If you’re an avid waterfowler then you know this year’s waterfowl forecast has already been touted as the best in a decade. Everyone from state wildlife agencies to Ducks Unlimited is optimistic about the upcoming hunting season.
I know when the September/October issue of DU Magazine appeared in my mailbox last month with the headline “A Record Year for Ducks” I got pretty excited – for a couple of reasons. First, I’m a DU Member and I love waterfowling. Second, I’m also a lucky member of the Ducks Unlimited Television production team.
If you’re like me all the press has left you wondering if those lofty population estimates will actually result in more birds in your spread? Maybe, however your success in the field is probably more dependent on the amount of water, food, and cover available in your area than it is on sheer numbers. Regardless of the early “Duck Factory” figures the smart hunter is still going to have to do a little work.
Now I’m no expert, but I know one! My good friend Senior Communications Specialist, Biologist, and DUTV personality Mike Checkett might cringe slightly at my interpretation of duck biology, but I think he would agree that anyone dialed into ducks knows that favorable weather and excellent wetland conditions would positively impact breeding and subsequent hatch.
So begins duck season. Three weeks ago I flew into Saskatoon for the annual pilgrimage to the Prairie Pothole Region of Central Saskatchewan. The region produces more than half of North America’s duck population. We made the two hour drive to a lodge operated by our good friends at Prairie Rose Outfitters and proceeded to enjoy five days of hunting Canada Geese in cut barley fields and ducks in small potholes.
My Canadian goals were pretty simple. Capture some epic waterfowl footage and keep my feet warm and dry! Ironically one was heavily dependant on the other. It’s hard to concentrate on the task at hand when your feet are cold or wet. Lucky there was a cold weather boot I hadn’t tried yet…the genuine lamb shearling lined 9-inch Bay Apache Arctic boot.
I knew in my heart they would be warm and dry, but I was taken aback by the out-of-the-box comfort and ridiculously good ankle support – not surprising given the height and quality of the leather. With upcoming Duck Tour stops in Wisconsin, Nebraska, Rhode Island, and Maryland it’s safe to say I just field-tested the winter boot of the year!
P.S. If you’re the least bit interested in ducks, geese, DUTV or my boots don’t hesitate to send a question or comment my way. Happy hunting!