We dug ourselves in. There was no other option. After hours of afternoon scouting, we watched ducks pour into a small patch of sheet water in the middle of a giant field of North Dakota wheat stubble. The cover was so thin a drinking straw would have stuck out like a sore plastic thumb. Gumby and Pokey couldnt have fooled a duck out there, and they were only seven inches tall. We had to get creative. Which is another word for crazy.

We showed up two hours before sunrise, with guns, shells, decoys, and a shovel. Ten steps from the waters edge, we dug a couple of body-sized trenches, 45 degrees to the wind, and a foot deep. We set a few decoys and burrowed down. We raked mud and muck and wheat stubble over our bodies and lay there like alligators in a swamp. It was crazy, we thought, the night before as we scrounged up a shovel, and it seemed even crazier as the eastern sky glowed and the air nearly hummed with unseen wings. But some of the best duck hunting ideas are just that: Crazy. Until theyre not.

Its time for a little crazy now. Time to pull out all the stops, and hunt outside of the box. Like the aluminum pie pans we hung in the trees on the far side of the swamp to turn ducks to our side of the water. That was the kind of crazy that worked.

As did our mud-o-flage. We were like Arnold in that scene in Predator, invisible in the mud bank. We rose from the ground like zombies coming out of their graves, mud and wheat chaff flying, and the mallards and pintails and spoonies never knew what hit them.

Crazy. Sometimes its the only card youve got. And sometimes that card is an ace.