Hmmmm... 50,000 ducks? Right. Who is he trying to kid? Do I really look that naïve? Does he realize how many ducks that is?
Still, I say nothing. And continue staring into a mostly clear sky.
"There they are," Hesby says half an hour later, binoculars in hand. "They're starting to come back to feed."
Sure enough, a flock of maybe 300 mallards circles our field before dropping in. And then another flock. And another. This all-out invasion continues nonstop for more than two hours. We stay past dark, and do not leave until we can no longer see winged silhouettes in the sky. "That's where we'll be in the morning," Hesby says. "Right in the middle of that cornfield."
Hesby and Keller have been hunting together for several years as friends and members of the Avery pro staff. Keller is a Pierre native. Hesby, well, his introduction to South Dakota is worth recounting.