November - December 2014

ND14

Waterfowler's Notebook: Finesse Calling

Sometimes ducks respond best to aggressive calling, but at other times they work better when you use a little finesse. This is usually the case when there hasn't been an influx of new ducks for several days and local birds are decoy-shy from hunting pressure. It's also true when the weather is warm, the sky is gray, and the wind is calm—or under any combination of these factors. Such conditions can make ducks wary, and spooky birds tend to shy away from throw-the-kitchen-sink-at-'em calling. By Wade Bourne

Conserving the West's most important waterfowl wintering area in the face of severe drought

California is a state blessed with an abundance of natural beauty. This diverse landscape is also home to millions of waterfowl that each fall make the journey down the Pacific Flyway from their northern breeding grounds to take advantage of California's temperate winter climate. Ducks Unlimited's California Wetlands Initiative focuses on conserving the state's prime waterfowl habitats through science, public policy, and outreach. By Devin Blankenship

Shotgunning: Taking Two

When the subject of shooting doubles arises, I'm always reminded of a friend who shot a Canada goose out of a flock passing over a Saskatchewan wheat field. He was swinging on another bird when the first one fell on his head, knocking him flat. Here's a quick course on the art and science of taking doubles on waterfowl. By Phil Bourjaily

Top Ten Retrievers

Of all the unanswered questions about the history of waterfowl hunting, the most intriguing mystery involves retrievers. When, how, and where, exactly, did today's duck dogs first arrive on the waterfowling scene? Scholars have spent years researching the origins of just about every sporting breed in existence. Here's an exploration of 10 of the most popular retriever breeds, their histories, and the respective attributes that make them valued hunting partners and family pets. By Gary Koehler

Ducks for Sale

Rowing alone in the dark, he reminded himself that there was no money to be made on shore. Beside him lay the gun, two hundred pounds of well-arranged iron and wood that stretched nearly 10 feet in length. He used it only at night and in a narrow skiff that offered six inches of freeboard in the best of weather. Forged in England, the big gun had passed through three generations of men who supplied the Baltimore and Philadelphia markets with ducks shot on Chesapeake Bay... It was New Year's Eve, 1911. By Mark Petrie, Ph.D.

The Ultimate Guide to Hunting Canada Geese

Take your goose hunting to the next level with these 40 tips on calling, decoys, strategies, and shooting.

Zesty Orange Duck Stir-Fry

Fresh vegetables and a tasty sauce make this Asian-inspired recipe a surefire winner. By Scott Leysath.