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South Dakota Spectacular

The hunt of a lifetime is the reward for days of hard scouting in this state's prairie pothole country 
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Hesby calls the shot. But which bird to shoot? There are so many. I remind myself to pick out one and stay with it until it falls. Four shotguns roar. The ducks are backpedaling. At least half a dozen tumble to the ground.

Everyone reloads and prepares for Act II. Again, only minutes later, another flock is descending quickly. Two more enormous bunches follow. The pale sky becomes a mottled canvas of green and brown and white with a mix of dangling orange feet thrown in. This is high-definition gunning on the widest of wide screens. Shotguns bark again. More birds are down. 

I'm shaking. And absolutely astounded. There is seemingly no end to this duck parade. At least once I pinch myself, just to make sure this is not one of those classic dreams that duck hunters endure the night before opening day. No, this is real. The sky is full of ducks. And we're right below them. We are sitting not only on the elusive "X," but also the U, V, W, and Z. Upon further review, we've likely got the entire alphabet covered. It's as if every duck in South Dakota has been summoned to a special meeting in this field.

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