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9/24/18     Hunted a shallow, public lake on opening day with my Dad and two friends. Hunted the same lake on Sunday with my Dad and my son Parker, on his first duck hunt at age 6. Saturday the four of us hunted from two boats. Beautiful morning. Unfortunately, most of the hunters within earshot of us started shooting well before shooting time--some fourteen minutes early. Shame on those people. We passed up on teal, shovelers, and wood ducks in the decoys before shooting time, as the law and ethics demand. We saw a lot of ducks, were buzzed and burned by many, and managed to harvest three wood ducks, two ringnecks, a shoveler, and a greenwing teal. Sunday three generations of Smutkas had teal buzzing through the decoys all morning. Lots of excitement for 6 year old Parker. We harvested four bluewings and two greenwings. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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10/1/18     Got out with my Dad and son Parker one day this weekend. Cloudy, cool, breezy, and hazy. Saw quite a few ducks, but had a tough time getting many into shooting range. The cold snap chased out a lot of the ducks around for opening weekend, but didn't bring in as many new ducks as I would have expected. We managed one mallard, one shoveler, and one bluewing teal. Parker is hooked, and wants to hunt every weekend. Episode of Fishing and Hunting the North Country about our opening weekend hunt is on my You Tube channel now. Hope the forecast for next weekend dries up some. Too much haze and rain, and too many east winds already for the new duck season. Pictures of Parker include a TOY shotgun. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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  • 3 weeks later...

10/21/18     I have hunted in the Hutchinson area the last two weekends with my Dad, son, and some friends. Dakota ducks are trickling through central MN as the calendar migration has begun. With strong NW blows before or during the past two weekends, we have harvested mallards, gadwalls, redheads, bluebills, canvasbacks, and ringnecks, as well as a couple of geese hunting from a boat blind on some shallow lakes. This calendar migration should continue over the next couple weeks whenever we can get a strong NW or West wind. It will take some more cold and frozen water in Canada to get the big Canadian birds to come down--hopefully that happens before Thanksgiving. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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  • 4 weeks later...

11/11/18     Winter rolled in early last week. Lots of ducks blew through central MN during the week with the small water freezing up. We got in a good hunt on a large, shallow central MN lake as the migration was happening. Many of the larger lakes in central MN froze up with the single digit lows Saturday morning. We broke some ice at the landing of a large, deep lake and boated through some ice to get out to the otherwise open lake to hunt a main lake point. My son, Dad, and I managed five ducks, though we mostly saw swans, common mergansers, goldeneyes, and buffleheads. My son wanted one nice drake bufflehead, so we took that as our fifth duck. Not sure if any water is going to be open after another night in single digits this upcoming week, but we will check it out this weekend. If not, we will be onto field hunting as a lot of mallards and geese hang out on a river in the area we hunt. Good luck, be safe, stay warm, and I will see you out there somewhere.

 

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Edited by Troy Smutka
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  • 2 weeks later...

11/25/18     All water frozen in central MN except rivers, so we field hunted one day to finish up our waterfowl season. Only one goose, but mallards were dropping in all morning. Hunted a harvested cornfield from layout blinds with eight dozen goose decoys, a dozen and a half mallards decoys, and six spinning wing mallard decoys. Birds were roosting on a river running through town about two miles away. First time shooting mallards in a field for my son, Parker, so he had a blast watching them drop right on top of us. Will be switching over to ice fishing now, and will be reporting in the Fishing Reports Clubs. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.

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