Ducks Unlimited Chief Biologist
Dale Humburg began his waterfowl education and hunting experience with his dad in a duck boat in the mid-1950s. Hunting Ventura Marsh in North Iowa early in the season and Clear Lake after freeze-up yielded everything from bluewings to bluebills to blue geese. Although he's enjoyed great days in the flooded timber for mallards, dry fields for Canadas and jump shooting streams for wood ducks, he admits a lasting attraction for the open marsh with a couple hundred decoys, SW wind at 15-20 and clear skies. Dale has found that the social aspects have become increasingly important and what he writes in his hunting journal is less about what they shot and more about what they ate, the sights and sounds of the marsh, previous seasons and those yet to come. Dale is a wetland owner and manager, and 50 years after first hunting with his dad, he's passing on lessons learned in the duck boat to his grandchildren. Dale believes he has an obligation to let them see the sun rise, learn to pole the duck boat, get their feet wet, take a nap on the marsh, and yes, even shoot a few mallards over the decoys.