the winter that never was……

As common with the theme of recent winters, South Florida had limited exposure to any cold northerly wind during this waterfowl season. I told myself last year that I would fish more and spend less time pursuing birds, but as with all vaguely written plans, neither came true and sadly within a few muzzle flashes, the duck hunting season was behind me.
Nonetheless, we made best with the days we had and enjoyed all that accompanies your typical waterfowl shake down. As I only touch this gear but a few months a year, this involves lots of pulling boxes and gear bags out, going through all the dekes, generally getting shit in order which typically throws my wife into a panic as she cannot believe how much “junk” is required for a few days hunting. Like many wives she is typically quite happy when late January roles around and the “junk” hibernates for another 10 months.

While I would never claim to be a golfer (or at least a respectable golfer) the same plays part for wing shooting. I am but a rookie in the intertwined network of hardcore waterfowlers whose great granddads showed their granddads who showed their dads who showed them, there is a lot of rich history in duck hunting similar to that of fly fishing.

There is something to be said about arriving early to watch the marsh come alive………………undoubtedly my favorite part of the hunt.

first light and birds buzzing the spread gets your nerves set straight for a good hunt……..

The smell of the first few burnt shells of the season have their way of bringing you back where you left off many months ago.

Some mornings were better than others…………….(birds working the dekes)

arts and crafts…………………………………………..

first storm widgeon……………………

I have received a few questions over the last years how I protect my camera gear while standing knee deep in the muck, in my opinion nothing suits my needs better than the Simms Dry Creek bag. It is soft on the skiff and waterproof with the exception of dunking it.

It was a short but sweet season with quality over quantity as the general theme…………………all the “junk” is now packed but out comes much more with tarpon season and gobbler stalking around the corner.

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