Subscribe | E-Editions | River News 75 | Super Shopper - FREE | About Us | Contact Us | FREE Classified Items Under $50
The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

Flanders Realty Group

home : outdoors : outdoor news
November 14, 2019

10/19/2019 7:30:00 AM
Natural Reaction
Live and let live
Jacob Friede
Of The Lakeland Times

While duck hunting last weekend, I took winter head on - as in rowing straight into a pouring snow through the dark early morning across a lake.

These kind of mornings are the best. The nasty weather only adds to the exhilaration of being engulfed by the elements, and when you're in a kayak on the open water in a snowstorm, you're most definitely engulfed.

The winds were howling and the waves were rocking as I made my way to what I thought would be a calm bay. Thankfully, I was right.

As I rounded a point the roaring winds instantly turned into a faint, distant rumble. The water was calm, with barely a ripple, and I began searching for a set-up spot.

I was on a wooded shoreline so I searched for a gap in the trees and there were many, and after cruising the shore with indecision I finally settled upon a location.

I set up my decoys with great optimism. My spot was a haven from the harsh skies through which I knew ducks would be traveling, and if they needed a rest, my spot offered an ideal place for relaxation.

It sure was for me as I waited for the light while getting covered by the ceaseless snow. Being in the midst of the season changing so drastically drew me into a trance.

But before I knew it a trail of birds buzzed by my decoys and instantly landed. It's exactly what I envision every time I throw the decoys on the water and when it happens there's a thrill of success. Even without a shot being fired.

The birds landed a bit far out of range and they immediately dove underwater. But they quickly resurfaced and in no time I was able to determine that five hooded mergansers were swimming around with my decoys.

This was very cool because hoodies are some of the most intriguing birds to witness. The males have a most unique, oval-shaped head with a great big white patch on it while the females have a crazy, wild hairdo that is perpetually spiked. They are odd-looking birds and an awesome sight to see.

The downside is they taste awful. Mergansers eat a steady diet of fish, which negatively affects the flavor of their meat. As I won't shoot what I won't eat, I was content to simply watch them swim around in confusion with the decoys.

They eventually swam away, but in the meantime a mallard had landed a ways outside of the decoys. It was eyeing them up and swimming toward them.



I thought I'd finally get to kick up a bird and take a shot, but my plans were swooped away by an eagle.

As the mallard made its way toward my spread, a huge eagle appeared soaring above the bay. The duck noticed it right away and made one quack and instantly took off.

Then another eagle appeared and the two huge raptors glided in the strong breeze over the bay for the next couple of hours, making my once appealing spot very dangerous and unwelcoming for ducks.

So I went away without any birds, but not the least bit disappointed. Because while I didn't fire a shot, I was sure treated to a heck of a show.

Jacob Friede may be reached at jacob@lakelandtimes.com or outdoors@lakelandtimes.

com.





Article Comment Submission Form
Please feel free to submit your comments.

Article comments are not posted immediately to the Web site. Each submission must be approved by the Web site editor, and meet the comment guidelines (see "Comment Guidelines" at right). There may be a delay of 24-48 hours for any submission while the web site editor reviews and approves it.

Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number and email address is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   


Advanced Search
search sponsored by



Subscription Login
LOGIN | SUBSCRIBE


Today's Circulars
Print-N-Save Coupons
Order photo reprints

Classifieds
Advertising Information

Community Connections
Submit to Newspaper...

Ced Vig's books for sale
Kris Gilbertson's 'I Recall...'

Twitter
Relay for Life









Life
Facebook | All Things | Wisconsin Lottery | The Lakeland Times - affiliate | Winter Road Conditions | Snow/Trail Conditions


The Northwoods River News | Walker Communications, LLC
232 S. Courtney Street, Rhinelander, WI 54501 | Office (715) 365-6397 | Fax (715) 365-6361

Corporate billing office: The Lakeland Times / Lakeland Printing Inc. | P.O. Box 790, Minocqua, WI 54548 | (715) 356-5236 | Fax (715) 358-2121
Members of the Wisconsin Newspaper Association, Wisconsin Community Papers, Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce, Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce

Site Design and Content | Copyright 2019 1up!

Software © 1998-2019 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved