Banzai Grocery Run

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With my ever-increasing taste for wild ducks and an opportunity to spend the day with my good friend Smarty at hand, we barreled down to the coast for a full-throttle, way-before-dawn-to-way-after-dark, Smarty-style jump-shooting mission. Smarty–or “Maximum Dave” as he should be known–did not disappoint. That’s him above, prepping the scull boat for our first sneak of the day.

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We probably covered 100 miles of pastures, rivers, sloughs and fields. Some with the sneak boat, some on foot, but all of it in active pursuit of visible birds. So different from my early duck-hunting memories of freezing while sitting motionless in a blind, waiting and waiting and waiting. This was a complete blast. That’s a semi-selfie taken while laying flat in the boat as we silently approached another flock of unsuspecting quackers.

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Twelve hours, at least 20 missed shots (by me) and one headfirst dive (by me) into a waist-deep pasture ditch filled with field-filtered cow runoff later, we wrapped up our day with a great sneak on this slough. That’s Smarty retrieving three fat widgeon we knocked down just as shooting time ran out. The good thing about my rusty shooting is that it kept us from limiting out too early. We were able to hunt all day…your welcome, Smarty. Now all I can think about is pan-seared duck breast and going back out for more. Awesome day.

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