Bird Dog & Retriever News

June / July 2003 issue Page 39

 ducks on them! I cursed softly at not having Elwood along, because had I a dog, I most certainly would have taken advantage of North Dakota's hunter friendly trespass and highway proximity shooting regulations. When I arrived at the resort and mentioned this to the folks there, they chuckled. I didn't understand what was funny until two days later, when I had to quit shooting ducks very early. My two day limit and my possession limit was already in the bag.
"If you want to chase ducks off puddles it's O.K. by me, " One of the guides had told me. "But you'll get all you need when we go out decoying." He was right.
This was the hunt of a lifetime for an Illinois native relocated to Wisconsin. Where I live and hunt, a good day of hunting might be a pair of mallards and a Canada goose. I was unprepared for the liberal limits of ducks coupled with 3 a day limits of Canada geese AND 20 a day limits on Snow or Blue geese which are enjoyed by North Dakota hunters. Limits are one thing, but actually having to count downed birds to make sure that those expansive limits are not exceeded is an experience I never expected to have.
If you want to try a trip like mine, you need to prepare early. North Dakota limits nonresident waterfowl licenses to a set number; 20,000 in 2002. Your best bet is to apply and pay for your license early through the North Dakota Fish and Game web site.
Top guides like the ones working out of Woodland Resort are also busy every day of waterfowl season. You'll need to act early if you want to hire one. Without giving away any of the guides trade secrets, I'll say that even in North Dakota, there are fields that the ducks and geese use and fields that they don't use. I recommend that if you endeavor to make this trip, a quality guide can get you onto the right fields.
While I'm sure all the resort guides are great, Mike Schell particularly impressed me. He is not only a top notch guide who does his homework and insures that his group gets into ducks, he is one of the nicest, easiest going guys you'll meet in the field. He takes care of the little things, like bringing along a spare pump gun in case a client's overworked shell shucker jams or breaks. His wife packs daily lunches which are outstanding, and taste particularly great when eaten after a successful hunt.
Ted Jarosh hails from Milwaukee, WI

How many troops does it take to defend Paris?

No one knows, it's never been done.

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