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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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It takes us all of about 20 minutes to shoot four limits. And, uh, that lone wigeon? I confess. Then we case the guns and watch the feed continue, peering from behind tiny mesh layout blind windows.
 
"Shooting's great," Hesby says an hour later, as we begin to gather gear. "But it's all about the show. There's nothing like the show."

And he's right. The production we just witnessed would play well to duck-hunting audiences in Peoria, or on Broadway. The consensus among us is that there were at least 20,000 ducks in this quarter-section field during the course of the spectacle.

Sams looks at me. "Did you ever see anything like that?" he asks.
    
I do not have to think twice about my answer. "Nope. Never."
   
The following morning finds us in the same field, although our position has been adjusted a bit in deference to the wind. Decoys are again deployed. Layout blinds are draped in stubble. "I was hoping for a little more sun today because it's easier to hide the layout blinds," Hesby says. "The cornstalks have a sheen to them that reflects the light and blends right in. And the birds, they really shine in the sun, too. I like them colored up."

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