Deep Muck Duck Hunt

Duck hunting always has been and always will be one of my favorite outdoor sports.

Last spring I found a backwater part of the Wisconsin river in Columbia County that I thought might hold some ducks, and that is where I headed this past weekend for southern Wisconsin’s opening of duck season.

Saturday, Sept. 28

High, 75, Low 53

I thought I would really be on top of my game, so after watching The Necedah “Cardinals” host and lose to the Brookwood “Falcons” (in high school football) I headed down to Columbia County shortly after midnight. I had a plan of obtaining my chosen destination by 3 a.m., before any other hunters could get to it for the 9 a.m. opener.

when I was paddling my canoe in complete darkness and was literally only 500 yards from duck bottom boat that was being pushed by a mud motor passed me and parked where I wanted to hunt.

another bay to hunt, and laid in the bottom of my canoe watching the stars while using my golden retriever Fire as a pillow.

What would be a huge part of this experience, and my present life, are some injuries that I recently obtained. I presently have a broken rib, a sprained ankle and a torn calf muscle. There are a couple other minor issues as well, and spending the next 17 hours in a canoe would prove to be quite the challenge.

being pushed by mud motors made their way to the marsh but everyone kept a practical distance and all was well.

After a beautiful sunrise I tried to paddle my canoe a short distance over to some wild rice, which I would use to blend my canoe and build a temporary blind around.

I could not paddle my canoe due to dense muck and instead had to push it in muck that came up to my belly button. I was wearing chest waders and the muck was the toughest I ever walked in and it really pulled on all of my injuries.

After setting up shop, I watched the skies that were loaded with teal, wood ducks and mallards. My goal was to pass on the teal and limit out (six ducks) on woodies and mallards.

At 9 a.m., the season opened and everyone around me was sending woodies and teal to heaven. I passed up dozens of teal experi- came my way and I sailed one. I told Fire to fetch it and she looked at me like I was nuts.

There is a side story to Fire, and that is that she has stolen our cat’s kittens, was growing breasts, and carries and sleeps with these kittens constantly. Now, when I really need her, she has a hormonal imbalance that is just nuts.

dive from the canoe she became plastered to the muck and literally could not move. I had to move the canoe to my dog by foot and that is exactly how I attempted to retrieve the goose. I might add that at this point I had been up 28 hours and I was somewhat tired and in a ton of pain.

Over the next three hours, I held my ground and did not shoot a duck. At 1 p.m. I came to the conclusion that if I was going to harvest a duck or get any dog training in, which is something that I was really hoping for, I would have to relocate.

It was a 300-yard slog to get out of the muck but life became better as soon I could actually paddle my rig. I watched the skies and looked for deeper water with cover.

My persistence paid off and I found a small cattail island near some wild rice where I passed decided that I was being stupid and shot one.

When I told my dog to fetch it she told me that if I brought her home to her kittens, she would fetch it. I lied and she fetched the duck.

My shooting was good, it started pouring and I hunted until dark. My dog did not do so well. I was really intelligent and decided to wean my self from pain pills on this trip.

Between sweat and rain I was totally soaked. When I paddled to my truck at 8 p.m. I was in a ton of pain.

Next year I know how to hunt this place and one way or another my dog will be into the game, and perhaps after two weeks of being in intense pain I have decided to quit wrestling kids in their 20s!

Loving life but a bit crippled!


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