Two pups and a teal hunt

When my stepson, Travis Dushek, was 6-years-old I took him on several duck hunts, both in a canoe and by field hunting. Travis never had a problem getting up long before the sun and no matter what the weather conditions were he loved waterfowl hunting.

On every hunt my golden retrievers at the time, Star and Pearl, were with us and that instilled a love for hunting dogs in Travis that brings us to this week’s story.

Friday, Sept 1

High 70, Low 52

Travis, Pat Lindemann, Hannah Lindemann, myself and Devon Wood are camping at Call of the Wild Campground on Buffalo Lake near Packwaukee. Call of the Wild is owned and operated by my good friend, Meta Peacock.

I have to tell you I love the Call of the Wild lodge, its laid-back environment and the incredible view of the marshy Buffalo lake which is fed by the Fox River.

I canoed the entire Fox in April of ‘92 and a month later I participated in a carp shoot that Meta was hosting her first spring here at Call of The Wild. I used a canoe and filled my canoe with carp.

Back to the hunt, Travis and Devon have been scouting this piece of water and were confident we would have some good shooting for the first two days of the seven-day teal season.

I watched day become night from my canoe last night out on the marsh and saw lots of woodies and mallards but no teal. Later in the night we had a very good time around the campfire.

This morning Devon would be hunting out of a canoe as would I. Travis would be hunting in his latest watercraft purchase which is a 1754 Excel that is pushed by a 36-horsepower Prodrive. Simple terms, a very nice flat bottom boat pushed by an awesome mud motor.

The real story on this two-day hunt is that Travis and I would be taking our golden retrievers Ash and Ruby on their first solo hunts. Ruby and Ash are sisters, their mother is my golden Fire and Ash is Travis’s first dog.

To describe Ruby and Ash is kind of like saying two high strung, very-smart, can’t-hurt them, love-the-water and feathers in-their-mouths dogs.

So the season opens at 9 a.m. but we are on the water at 5 a.m. because the early goose season opened at about daylight. Nothing is happening, so I took a snooze and kind of noticed that I was not seeing any teal before the snooze.

At 8 a.m. I started watching the skies again and was aware of the fact that there were zero shots in the area for geese but lots of woodies and mallards in the air.

At 9 a.m., I was ready for action and at noon was yet to see a teal, and Devin as well as Travis had not fired their guns either.

At noon Travis and Hannah trailored Trav’s rig and headed over to another marsh to see if they might have some better luck. I did some exploring by canoe and was using a very large and heavy rig that did not want to maneuver through the cattails or lily pads at all.

I ended up doing a lot of wading in water that was belly button-to-chest deep. At day’s end after probably 40 combined man hours of hunting, not a bird had been harvested.

Let me tell you about these two pups. They are both going to be incredible hunters. Their dad is a field trial champion multiple times over and they have kryptonite flowing in their veins. They notice everything, swim through anything, and last night and late tonight were wrestling as they always do on land and in water.

On Saturday morning I am sure Trav’s motorized acquisition helped. Travis dropped three blue wing teal. The first bird was a simple retrieve. The second was a blind double and Ash was flawless.

Sleep was at a minimal on this adventure. Very few shots were fired but it sure was fun and once again proves my theory that if you take your kids on outdoor adventures when they are kids they will hang out with you when they are adults.


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