2017 Opening Weekend Report

Mallard heavy repeat of 2016
We've had a good shoot here on the nonresident opener at Prairie Smoke Ranch.  As usual the game bags were filled with a variety of duck species, led by mallards again, redheads, teal, a surprising amount of widgeon, pintails, a few bluebills, gaddies, and a spoonie or two.

PSR Cranes from the pit blind
The pit blind paid off early with geese and a couple bonus cranes, which are on the menu tonite. The geese were marinated in zesty Italian dressing overnite and then grilled to 160 degrees.  Let rest and then slice thin and serve with your favorite mustard or plum sauce.  It should be rare; it will be delicious.

We anticipate the big influx of gaddies will be soon, in the next week or so.  Meanwhile we will attempt to waylay as many mallards and pintails as the law allows before the northwest wind pushes them southward.  We have found the birds have already moved to the less pressured water and the south wind has kept them there for the time being.  Sadly, no canvasbacks sighted or harvested to date. As usual, we also took some sharpies from the duck blinds.

Incoming!  Blue-winged teal and black lab
We have been treated to some true wildlife spectacles the last few mornings at the blinds as literally dozens and dozens of birds have moved thru the sets just prior to shooting time.  As noted, the mallards are working the sets surprisingly well while the blue-winged teal, which seem to be everywhere, are largely avoiding the "bang splash" treatment.  We have found most of the birds are falling into the grass rather than water, and so the black dogs have been used to good effect.  We'd still be stomping the grass in search of birds if it weren't for the PSR canine crew.
Grilled Sandhill Crane

What about the drought? There's plenty of water to go around, and as is usual in dry years, the fewer the sloughs the more concentrated the birds. Check back for periodic updates from central North Dakota. Shoot straight, and get those dogs working!

This duck sauce is the boss
2017 Second Waterfowl Weekend Update

Comments: 1

Thanks to the grill master for making the most delicious ribeye of the sky! (Jeanie, October 03, 2017)

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