Camp Talk: Mallards on a Monday
Why the outdoors is important to me.
Growing up I spent a lot of my time outdoors. I have countless memories from growing up
learning how to fish from my dad, walking grasslands and bagging my first rooster, to countless hours
and miles spent with friends chasing after ducks and geese. Being outside doing the things that I love has
brought so much joy to my life and I can’t imagine what it would be like without it.
My favorite duck hunting memory.
Duck hunting memories are more than just how many birds you harvested that day. It’s the work
of scouting, setting up your spread, and being able to share in the experience with others. I didn’t start
duck hunting until my second year of college when my friend invited me to go with him. I didn’t hesitate
to join him for a chance at what sounded like a fun experience and I quickly fell in love with it and have
been obsessed ever since. Since then I have been on many hunts and always try to invite others,
beginners to experts, to share in this wonderful experience.
One of my most memorable hunts came on a Monday morning in mid-November after a
tough weekend of hunting due to stale birds and blue bird weather. There were a couple of older
gentlemen, that I met on those hunts through my friend that weekend, were on a hunting trip and were
leaving Tuesday. They’d had a less than successful trip, so I told them I was going out scouting for a field
Sunday evening and I’d be happy to have them join if I found a field. I remember finding the field just
before dark, and it was loaded with ducks and snow geese. Once I talked with the famer and got
permission to hunt, I didn’t hesitate to let the two gentlemen know we were good to go. I then
proceeded to call and text several of my friends to see who was free to join. Due to it being a Monday
and most people busy with classes or work, my friends Dylan and Nate were the only ones free to join.
Dylan had invited me on a successful hunt that October, so I was more than happy to return the favor.
The next morning the five of us met up at the field a couple hours before shooting time to give
us plenty of time to set the decoys and properly brush in the blinds. After taking a few minutes of
planning where and how to set up all the decoys, we headed out into the field and got to work. We
finished setting up and were all tucked into our blinds about fifteen minutes before shooting time, but
we didn’t have to wait long before we could hear and see the ducks on their way to the field from their
roost on the lake. We were all quietly laughing and enjoying watching a large flock of mallards hovering
over us and landing in our decoys for a short moment before jumping back up and flying around again.
After what felt like a long wait it was finally shooting time, we started calling and waiting for a flock to
come in close. They made a couple wide passes before committing and flew right into the kill zone with
wings cupped and feet down. “Take em”, I yelled as we proceeded to take the first volley of shots. Shells
were flying and birds were falling. After about forty-five minutes of hot and heavy action we had a solid
pile of greenheads with our limit of mallards and a couple drake widgeons to top it off. The ducks
however didn’t think we should leave just yet as they kept pouring in from the lake. It looked like a
constant stream of ducks kept coming as we stayed hidden in our blinds and enjoyed watching hundreds
of ducks pile into the field and feed about a hundred yards from our spread. About and hour or so
passed and the ducks seemed to get there fill and started flying away from the field to head back to the
Once they had left pictures were taken and there were smiles and laughs all around as we talked
about the how cool it was watching the birds come in and who missed an easy shot. It was definitely one
of those hunts that you only have that great of success once every so often. This is one of my most
memorable hunts not just because it was so successful, but because I was able to help a couple friends
as well the two older gentlemen experience an awesome hunt that I’m sure they’ll never forget.
Written By: Joel Pederson
Special Thanks: Cameron Sundmark
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