Bob and I agreed, and soon we were wadered up and packing decoys from Scott's pickup. The wind was howling from the northwest, and the mallards were crowding the pond's western bank to get out of the blow. There was a border of thick bulrushes—perfect for cover. The low sun would be at our backs. The setup looked ideal. As we walked in, we flushed several dozen mallards. Soon we were perched on marsh seats a few yards deep in the cover, watching our decoys scuttle in the chop.
In the next hour, action wasn't fast but it was steady. Ducks began trickling back into the marsh, and we traded shots, taking a mixed bag of 14 mallards, gadwalls, and bluebills. We also downed two Canada geese that came head-on to our calling.
I had a good feeling as we picked up the decoys in the fading light. We'd had a nice start to our hunt, and I was on the Canadian prairie—the heart of the Duck Factory—with two amiable, highly capable hunting partners. There was only one more thing I could ask for. "Bob, you know a good local restaurant?"
"I do, indeed," he answered, and we headed back to town for a hot meal.