Category Archives: Duck

End of Season

With this past weekend, our waterfowl season comes to a close. While we didn’t go out with a bang, literally, we did have some awesome hunts in some brand new spots that we will be sure to work on next year. From the open waters of Lake Moultrie to the flooded timber of the old Santee and back to cypress swamps, we definitely covered some ground. Here are some of my favorite pictures I was able to take throughout this season either from the boat or the blind.

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And with the end of that season comes the start of the next for our us—home renovations! We will be refinishing and painting our kitchen cabinets, freshly painting all our baseboards and all in preparation for our brand new, beautiful hardwood floors that will be installed toward the end of this month. Talk about spring cleaning fever! Stay tuned for update pictures on these projects.

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Women’s Duck Hunting Gear

Now entering my 3rd year of accompanying my husband on duck hunts, the major difference was this season, I was not just accompanying and hunting every couple of weekends, but hunting all season long. As in two-a-days every weekend and with all the extra days off for holidays through winter, some very extended day trips. It was time to gear up.

Seeing as I get cold easily to begin with, I needed to invest in not only the right gear, but that actually fit. As any woman that hunts knows, we’re over trying to wear the kids XL version of something because while it sucks, it fits better than a man’s small.

I started digging and found this site by Holly Heyser, Norcal Cazadora. Finally another woman who actually has legitimate insight into what other women hunters need and want. After researching the many brands she recommended (she also field tests for companies) and comparing with the knowledge my husband’s gathered through rounds of gear and years of use, I was able to make some purchases!

Here are the waders I got and for our neck of the woods here in South Carolina, they are perfect. And for the price, you can’t go wrong. Not overly expensive in the event they do have to be replaced in a few years from a snag. They fit super well and keep me really warm and dry; dry being key. These are Cabela’s brand, 3mm Neoprene Waders.

I hunted the first half of the season with these and a combination of layered shirts/sweatshirts and stealing my husband’s Drake Waterfowl Fleece pullover. And then January came with its colder weather, prospective NC trip, and after Christmas sales. It was time to get a jacket. And man did I get a jacket! I dont’ think I’ve paid for one dress coat or cute jacket in my life that’s ever held a candle to the warmth of this puppy. And it’s really truly windproof! While this is a Men’s and not a Women’s made jacket, it’s a Men’s medium (smallest size they make) and it’s a Wader Length jacket instead of full. So these considerations make it perfect for outfitting me. The best part is, as layered and warm as this jacket is, it’s not bulky and it doesn’t hinder me from raising my gun quickly and firmly.

This is the Drake 4 in 1 Wader, complete in Old School Camo. Nothing like paying tribute to the camo I was raised on watching my grandddad and dad take off for hunts as a child.

All in all, I’ve been very pleased and it sure makes those 4:30am wake up calls a lot easier to tackle!

Blue Crab Summers

We planned ahead of Beaufort’s passing to spend the entire next day on the water. Because that’s just what people do that grow up on the water—whether to mend their souls, rid their anger, or celebrate life—the water’s just a part of it all. We loaded up the War Eagle with our black lab Moultrie, 6 good crab lines, an 8′ spread beach umbrella (for the dog and his black coat), and an FM radio.

We headed down river to the salt and cut across to my husband’s long time fishing spot spent with his dad and brother and got to work. For probably 45 minutes straight, we couldn’t even get the 5th and 6th lines out for the number of crabs that kept coming up on the first 4!

Moultrie had a splendid time trying to figure out just what was so special on the end of the line—because surely it was the raw chicken. After one or two got loose in the boat, he seemed more content to stay put. And after a day of awesome creek swimming in between crabbing sessions, it became suddenly apparent our little black dog, now 2 and a half years old, really isn’t our little black dog anymore. He’s a beast!

Even last duck season, at around 20 months, he still seemed smaller than he is now and pulling him into the boat was never a struggle. In fact, to see him swim to the edge and flawlessly pull his back legs up underneath himself while knowing my husband would pull him in was such an act of teamwork. But now? He still does what he was trained to do, but why force it? So, Moultrie and my husband have a surprise early duck season gift on the way!

We’ve got another big crabbing weekend planned in 2 weeks and we’ll be trying the ladder out then. We’ll let you know how it works.

Close of Duck Season

This year I was only able to spend about half the time as usual in the river due to my marriage, honeymoon, and the holidays all falling at the start of duck season.

However, I was able to break in a new duck call this season. I actually found a custom call maker, Chamberlin Calls, in southern Georgia located near where I proposed to my wife. I thought this would be a unique gift for all the groomsmen in my wedding, since most us are also duck hunting partners. The calls are single reed and made out of African Black wood. The single reed really lets you control your volume while maintaining a clear, crisp tone. Each call has a solid brass ring around its neck, features a laser engraved logo from the call maker, and each hunter’s initials.

The season as a whole was pretty slow around the region. It got off to a hot start, but by the second split it slowed considerably with most of the action concentrated along the coast. Even with the slow half, I was able to bag enough ducks to put some away in the freezer and keep the dog happy.

The last hunt was especially memorable at my cousin’s farm. The morning was typical with the exception that we got to sleep in a little later than normal. We stood in a flooded corn field and waited for first light. When the gun smoke cleared there were four birds down and black dog happily obliged to carry them all back. Not too bad for thirty minutes worth of work.

To close out this season, be sure to take inventory of all of your supplies, clean shotguns, stock shells, and put everything away. Make sure all your decoys and blind material are dried before they are put into storage. If possible store in a climate controlled room so that everything is as you left it. The end of the season or summer is a good time to pick up new gear, because most supplier, like Cabelas, are running end of the year deals.

Now it’s time to shift from winter’s duck season to spring’s lowcountry harvest by breaking ground on our new garden. Stay tuned for pictures and posts as we clear ground and start from seed.