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OUTDOORSMAN’S JOURNAL – 10-3-2012

Mississippi River Duck Hunt “2012”

Hello friends,

This is another one of those stories where I am going to be all over the map as I have so much to write.  Forty some years ago my dad, the late Robert Walters, took me camping and duck hunting on an island on the Mississippi River near Ferryville.

That annual trip was also attended by my brothers, Mike and Tom.

This year, there are ten of us camping on an island just north of where we always camped, as our old “old home” is being rebuilt by the Army Corps of Engineers.

I am camping with, what is truly an awesome group of duck hunters of which most are 14-24 except, my old buddy Jeff Moll, myself and my 11-year-old daughter Selina who will be on her first duck hunt.

Friday, September 21st
High 76, low 40

Our crew of ten solid Americans had four boats with motors, ten skiffs or canoes, and enough guns and ammo to hold off the Chinese Army for a week, should they attack.  That is what Grant Moll, Ryan Moll, Joey Gillis, Seth and Graham Steinhauer, Grant Wandler, and Joey Dushek had in common along with a desire to hunt ducks and enjoy the campfire.

Today, each of us explored by watercraft and built temporary blinds under beautiful, sunny skies while being bombarded by an endless supply of wood duck and teal.

Tonight, we had a blast around the campfire, where the elder Moll was up to his usual antics of breaking camp chairs and amusing the masses. As usual, I was conservative and quiet!

Saturday, September 22nd
High 57, low 38

Here is my situation, Selina and I can only carry one firearm and my goal for the last year has been to have Selina get a duck this weekend.  When the season opened at 9 this morning, a strong north wind was pushing most woodies and teal by us at an excessive speed for a young girl on her first duck hunt.

We had walkie-talkies and all of our groups spoke through out the day.  My daughter was having a hard time with the swing and was not pulling the trigger much!   Jeff Moll and his 14-year-old son Grant limited out and Grant limited out two hours into the hunt as did his brother Ryan.

My stepson, Joey Dushek is a premier waterfowler and limited out with three drake woodies and the same amount of teal.

The Steinhauer brothers and Joey Gillis hunted together, shot 18 birds and dropped there first ten with 12 shots.

Grant Wandler, who is Joey D’s buddy from growing up and a newcomer to this group is only in his second year of waterfowling and had his limit of six ducks about an hour after the season began.

Selina and I relocated in the middle of the day to a spot that was not so windy and though as usual we had a blast joking around with each other, Selina did not get a duck.

Tonight we had our annual campfire duck dinner and as usual it was incredible.

Sunday, September 23rd
High 71, low 34

Today is one of my favorite days of this annual trip.  We hunt the early hunt, and have some camp time, and then watch the sunset on the beautiful Mississippi River for the evening hunt.

All the other guys are knocking the ducks out of the sky and this morning Selina had the same thing happening with not being quick enough on the swing.

This afternoon we went exploring by canoe and found duck paradise.  My daughter took more shots and kept coming so close to hitting a bird that I knew there was hope to reach our goal.

Mother Nature did us a favor when a blue wing teal flew overhead and Selina put enough steel shot in it to send it to the promised-land and all was perfect in our world.

The two-mile canoe ride back to camp was perfect!

Thanks Dad!   Mark

THIS WEEK’S OUTDOOR COLUMN IS SPONSORED BY: Cedar Country Cooperative.