Nostalgia, And All That


MY EARLIEST RECOLLECTIONS of duck hunting were on the shallow bays and flats of the Texas Coast. I began tagging along with my dad at about age 8, and there was a period of time in those early years when I didn’t know that ducks even landed on fresh water.

Eventually I was exposed to mallards spiraling into flood timber, and teal buzzing over cattails, and pintails on ranch ponds, but duck hunting on the saltwater flats will always hold a time slot on my calendar. Save for a few years during college, and through my twenties as family responsibilities mounted, I’ve managed to pull off at least one coastal duck hunt for more seasons than I can remember.

Last week, on a hunt near Rockport with Brad Smythe, we dealt with slick calm conditions, pea soup flog, and flood tides way higher than normal–but we still killed ducks. Lots of ducks. The widgeons have followed big rains and healthy seagrass back to the coast, and they decoyed better than I’ve seen in years. The pintails were a little jukey, but buzzing teal and bombing redheads made up for their scarcity.

Thanks, again, to YETI Coolers for subsidizing our gear list. If you’d like to see the rest of this shoot, please click here.


Duck tools


Now, who doesn’t love a boat ride?


Brad Smythe…


…decoy distributor


Brad and Boomer


Widgeon action




Wildly warmer


Catbird seat


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