next participant. When the decoy has completed it's journey, all participants will be entered in a drawing to win the decoy from their flyway along with the journal/photos. Sign Up Now!

Click HERE to Get More Details About The Hitch Hiker: Duck Junkies Traveling Decoy 2011-2012

Friday, June 10, 2011

Interview with Adam...

We met up with Adam Lynch to get his story...

If you have ever looked through a sportsman's catalog, it's likely you have seen Lynchmob Game Calls in them. Chris Boatwright and I recently caught up with Adam Lynch, whose father George Lynch owns and started the company. He was in Madison Alabama with some students and friends that he pastors through Mosaic1, which is where he works pastoring to college students at different colleges in Michigan where he lives.

They were here in Alabama helping out victims of the recent tornados that have come through our are leaving its wake of devastation and destruction. They were out in the heat all day cleaning up brush and debris and helping rebuild people’s homes, and anything else that needed to be done. He brought six students to help him out, and they all were working really hard when we got there to see him. Adam, 25, went to college at Spring Arbor University in Michigan and his family’s business is located on Lake Erie.

Read the Interview HERE.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Drill by W.S. Allen

A man, a dog and a bumper.

As the white rubber tube flies effortlessly through the thick Texas air his muscles constrict and his focus and dedication are clearly visible. I give the command "mark," without hesitation the rubber tube captures our attention. At the moment of impact through eyes clear and dedicated, out of respect more than guidance, he considers my expression. His goals are well defined, to please first and to capture second.

He's not confused as we walk in a direction different than the path gravity dictated for the rubber bumper. He's done this countless times, effortlessly and with an air of familiarity we wander a hundred yards away. Our ambling gate mask the concentration felt by both as we plan the next few seconds over and over in our minds. His attention at odds between me and the small rubber tube pinned to the earth by forces unseen a hundred yards away.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Kicking Butt Decoy: Exclusive Discount for Junkies!


Member Special: For a limited time, Ure-a-Duck decoys is offering Duck Junkies members their exclusive Kicking Butt decoy at cost!

The Kicking Butt decoy is a unique Duck Decoy. No other Duck Decoy in the world looks more like a feeding Duck. The motion of this duck decoy is up to you. With a pull of the string this Duck Decoy comes to life.

This Feeding decoy can be subtle with just a few ripples or you can make it feed and throw water over a whole decoy spread. It is an UNSINKABLE FOAM Decoy. Feet attach by just a push into the foam body ( for permanent attachment, just super glue wire). Easy to use and Brings the ducks in close. Ducks respond to Motion on the water and this Duck Decoy makes the natural motion on the water unsurpassed by any other duck decoy.

Kicking Butt Features:


(Deal ends June 20th or when supplies run out.)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Budget Boat Blind

Can you add a custom blind to your boat for under $50?Scissor Blind on Boat

Yes! You can add a cheap custom scissor blind to your boat and summer is the time! Read on and I will walk you through how I added a blind to my 12' duck boat for only $35.00.

I started off by going to Home Depot and getting 4 sections of ½" by 10' conduit. I did not have a conduit bender so a little bit of asking I got the guys there to bend 2 pieces of conduit at 6 inches from each end to 90 degrees. This would form the top of the blind.
I then grabbed the rest of the items needed to finish my project.

Items needed:

  • 4- 10', 1/2" aluminum conduit @ $2.99 each (2 bent 90 degrees 6 inches from each end)
  • 1 pack of 4 straight conduit connectors 1/2" @ $1.99/ pack
  • 4- 2 ½" bolts with nuts @ $1.50
  • 4- ¾" bolts with nuts @ $0.89
  • 2- coder pins 2" long @ $1.00/each
  • 1- 2' section of 90 degree aluminum with holes punched through @ $3.50
  • Blind cover (you can use what you' dlike but I used camo burlap and twin that I already had)

Tools needed:

  • Drill
  • Jig saw


Friday, May 13, 2011

The Truth About Reclaimed Mine Ground

The Pros of Coal Surface Mining Reclamation Efforts


Mining inevitably disturbs land. Modern mines reclaim the surface during and after mining is completed, returning the land to useful purposes. The reclaimed mine lands are usually more attractive to wildlife and human uses than before mining started.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

3 King's

“You do know that’s a Drake Can, right?”

Growing up, one of my favorite classes in high school was "History" taught by Mr. Bedford. In Pennsylvania, just north of Pittsburgh, history was all around me with Civil War fields, The Erie Canal, George Washington camp sites and French Creek. I was always fascinated with how things began and the stories that could be told by them.

Even though I grew up about 45 miles south of Lake Erie, I’d never been waterfowling as a kid. My father owned a small outdoor store called “Murphy’s Rod & Gun” in Meadville, Pa. I can remember as a kid hunting deer, rabbit and squirrel, but never waterfowl. No clue why, as a half mile away from the house I grew up in was Woodcock Lake. I’d always see duck’s and geese on the lake while bass fishing as a boy during the hot humid summer’s and remember a few duck blinds along the old road that ran near it.

READ MORE of this story by Jon Murphy

Friday, April 1, 2011

Garrett Norsten; Minnesota Youth Staff

GarrettNorstenMNApril 2011 Featured Team Member
Garrett Norsten - Youth Staff
-What is your favorite part of fowl hunting?
Answer: My favorite part of fowl hunting is being with friends and family!
It is alot of fun to be with my friends. I really like how peaceful it is when during the sunrise.
-What is your strongest hunting quality?


Friday, March 11, 2011

FREE Youth Waterfowl Clinic!


Duck Junkies Tennessee Youth Field Day Registration Form Now Available Online!

Children ages 6 to 17 may attend at Montgomery County Shooting Complex in Southside, Tennessee Register early and attend FREE!
(Exhibitor and Sponsor spots available! To become an Exhibitor, Sponsor or Volunteer, click here.)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What is Wetland Conservation?

What You Need to Know About Wetland Conservation

SOURCE: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with the United States and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. Sources/links for reference number found in this article can be viewed directly through the Wikipedia link above.
Wetland Conservation, as implied by its name, is a subdivision of conservation focusing on waterways, standing water, and the land around them, usually including swamps, marshes, bogs and similar areas. Wetlands have become a focal issue for conservation due to their biological production, ability to filter and store water, mitigate flood damages, importance in providing habitat and food for waterfowl, as well as the many other species they host. From economic importance, to aesthetics, the reasons for protecting wetlands have become quite numerous over the past several decades.  READ MORE

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Update: Waterfowlers Prepare Special Gift for Deployed Soldier


Update: Deployed Soldier Returns Home...To Some Hard News


You may all remember the story we featured here about 'Waterfowlers Prepare a Special Gift For Deployed Soldier and His Daughter".

SSgt. James Bent returned home his 7th deployment on February 15. SSgt.Bent and Waterfowling friend KY Pro Staff Michael Carver will be featured on the new Lifetime TV series 'Coming Home'. His emotional trip home to his wife and four daughters also came with some hard news.

In the previous article we told you about Jim's daughter, Abby, who was mauled by a labrador retriever at a young age. Mike's dog, Reload or "Pooh", was to provide a puppy to Jim to help his daughter overcome her fears and Pooh is a dog Jim trusted. The original breeding in the fall of 2010 didn't take so we would have to wait on spring.

Exactly one week before SSgt.Bent was to return... Pooh got sick. He took some bites of food and had trouble breathing.

Mike rushed Pooh to the vet that had been treating him for only mild laryngeal paralysis. Pooh had been having small episodes but nothing like this. Mike administered oxygen to the dog on the twenty minute drive... with no improvement.

The vet tried everything to help Pooh overcome his episode... and Pooh struggled to get any oxygen. With his heart overworked, and his body exhausted...Pooh was getting worse. The vet advised that there was nothing else that could be done and it was only a matter of time, now.

With a teary eyed vet, an emotionally exhausted Mike, and even a crying vet tech.... Mike told the vet to give Pooh the shot so that he wouldn't suffer anymore. I left for the vet myself but I didn't make it... but I was home when Mike came home to lay Pooh down. We buried him at the corner of the field with some mallard curls...

Pooh touched the lives of so many people including SSgt.Bent. It was hard for Jim and for us not to be able to give him a puppy from the one dog that he completely trusted. Pooh's original mate will be bred to another dog in the spring and we'll get 2nd pick of the litter but no dog will ever replace Pooh not for us or for Jim.

Pooh was about to turn 11 in March. He hunted for 9 years. He retrieved his final two ducks on Thanksgiving Day 2010.

In memory of Reload. February 9, 2011

I'm going to miss my buddy...

(You can click the photo for a link to a video of pictures to the song "Duck Blind")


Monday, February 14, 2011

Ducks Unlimited Voices Strong Opposition to Massive Federal Conservation Spending Cuts


MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Feb. 14, 2011 – Ducks Unlimited, along with other conservation organizations, is opposing proposed spending cuts in conservation programs released this week by the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee. The cuts would affect wetlands conservation to the tune of nearly $2 billion, including the loss of $47 million in funding for North American Wetlands Conservation Act grants. The proposed cuts would eliminate all NAWCA funding and also eliminate the match for a total loss of $200 million in habitat work.

"The cuts being proposed could imperil waterfowl populations and the future of the waterfowl hunting tradition in America," said DU CEO Dale Hall. "What's being proposed by the House Appropriations Committee will cripple conservation efforts as we know them," Hall said. "Elimination of NAWCA, an 81% reduction of acquisition for refuges and seriously reducing many other programs so vital to our mission are things DU strongly opposes."


Friday, February 11, 2011


The Duck Blind Brew Up

If your idea of hunting ducks involves early mornings and heart pumping caffeine intake, then this article is for you. This is not a how to on brewing that perfect cup of Turkish coffee, or how to use that brand new French Press from the coffee house. This is an article written for the person who wants that feeling of independence from the corner store house blend.
Thermos_camo_gloves_hatThere are a lot of ways to get your morning fix. Most of these involve drinking lukewarm, stale coffee from a thermos that couldn't keep ice from melting in the arctic. They have chewing gum loaded with caffeine now, as well as a plethora of bottled and canned goods available at any gas station. But the key to beverage independence is first realizing that you don't need a coffee maker to brew a cup of Joe, in fact, most good coffee doesn't come from a drip coffee maker. In my circle of friends, we call brewing up a great cup of hot coffee or tea in the outdoors a "Brew Up".
This is where we take the time out of whatever we are doing to relax, start a fire or break out a stove and make a pot of hot water so we can have our coffee or tea. Lately I have been using a small backpacking stove and a small can of fuel that nests nicely into a one liter cooking pot that can be taken out and assembled in less than a minute, and 5 minutes later have two cups of boiling water ready to season with whatever beverage I wish.
The back country brew up has been used by people all over the world and by all kinds of outdoorsmen. From the high alpine mountains to the tropical jungles, people have boiled water to have a hot dose of their favorite addiction. For this particular piece, we are going to discuss the different methods of brewing up in the duck blind. Now duck blinds are a varied bunch. Some are large enough that they have heaters and cooking stoves built in. If you hunt out of one of these, then you are all set for fresh brew. For those of us hunting out of a canoe in a marsh, or hiking in to hunt a small pond, there are a lot of options in lightweight backpacking stoves and canned fuel. For the field hunter in the lay-out blind, where space is limited, there is no excuse for not having a cup of decent coffee to fuel your day.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Duck Bible Will Help Fund Youth Field Day

The Duck Bible Newly Releases Edition, The Woman Waterfowler's Duck Bible, Sales To Fund Youth Field Day in Tennessee

The Duck Bible and The Duck Bible: Ladies Edition will help to fund the youth field day to be held in Tennessee on April 23, 2011.

For every one book sold it will pay for THREE youth to attend the field day. Children as young as 6 and as old as 17 may attend and it will be held at Montgomery County Shooting Complex in Southside, Tennessee. It is convenient to Fort Campbell as well as the Nashville area.

There will 75 spots reserved for advanced reservations but up to 150 kids will be admitted!

Event Schedule

From 10AM until 6/7PM kids will attend the following classes:

Duck Identification


Boating Safety

Hunting with a Retriever

Waterfowl Hunting Rules and Laws

Shotgun Safety

Duck Calling

Each child will be taken to the range and will be able to participate in clay target shooting.

Prizes for students so far will include some Drake kids gear, One free duck mount, Case of Ammunition, and some duck calls. If you would like to donate an item, supplies or funds for the clinic please contact Heather Carver TN Pro Staff at (615) 403-6499. Remember we want this clinic to be FREE for the kids and for every book sold that pays for two children to attend the clinic!

This will be an event put on solely by Duck Junkies! So c'mon fellow junkies... lets take em'!

Heather Carver

TN Pro Staff

Monday, February 7, 2011

Meet the Alabama Youth Hunt Mentors

Sponsors: Duck, Duck Goose Lanyards, Delta Waterfowl, Echo Calls, Ure-a-Duck Decoys, Rig 'em Right, Drake WAterfowl, Foskey's Taxidermy and Revelation Outdoors.
Sponsors (local): Alabama Limo,Piggly Wiggly of Greenville, Connecuh Sausage, Fred's of Greenville, Polka Dots Cafe, Emily's, Camellia City Bakery
Front Row (L-R) Taite Watson, Dakota Berry, Baker Bozeman, Tanner Dunklin, Cody Parker, William Sherling, Sawyer Hennis, Bradey Peavey, Clay Thompson, Carter Boswell.
Back Row (L-R) Tyler Davis, Kirkland Kilpatrick, Chey-Anne Kilpatrick, Caleb Whigham, Dalton Hood, Hunter Craig, Jacob Till, William Luke Hendrick, Josh Strickland.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Jim Bo: a three and a half year old chocolate lab that would save my arm from surgery....

The Chronicles of Jim Bo
By: W. S. Allen
With all the agility and dexterity of a 6’3” circus clown trying to extricate himself from a three foot clown car while playing Yankee Doddle Dandy on a kazoo, I moved the last tumbler on the padlock to its proper position. Like magic the lock came alive, reminiscent of a fantasy movie where a wizard waves his wand and limestone Gargoyles come to life to fight a clean shaven, twenty something GQ model whose sole purpose in life it to save the princess, ingratiate himself to the King, steal her dowry, and sign autographs for the rest of his life.

The lock opened and fell into my hand releasing both ends of the large chain that served to aid the gate in fulfilling its purpose of either keeping something in or keeping something out and on those very few special occasions of letting someone in. In this case it was the later. Once through the portal I helped the trio of lock, chain, and gate resume their vigil as I started to drive slowly down a one lane path venturing deeper into the realm of the Teal, Pintail, Gadwall, and Spoon Bill.
I’d ventured to Capano Bay on the Gulf of Mexico for a weekend of duck hunting with good friends and great dogs. Capano Bay is just one of many large estuaries on the gulf coast of Texas that are the winter home for a majority of the Central and Mississippi fly ways waterfowl. At any one time you can see upwards of 50 thousand ducks on any one of these large estuaries and the several hundred brackish lakes that surround them.
Our host for the weekend had instructed me to follow the “yellow brick road” until it ended at a bungalow that would be home for me and three of my friends. As I drove I couldn’t help notice that Capano Bay was getting closer and closer to my truck. I began to wonder if I might not need scuba gear. Just as I was about to start holding my breath the road took a sharp turn to the right and my view of Capano Bay was replace by a white wood frame house on stilts not more than fifteen yards from me getting my feet wet.
Our guide JT Davis was there sitting on an ATV waiting on someone, anyone to show up. I was the first to arrive so JT showed me around the place. After a tour most realtors would envy JT smiled and said.
“Ya’ll be ready and I see you at 5:30AM.”
As I looked out on Capano Bay I heard his ATV start up and drive off. I decided to let Daisy and Bailey enjoy the bay for a while. My dogs came along but Daisy was a little under the weather and Bailey hadn’t walked the high wire without a net so she was going to be grounded for the weekend. She would’ve probably done well but these were people who had dogs much older and more experienced than my pup and her enthusiasm took some getting use too so she got a pass.
The minute I turned them loose they headed straight for the water. Bailey had never been in saltwater before and she couldn’t quite figure out why this water tasted funny. After a taste or two she decided she didn’t care for taste but it felt good, one out of two aint bad.
We were having a great time with bumpers flying and dogs swimming. One of the joys of life is watching a lab in water. They seem to belong there, not bound to the land and yet not quite aquatic, comfortable and adept in both. They revel in the chase of either a downed bird or a plastic bumper as long as it’s surrounded by water. They want to chase it and bring it back to you. It doesn’t matter whether they have to run or swim to achieve their mission, regardless of their personal safety or wellbeing they will do what they were trained and love to do. Not a bad philosophy for all of us.
Just as my arm felt like a trip to the emergency room was in order the cavalry arrived. With it came Jim Bo a three and a half year old chocolate lab that would save my arm from surgery. The three dogs had known each other for a long time and were great buds. After the prescribed amount of smelling and tail wagging it was time for Jim Bo to do a few drills so he would be ready for the morning hunt. I took my dogs inside and watched through a window.
Dr. Faith Rothermel was Jim Bo’s owner and best friend. Faith grabbed a hand full of bumpers and walked about a hundred yards throwing bumpers left and right as she went until the thirty or so plastic tubes were arranged just the way she wanted. She then called Jim Bo over to her side and started the drill.
First she would direct Jim Bo straight ahead and then stop him and turn him left or right depending on her mood and Jim Bo would do exactly as he was instructed. A better drill I’ve never seen. With the slightest signal, all but undetectable to the naked eye, he would change course and move to satisfy Faith’s every whim. He seemed to move with little or no effort as if he were out for a late afternoon stroll picking up bumpers as he went. What a wonderful performance of dog and trainer, a hunting team of excellence. As I watched the perfectly choreographed duo my excitement grew. When Jim Bo brought every bumper back to Faith, she rubbed his head a couple of times and kenneled him.
At diner the conversation wasn’t about how tasty my salmon looked or how wonderful the restaurant was. Our conversation was centered on Jim Bo and his mastery of the art of retrieval and his over whelming desire to please Faith and to bring her anything and everything she asked of him.
After Jim Bo’s performance the only thing we needed was the morning temperature to be in the lower thirties and a nice 15 MPH wind. If Mother Nature looked favorably on our undertaking we were sure to have a great day of duck hunting on the Gulf of Mexico.
The moment the annoying claxon started blasting at 4:30 AM I listened for the wind. There were no trees so the tell tale signs of leaves rustling was conspicuously absent, however, the window panes were rattling softly. A smile miraculously appeared as I rushed to the kitchen for a cup of coffee.
I was all but giddy as I prepared for the hunt. The wind and finding out I hadn’t forgotten anything seemed to me to be a good omen. I put on my waders and waited for JT to show up in much the same manner as a 10 year old waits for Christmas morning. I must have asked Faith a hundred times how was Jim Bo. Just before my fellow hunters were contemplating locking me in a closet JT arrived.
After the usual good morning greetings and one more inquiry of Jim Bo’s condition, we loaded up on two chariots cleverly disguised as UTVs and headed for, at least that day, a little slice of heaven complete hopefully with Red Heads, Spoon Bills, and Gadwalls.
Once settled in the blind all we could do was keep checking out watches to see if shooting light was any closer than the last time we checked. I took the opportunity to inquire about Jim Bo.
The most wonderful sound in a duck blind besides the command to “take um,” is, “lock and load.”
I looked out over the brackish water at a beautiful sunrise as the excitement grew. Off in the distance several specs dotted the morning sky. With mounting anticipation I watched as they got closer. I was still watching when JT shouted.
“Take um.”
In an instant my gun was at my shoulder and I was squeezing the trigger. In unison several explosions erupted from the small reed covered sanctuary. One bird down, then another, and another then a deafening silence fell over the water.
Faith watched each bird to see where to send Jim Bo first, after she made her decision she pointed not so much with a quick point of her left hand but with body language that was all but indictable. Jim Bo staring intently at Faith was up and gone in a blink of an eye. He was poetry in motion as he collected one duck after another. His tail gave away his mood as he brought Faith each duck.
He hadn’t shaken completely until JT whispered “steady, steady, and then a long pause filled with all but unbearable excitement before he finally yelled “take um.”
This time there was but one lonesome duck and being the great shots that we were, we all mist. A whine echoed from the far end of the blind it seems Jim Bo’s wasn’t impressed with our shooting abilities. The more we missed the more he whined. I asked Faith was he alright? She informed us that when a shotgun goes off he expects to swim and if he can’t he is very unhappy.
About 8:30 a brace of ducks happened by and our shooting was unproductive, Jim Bo’s disappointment could be heard all the way to Cancun. I was about ready to give him my gun. Jim Bo spent the rest of the morning swimming and whining.
I’ve spent many wonderful hours on the water waiting for a duck to fly past but the time I spent watching a chocolate lab swim and yes whine were among the most memorable. He was a joy to watch and I was honored to spend a few hours sharing his love for the hunt.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Cabin Fever Combat: Shake off those winter blues by pre-scouting new hunting locations

Here at Duck Junkies, there is no off season. So why sit and sprout roots in your arm chair or couch after your season ends. Use the winter months to pre-scout some new hunting locations.

This winter over here in New England it's been one of the coldest and snowiest in years. With the cold temperatures, the lakes and ponds locked up early this season. With plenty of SAFE ice around, I like to take advantage of the accessibility of some of the area watersheds that offer hunting opportunities.

Safety is of course my first and foremost concern as it should be yours. As a waterfowl hunter, I always dress for the weather and let someone know where I'll be. If you do plan on trekking over any frozen body of water, be sure that the ice is safe. Stay away from inlets, outlets or moving water where the ice may be thinner. A good topographical map can provide you with this information. Another good reference is an Ice Fisherman. Since they're drilling holes through, they'll know how thick the ice is.

To find a location to scout, for private land I'll refer to topo maps and for public, the State Hunting Guide which usually lists public hunting areas, and the maps for any particular region. Here in Connecticut, the DEP website actually provides topo maps of each public area. You may be surprised to find many locations listed as public access that are overlooked by a majority of hunters due to either remote locations or just not a popular spot. I tend to look for small bodies of water or marshy areas that are within a few miles of a major waterway which waterfowl will tend to migrate down.

Now that you've chosen a location to scout, how are you getting in there? Here in the northern half of the lower 48, deep snow can be an issue. My favorite way is snowshoes. It may be a lot of work breaking a trail but it's well worth the effort and it keeps you in shape. Hunters that have access to snow machines may find that parking the sleds and getting out on a pair of snowshoes will give you a better perspective when scouting the areas. For the hunters down in the more temperate regions of the country that have open water year round, leave the boats with the mud motors and outboards home if you can, put a PFD on and paddle it. You'll be surprised on what details you might miss by just motoring around from spot to spot.

So what do you do when you get there? I like to walk the perimeter of the pond, lake or marsh and look for the areas which might hold waterfowl in the fall months. I'll mark these areas on a map or mark a waypoint on a GPS. I'll also make reference of possible blind locations for your fall setups. Mark your parking and access points on the map also. I like to re-visit these locations again in the spring and late summer and take notes of any nesting activity and bird numbers. Bring some good binoculars and a camera with you too. When I get back home I'll transfer all of my info on to and atlas like Delorme's Atlas and Gazetteer which is available for every state and sold in most book stores.

So why become a couch potato in the winter months? Get out, enjoy the outdoors and SCOUT!!!

By Terry Mahoney- CT Pro-Staff

Monday, January 24, 2011

New Bird Disease in Canada's Arctic


OTTAWA — January 24th, 2011

A new bird disease has arrived in Canada's Arctic, one so lethal it can kill thousands of ducks in a dense colony in a lightning-fast outbreak.

Eider ducks stricken with avian cholera can die so fast that they remain upright on their eggs, eyes open. Some fall out of the sky, dead. Others survive unharmed, surrounded by corpses.

Now Carleton University and Environment Canada will get more than $500,000 to study the disease — which birds get it, how it spreads, why some survive, and how it arrived in the Arctic after decades of existing farther south.


Monday, January 3, 2011

Alabama Youth Hunt: February 5th, 2011



Duck Junkies has partnered with Delta Waterfowl to put on a mentored youth hunt on February 5th, 2011 in Brantley, Alabama.

The objective: Get kids excited about duck hunting and conservation and get their parents up to speed to support them. Delta_FirstHunt_FB

There will be 25 youth attending this event at Conecuh River Ranch. We are going to hunt six at a time out of two blinds (three per blind). There will only be one shooter in each blind at a time. While each youth is shooting, a mentor will be right beside them guiding them step by step. While they are not, mentors will be teaching them about what is going on (the way the ducks are coming in, how to lead them, when to shoot, etc.) After the hunt, mentors will help them clean their ducks and answer any questions that they have.

When back at the lodge, mentors and aids will answer questions of the parents and youth and help teach about the heritage of Duck Hunting. There will be small group lessons about duck calling, decoy placement, scouting, cooking waterfowl and more! Parents who are not familiar with waterfowling will learn the basics of the sport and how to get involved with and support their child in their future of waterfowling.

Over thirty mentors and aids for this event include staff from Duck Junkies* and Delta Waterfowl as well as Chad Poole from Echo Calls, Clay London from Ol' Dogg Guide Service, William Dennis from Drake Waterfowl, Hassey Brooks from the Alabama Department of Ag and a few others in the waterfowl industry.

Duck, Duck Goose has volunteered to donate a lanyard for each youth. Each youth will also receive fleece Duck Junkies hats and a First Hunt package from Delta Waterfowl including a duck call. Every participant will receive a certificate of attendance.

You do not have to be an industry professional to volunteer for this event BUT if you would like to be a volunteer at this event please contact us ASAP as space is filling fast! ALL YOUTH SLOTS FOR THIS EVENT ARE FULL. Any youth that are wishing to be involved in a future hunt should contact us.

Jim Brooks is the Duck Junkies on-site coordinator for this event. This hunt is scheduled to have multiple people filming.

To learn about getting involved in Duck Junkies events, please contact us.

*Duck Junkies staff scheduled as mentors and aids:

Ryan Duck Junkie Marrinan: Founder

Jim Brooks: Alabama Pro Staff, Event Coordinator

Will Fastabend: Louisiana Youth Staff, 3rd Junior World Championship Specklebelly Goose

Shawn Foskey, Georgia Pro Staff, Taxidermist (He will be accompanied by his son Colton, a competitive duck caller.)

John Wilson, Georgia Pro Staff, Life-long committed waterfowler

Michael Scarborough, Pro Staff, Experienced traveling waterfowler

Isaac Brinkley, Field Staff, Student Majoring in Wildlife and Fisheries