Photography courtesy of Lowell Washburn, all rights reserved.
Food For Thought — A native of Joice, Iowa, Ben Anderson grew up hunting the woodlands and fields surrounding Worth County’s Rice Lake. Currently serving as a pastor in Nashville, Tennessee, Ben has lived in The South for more than a decade now. Recently on vacation, Ben made a return visit to Northern Iowa last week to enjoy four days of duck hunting. We had been planning the trip for weeks in advance, fully realizing how fickle fall migrations can be. As the trip turned out, we managed to strike gold on each outing. By the end of the four day hunt, we had managed to down a total of 12 different species of waterfowl including the largest [giant Canada goose] and smallest [green-winged teal] of Iowa’s ‘legal for take’ webfoots. Daily venues included a variety of backdrops — hunting diving ducks over big water; mallards & Canadas coming to decoys in corn stubble; and compact warp speed flocks of green-winged teal blistering the decoys at close quarters. In addition to the ducks, a lesser number of State Fair Grade cinnamon rolls and a couple of great Chinese dinners were also successfully brought to bag. Time flies when you’re hunting ducks and, before we knew it, the week was over.
Final Thought: The sunrise flights grew hot and heavy at times and on more than one occasion, Ben remarked that he was seeing more birds during a single morning in North Iowa than he would likely encounter all season on the lake he hunts in Tennessee. Although Ben has returned home to Nashville, that statement keeps coming back and is the reason I’m passing this story along. For many of us, it’s easy [especially when the ducks aren’t flying] to think that waterfowling has gone all to pot in Iowa and that everyone else in the country has better hunting — day in and day out. Although it’s true that Iowa waterfowl migrations aren’t what they were during the 1950s or late ’70s; we still have better duck hunting than a lot of folks around the country. As we rapidly approach the Thanksgiving Holiday, that’s just one of a million things to keep in mind.