Brant Decoy Carving Contest to be held in WA.

The 2014 Puget Sound Open Decoy Contest in Burlington, WA is being held by the Washington Brant Foundation.  The WBF supports the history along with the art form of waterfowl decoy carving.  Each year the foundation sponsors a festival and decoy carving contest with cash prizes from $200 to the grand prize of $500.

Click here for more information and available divisions: http://www.wabrant.org/decoy-carving-competition/

A Brief History of Waterfowl Decoys

Waterfowl Hunting is a sport steeped in history and rich tradition, and men have been hunting for waterfowl for centuries, as the sport dates back 2,000 years ago. Hunters and gatherers from centuries back would shoot at geese, ducks, and waterfowl with bows and arrows, but soon discovered that they couldn’t hit the target. These people soon discovered that it made more sense to build some sort of decoy to attract fowl within shooting range. So, someone came up with the ingenious idea to create an ancient version of a duck decoy.

Envision a hunter crouched amidst the tule marsh (a type of grass) of centuries ago. As a flock of geese goes by, he discovers that his arrows don’t fly high enough to hit its prey. After several attempts, the hunter sets his handmade duck decoy, made of wood, cork, into the water, and then a few ducks fly within shooting range.

In the early days of hunting and gathering, natives were able to mock up an antique decoy made of feathers that were woven into the decoy. The decoys of yester-year were carved from either wood or cork, and the waterfowl’s feathers were woven onto the decoy with hemp strings. The hunters were able to paint the decoy’s head and neck for a closer resemblance of a duck or goose.

With a lot of effort and craftsmanship, these hunters were able to fabricate a simplistic, yet realistic decoy, and various types of waterfowl would fly into shallow marsh areas and land within shooting range. At any rate, the replica was good enough to “fool” ducks and geese into believing it was part of the flock.

Today, Native hunters still use tule duck decoys, especially in the Stillwater Marsh area of western Nevada. Located within Nevada’s wetlands, the marshy areas of Stillwater provide excellent grounds for hunting.

Of course the tools of hunting are more sophisticated today, but the concept is basically the same. Hunters use rifles and shotguns to kill their prey instead of bows and arrows, and modern decoys consist of canvas, plastic and paint. Decoys are able to create very good replicas of waterfowl using elaborate painting techniques.

Man’s passion for hunting wildfowl has never changed, but the tools and weapons used to hunt game has evolved, and the art of making decoys has been passed down from generation to generation. New techniques are being used and duck skins from earlier kills are often stretched over the decoys to make them more lifelike.

The Indians in North America are given most of the credit for being the pioneers of duck decoys. The Cree Indians from the Great Lakes area make standing goose decoys from flexible tamarack sticks, while the Chippewa Indians make floating toy decoys, only a few inches in length, from single cattail leaves for their children.

As you can imagine, the world of duck decoys has evolved rapidly, and today’s decoys are ultra-realistic, and include a variety of different types of waterfowl, including, ducks, geese, turkeys, owls, and pheasants.

DOA Decoys has taken full advantage of the waterfowl decoy market by employing some of the best wood decoy carvers in the world, and creating a beautiful line of gunning decoys. They’ve taken on the challenge to create a great line of decoys, and are proud to work with the best artists in the business.

Justin Sieverding has spent most of his life hunting waterfowl in South Dakota and throughout North America. Justin has a true passion and vast experience in everything related to waterfowl hunting including decoy spreads, bird patterns, scouting, and calling.

A Pike and A Coot

With more and more hunters, fisherman and outdoor enthusiasts carrying a camera on them, odd events become a little less rare.

This video recently shared on Facebook shows a few baby Coots strolling around some shade grass and a pike directly below and precisely strikes one of the coots.  The person behind the camera follows as the pike devours the baby Coot.

Now it won’t be unusual if you have not heard of a fish snapping up a bird for supper, but there have been many occurrences caught on video and photo.  View below!

 

Scot Storm – DU’s Artist of the Year

There are many wildlife and more specific, waterfowl artists that submit their work to Ducks Unlimited with hopes of grasping the title of the newest Artist of the Year.  However, for Scot Storm this is the second Artist of the Year.

Photo Courtesy: Ducks Unlimited

Photo Courtesy: Ducks Unlimited
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Jan. 2, 2014 – Wildlife artist Scot Storm, of Freeport, Minn., has been named as the Ducks Unlimited (DU) 2014 Artist of the Year. Storm’s painting Tranquil Waters catapulted him into his second Artist of the Year title for DU

A full-time wildlife artist since 1999, Storm won the 2004-2005 Federal Duck Stamp Contest and was also named DU’s Artist of the Year in 2005. His Tranquil Waters painting, which depicts a trio of wood ducks, took top honors in this year’s DU art contest.

“That painting actually came from a pond on our homestead,” Storm said. “I spend a lot of time out there taking photographs with my friend Tom Martin, especially in the spring. We had some cool morning sun coming through, which created the glow reflecting off the ducks.”

Storm’s passion for waterfowl, however, stretches far beyond his canvas. For the past seven years, Storm and his brother have mentored young hunters by coordinating an annual waterfowl hunting trip to North Dakota.

Ducks Unlimited’s art program has raised more than $300 million for the organization’s wetlands conservation mission over 40 years, $36 million of which has come from the Artist of the Year program.

“Scot’s commitment to passing on the waterfowling heritage is rivaled only by his ability as an artist,” said Jane Lawson, DU’s art and merchandise marketing manager. “Thanks to artists like Scot, DU can provide event attendees with unique artwork all while adding dollars for on-the-ground conservation work.”

Tranquil Waters limited-edition prints and canvases will be available exclusively at Ducks Unlimited events beginning this month.

For more information about Storm, visit www.stormwildlifeart.com.

Dead Mallards found under power line

AltaLink, one of Canada’s largest transmission companies is investigating reports of dozens and possibly hundreds of dead Mallards under a newly-built transmission line.

A retired scientist was the one to raise the concerns after noticing many carcasses. David McIntyre estimates the deaths may be in the hundreds based on a 10-minute walk along the line he took on Dec. 31. Judging from the damage to ducks, he thinks they may be hitting the line in bad weather when they can’t see it. Falcons and Eagles were seen gorging on the ducks, leaving just their wings.img-wings

The company is sending workers to an area near Pincher Creek and might install “flappers” to help make the lines more visible. The company also says this is common, “Whether it’s a phone line or a telephone tower or a house, birds have collisions with those aerial facilities.”

Though the only picture available from McIntyre only shows a few wings, I am not too sure just what kind of impact this is really doing, if noticeable at all.

Realtree MAX-5™

Waterfowl Concealment Redefined

Realtree Outdoors is off to what some would call, “an extraordinary start” to 2014.  Just yesterday (Jan. 2. 2014) Realtree released a press released announcing and showing off the all-new MAX-5 waterfowl camo pattern.

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Click to enlarge. Courtesy of Realtree.

“Columbus, GA (January 3, 2014) – Introducing newRealtree MAX-5™ – the hardest working camo for the hardest working hunters.

“New Realtree MAX-5 is the perfect multi-use camo for marshes, mud flats, agricultural fields, flooded timber, grasslands, prairie and other open habitat,” said Realtree Designer and President Bill Jordan. “Never before has a pattern offered so many natural elements and such a wide array of natural tones, shadows and colors.”

Built with waterfowlers in mind, new Realtree MAX-5 is filled with cattails, reeds, cane and grasses to blend into flooded marshes. Plus corn, wheat, oats and sunflowers to hide you in open fields. It has branches, twigs and leaves that work in flooded timber. And with open areas that mimic mud, water, bark and shadows, MAX-5 literally adds another layer of invisibility to camo – no matter where or how you use it.

Click to enlarge.  Courtesy of Realtree.

Click to enlarge. Courtesy of Realtree.

Of course, all MAX-5 pattern elements are strategically placed to create super-realistic tone, contrast and shadow. Viewed up close, MAX-5 offers incredible detail. At a distance, the pattern obliterates the human outline completely. The result? Maximum effectiveness for your waterfowl success.

About Realtree:

Realtree is the world’s leading camouflage designer, marketer, and licensor with over 1,500 licensees utilizing the Realtree camouflage brand. Thousands of outdoor and lifestyle products are available in Realtree camouflage patterns. In addition, Realtree is committed to supporting individuals and groups that work to ensure our outdoor heritage, the conservation of natural places, and the wildlife that resides there. Realtree promotes its products and relationships widely on television, as well as through http://www.realtree.com and many other outlets.

Hunting in the Public Eye – D.W.

THE UNEXPECTED SWATCH of camouflage caught my eye, standing out as it did from its corrugated display board at the end of the salad dressing aisle in my neighborhood grocery store. The pitch, of course, was for “Duck Dynasty” schwag — T-shirts, DVDs, braided bracelets, beer coozies, iced-tea cups. You know the deal. Your non-duck hunting friends have asked you about it.

The astonishing, omnipresent popularity of “Duck Dynasty” has been a frequent topic of conversation within the waterfowl hunting community, normally a reserved, low-profile bunch who prefer the quiet of marshes to the bluster of red-carpet celebrity.

Duck hunters can be forgiven for uneasiness about the show’s treatment of duck hunting. Understandably, some hunters have voiced concerns about the trivialization of the duck hunting experience and its association with certain stereotypes. But with all due respect, this is nitpicking. We should be encouraged to see duck hunting gaining such attention, particularly associated with such a harmless brand.

By contrast, consider public campaigns attacking duck hunting. In 2001, the Humane Society of the United States funded a “study” that was used to mount a campaign against duck hunting patterned on similar campaigns that successfully curtailed duck hunting in some Australian states. With a relatively small constituency, duck hunting is seen amongst animal-rights advocates as a vulnerable activity amongst the spectrum of hunting and trapping activities.

The presentation of duck hunting in “Duck Dynasty” will not be to every duck hunter’s liking, but as an unintentional public relations campaign, it is pretty darned good.

Viewed through the shallow lens and short attention span of the mass media viewers, the reality show contains many of duck hunting’s most cogent sales pitches to the general public: food, family and friends. Duck hunting is presented as part of a lifestyle connecting the close-knit Robertson family to the woods. All are good messages to be associated with duck hunting.

Duck hunters who live and breathe duck hunting will wince at certain details of “Duck Dynasty,” but hard-core waterfowlers are not the intended audience. The portrayal of duck hunting to the general public as a quirky, but essentially harmless activity is not the image that duck hunters aspire to associate with their passion — perhaps it is a bit too reminiscent of Elmer Fudd chasing Daffy Duck. However, the “Duck Dynasty” image of duck hunters is certainly better than many of the alternatives. In recent debates on the abolition of the long-gun registry in Canada, duck hunters and farmers were the often-cited poster children symbolizing ordinary citizens who were inconvenienced or traumatized by gun control.

On the heels of the “Duck Dynasty” phenomenon comes the release of “Savannah,” a feature-length movie that portrays duck hunting in a manner evocative of the treatment of fly-fishing in “A River Runs Through It.” Duck hunters might frown on the romanticization of market hunting, but the general public will likely be more inclined to see a more simplistic portrayal of duck hunting as a colorful part of North American heritage. On the whole, the movie provides more positives for duck hunters.

All in all, these public depictions of duck hunting serve as an important reminder: Duck hunting ultimately depends on the tolerance of the middle majority of society who do not duck hunt, but who do vote on laws and regulations that govern duck hunters. The words used and the images shown about duck hunting to the larger community are important to foster that tolerance for duck hunting, even though they are often not the same words and images we favor within the duck hunting family.

Pass the iced tea, Uncle Si.

Original Article: http://www.deltawaterfowl.org/news/blogs.html/article/2013/12/11/hunting-in-the-public-eye

“A NEW WAY TO SEED”

Are you always looking for an opportunity to shoot your shotgun?  I know I am!  

Bird hunting, waterfowl hunting, rabbit hunting, target practice are all common uses for your shotgun but now you are able to finish those gardening chores quicker than ever…with your shotgun!

ST (Studio Total) Development, a Scandinavian company, is currently manufacturing a new gardening shotgun ammunition called Flower Shells. These 12ga. shotgun shells are loaded just like any other shotgun shell but with reduced gunpowder, a wad and the steel is replaced with flower seeds.


Studio Total is offering a variety of 12 Flower Shells: Columbine, Cornflower, Daisy, Poppy, Sunflower, Clematis, Lavender, Sweet Pea, Lupine, Carnation, Peony and a collection of meadow flowers.

You can get your hands on the new Flower Shell by contributing to their developing fund over at indiegogo (a fund raising web site).  You can get your hands on these by purchasing a “perk” for $50.  Choose between 4 shells of Peony, Poppy or Corn flower.  A Christmas Certificate is also available for $50 so you can send the Flower Shell as a gift.

Sources: http://www.flowershell.com/ and http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/flower-shell

 

5 Items To Have In Your Bag

Most blind bags have one or two extra pockets that sometimes, let’s face it, we don’t use.  Well here are 5 items to have in your bag’s extra pockets.

trash_bags_3Black Trash Bag – A black trash bag has a lot of different possible uses.  While setting out decoys in a pond, a friend of mine tripped and filled up his waders full of water.  Keep in mine, this was in January.  With an extra hoodie and a black trash bag in his truck, he quickly changed clothes.  Using the trash bag as a shirt, he was able to stay warm just enough to get a limit and head to the house.

A black trash bag can be tucked away in the smallest hole within your bag and be used for a wind block, waterproof bandages, fight hypothermia, cold compress, water container, storage, water filter, rain cover and may other emergency and survival needs.

shoppingPortable Battery Charger – Even though a lot of you may say that you do not carry your phone on you, we recommend you should.  Keep it turned off to avoid interruptions is a great way to save battery and I don’t blame you for not wanting to get phone calls or texts!  But carry it on you for one reason, in case something happens.

To make sure you have all the battery life you need, get a portable battery charger.  Most of these can be found by shopping on online or in most stores.  You charge them the night before you hunt and toss it in a ziploc bag in your blind bag and you’re set.  Most will have at least a 1500mah battery that when turned off, will last a very long time.  Once your cell phone’s battery is getting close to dieing, plug it into your portable charger!  It will charge your phone to 100%!

antiseptic-wipes_285_large_imageAntiseptic Wipes – Not a lot of explanation with this one.  They are small and effective for sanitizing any time of wound and/or cleaning your hands after handle any raw meat.  They can be purchased at any Walmart or CVS/Pharmacy stores.

bayer-aspirin

 

Bayer Aspirin – Take a few of these, place them into one or two ziploc bags (to waterproof) then put them in your bag!  The best for pain relief and to reduce the risks of a heart attack and stroke.

tealight-candlesTea Light Candles – This is in the same category as the black trash bags above, a lot of uses.  A tea light candle is small and can be placed in any pocket or available hole in your bag.

These are great for keeping a flame, create a small heater along with a can or bottle, small flame for quickly sanitizing the point of a knife or even a needle, instant lamp and will light very easily once the wick has been burned.

All of these items can easily fit into any blind bag pocket.  As well as any of the Otterbox Dryboxes, I personally like the 1000 series.  Check out all the Dryboxes here: http://www.otterbox.com/waterproof-cases/waterproof-cases,default,sc.html

Keep Your Calls Warm

As the winter season approaches us, so does freezing temperatures that will cause our duck and goose call reeds to freeze.  Depending how the birds are working and if it is slow we tend to trying fixing it by taking the call apart and drying the reeds with our gloves or other pieces of clothing. Which is the best way to lose a reed or wedge.

There are a few inexpensive and effective methods and products for helping to keep your calls warm.  Below we have listed these suggestions for both new and experienced waterfowl hunters to take advantage of, if not already.

callcoozyCall Coozy – The Call Coozy, a lightweight fitted neoprene cover that fits over your duck and goose calls, not only prevents freezing but also protects you call/s.  The neoprene insulating properties work well in freezing conditions.  Once on, it also keeps your calls from falling apart and prevents any shiny bands from deterring the birds.  Price: $3.99 (Wing Supply)

 

rainxRainX – Now this one may seem far-fetched, but actually it has worked.  This is more of a personal suggestion that has worked in the past and I will continue to use it.  I tried this using the RainX 2-IN-1 Foam Glass Cleaner.  RainX being known for their windshield treatment has begun to be a useful tool at the beginning and ending of my season.  Just treat your reed/s and inside of your call/s at least a day before hunting.  This has worked so well, I presented the idea to market this and talked with their R&D dept.  Price: $4.99-$6.99 (Wal-Mart)

hothandsHotHands – By now if you have hunted in the cold you probably are already carrying these in your bag.  Wader Jacket pockets, wader pockets, hand-warmers or even just tucking them at the top of your waders.  These are just some ideas of using a HotHands warmer.  A great products that works great with this method is the Call Bridle.  Price: $1.97 (Wal-Mart)