Where It All Began
Several months earlier I had made plans to travel to this area to get a head start on the new season. I also wanted to check out freelance hunting opportunities on the many local Ducks Unlimited projects. DU Canada owns dozens of tracts in the Minnedosa area that are open to the public. What's more, hunting pressure on these projects is very light. Most shooting in southwest Manitoba is done on dry grainfields, where mixed bags of geese and ducks are taken from ground blinds. This leaves the potholes largely undisturbed—an ideal situation for waterfowlers who enjoy gunning over water.
I phoned Scott, a longtime friend and DU Canada's director of operations on the prairies. Scott loves his work, and he also loves to pursue the fruits of his labor. He was quick to volunteer his services. "I'll pick you up at the Winnipeg airport, and then we'll head west," he said.
"Just bring your waders, shotgun, hunting clothes, and personal gear. I'll have everything else."
In Winnipeg, I met Scott at the curb outside the terminal. His truck was loaded with decoys and other essentials. Brie was nestled on a blanket on the back seat. We were two hours' drive from pothole country, and we were eager to get there, find some ducks, and set up for an afternoon shoot.