Opening Day Menagerie

Being a week early, the opening day of the 2011 Minnesota waterfowl season was projected to be fair to good.  An abundance of water in the prairie potholes provided exuberant excitement for our Dakota neighbors.  Decent local bird numbers, as a result of a more than positive hatch, made even the Minnesota duck hunter anxious to hit the blind. 

Opening day waterfowlers reported, however, that the numbers of birds viewed and harvested certainly tipped the result over the “good” threshhold.  High teal numbers along with an extra week of wood duck hunting was too good to be true for the early season.

The jet stream above central Minnesota couldn’t have provided a more beautiful morning.  Almost windless, the early morning sunrise was all too beautiful with mallards circling the sky.  The actual numbers witnessed were astonishing and unexpected.  Contrary to the mild disappointment of early grouse reports, the ducks seemed to be cooperating.

The early shoot was typical in type.  Teal were abundant, while the wood ducks held in the more eastern timber hills.  The wily mallards circled as usual only committing after a flurry from a good duck call. 

My party ended with an opening day menagerie, consisting of the early season mixed bag of young mallard drakes, wood ducks, and butter ball teal.  My mouth was watering thinking about plucked teal in the crock pot. 

Opening day 2011 was certainly a success.  Steel flew, laughter wrang true, and we even got a few.  I apologize for the rhyming.  It was just that fun!

Matt Soberg

Copyright 2011 Backwoods Revolution

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