After five DUTV hunts in seven weeks I was ready for a break. I was anxious to drop the duck gear in the garage and enjoy some much-needed time at home with the family. But, I did manage one free morning. So, what’s an outdoor television producer to do? Go hunting!
With my wife at work and the boys at school I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to go hunting with an old friend. Not to mention the idea of picking up a shotgun instead of a heavy Panasonic HD camera was rather appealing.
Witnessing first hand how the recent cold snap was pushing birds down from the Illinois River Valley to Missouri and Arkansas I decided to make the short 45-minute drive east of my home in Tulsa, Oklahoma to Esper Farms.
The small Midwest duck haven on the banks of the Arkansas River boasts a 4-acre spring-fed pond with an abundance of food and cover. Small in size, but big on action, the family duck club is not unlike any other club you might find across this great country of ours.
On a typical morning you might find my good friend Vaughn Esper in the blind hunting with his two lovely granddaughters or sipping coffee with an old friend. For those lucky enough to be invited, the farm is the ideal getaway for an early morning shoot.
Constructed by Vaughn himself the roughhewn duck blind was milled from the surrounding cash of red cedar that grows thick in our part of the world. Situated smack-dab in the middle of the pond it’s easily accessed by a narrow earth jetty. Easy walking. But more importantly dry!
A veteran outfitter of 30-plus years Vaughn is the man in charge of decoy placement, so there’s rarely a need for hip boots or waders. This was especially nice because I wanted to take advantage of the sub-freezing temperature and test my new Chippewa Country boots. The series is waterproof, lightweight, durable, comfortable, and features a Vibram sole. Everything you’ve come to expect from Chippewa.
In the end we passed on more ducks than we shot, we reminisced about past adventures, sipped coffee, and generally enjoyed the crisp morning. It seemed like a fitting way to end my first year Living in Chippewa Boots.
How will you wrap up your fall hunting season?