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The Dakota Duck March

3/19/2008


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The typical scenario is to find a pothole with a sufficient number of ducks, jump them up the next day, while walking in the next morning, then build up the casualties as they begin to return in small groups, pairs and singles. For the most part, this strategy paid off for us day after day, but for some reason, the mallards didn't seem to make their way back as quickly as the gadwall and teal.

There were many hunts where our straps were nearly full with green-wing and blue-wing teal, gadwalls and divers, before our limits were finished with later arriving mallards.

We avoided like a plague the frequent attacks from the "smiling ones," known to some as the North American Shoveler. A lack of proper identification from one of our party that led to the demise of this downtrodden species left the shooter at the butt-end of protest howls and blue-streak cursings.

In spite of repeated abuse, Bailey subjected himself to such treatment on several occasions, and we disgustingly dismissed any of the poor excuses he would use.

The tactics in North Dakota are simple for the most part. But regardless of what you may have heard, if you don't spend a lot of your time scouting, you can still struggle to fill a limit.

You need to spend the late afternoons seeking out places for dry field hunting by simply driving the roads to find where they're feeding. Be there a little early the next morning to set up before ducks begin to return to the fields just at dawn.

Browse additional Dakota Duck March galleries here.

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