Jan
14

Duck Hunt (Inland) Rotation (Guided)

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The following is a rotation list for guided inland duck hunts on central Texas ponds, rivers, or lakes, within 150 miles of Austin.

We have had hunts for the past several seasons with Ricky Ethridge (Donie, Marquis, Cameron, and Lockhart), Rayce Jenkins (El Campo), Bret Jepsen (DFW), Jack Chamberland (McMahan), and Matt Strayer (Altair).  Our most successful hunts have been with Rayce, Bret, and Ricky.  Our most inexpensive hunts are with Ricky.

We have gotten our limits several times, done well several times, and not done well a few times.  Here are some of our successes:

Costs:

  • Guide fees run between $125 – $225.  We recommend a 15 – 20% tip, based on the effort.
  • We’ll split the vehicle gas (the amount depends on the distance traveled and the number of people sharing the gas).  If we take a toll road, because we’re running late, we’ll split that fee.
  • We’ll eat out or get drive-through food.
  • Depending on the distance we might stay in a motel.

What to Bring:

  • Hunting license, state migratory bird stamp, and federal duck stamp.  If you bought a super combo license it includes your hunting license and migratory bird endorsement but does not include a federal duck stamp.
  • Shotgun.  A 12 gauge piston operated semi-automatic with a 3-inch chamber is recommended.  A plug is required for semi-automatics and pumps capable of holding more than two shells in the magazine while hunting migratory game birds.
  • Camo or dull non-cloth shotgun case.  Cloth cases during waterfowl hunts tend to get muddy.  We’ll leave the cases in the bed of the guide’s truck.  If we’re hunting from a boat a floating case is recommended.
  • Non-lead shotgun shells (HEVI-Steel, Winchester Xpert, or equivalent in 2 shot – the 1550 FPS variant) chambered for 3-inch chambers (if your gun is also chambered for 3 inches) are recommended.   Randy Rowley does not recommend anything smaller than 4 shot.  10 gauges and 3 1/2 inch shells in 3 1/2 inch chambered 12 gauges are overkill for ducks, in his opinion.  Steel shot (if of adequate size) will kill ducks – there is no need for Hevi-shot, Tungsten, Bismuth, etc.  You’ll pay a lot more for those shells and they aren’t needed.  You’ll not need more than three boxes and will probably shoot less than two boxes.
  • Camo or dull blind bag, shell bag, vest, or bandoleer.  If your shell bag is bright (e.g., a red HEB shopping bag) you’ll need to hide it well.  If we’re hunting from a boat a floating blind bag is recommended.
  • Headlamp or cap light.
  • Camo outer hunting clothes, including cap/hat and a face mask or face paint (face coverings are absolutely essential as oily skin glows in a duck’s eyes).  If rain is predicted, bring rain gear.
  • Waders (absolutely essential except on the pond hunts).  Breathable waders are recommended for warmer hunts.  Neoprene waders are recommended for colder hunts (if you wear 5mm thick neoprene waders on a November or December hunt you might cook yourself).  We don’t put our waders on until we reach the pond, lake, or river (the exception is if you have breathable waders and it’s a cold morning).  If we’re hunting a pond bring boots that you don’t mind getting muddy, but waders will not be required.
  • Bucket, stool, or folding chair (if the guide does not have a bench in his blind; if hunting from the natural cover this is optional as you can sit on the ground, but you won’t be able to see the ducks as easily).
  • Drinks and snacks (optional; drinks are highly recommended).
  • Non-mirrored sunglasses (optional).
  • Bug repellent (optional) for hunts during the early part of the season.
  • A small ice chest or bag to take your ducks home in (if you get any).

Randy has extras of many of the items that are listed above and will happily loan things if you let him know that you would like to borrow something before we leave.  Of course, if you borrow something and break or lose it he will expect reimbursement.

Randy usually starts out with a modified choke.  If the ducks are coming into the dekes, he’ll switch to an improved cylinder.  Most modern screw-in chokes are designed for lead and non-lead shot without a change in the pattern density.

Depending on the guide and location, you could be hunting from a traditional blind, lay-out blind, pit blind, panel blind, or natural cover.

Traditional blind (outside)

Traditional blind (inside)

1/18/16 - El Campo Duck Hunt - Ken Miller in pit blind

Pit blind

Layout blinds

Panel blind

11/18/14 - Aransas Pass Duck Hunt - Burl & Randy

Natural cover

Most guides clean the birds for you.  If they do not offer this service, that will be stated in the information about the hunt.

Being on this rotation is a privilege and is not an FCS membership benefit.  This rotation is a service to FCS members and guests, but the event coordinators/leaders will not tolerate the below actions.  A person can be removed from the rotation for any of the following reasons (this list is not all-inclusive):

  • Not hunting in a safe manner, including deliberately not following the guide’s instructions and the FCS Safety and Shooting rules, Hunting and Fishing Rules, and Game Law Clarifications during a hunt.
  • Not paying for your share of the gas or fixing or replacing items (that are not yours) that you broke.
  • Not helping during a hunt when the guide asks you to.
  • Not controlling your dog during a hunt (a dog that wants to go play with the decoys or charge the ducks as they are coming in will ruin the hunt).
  • Not talking quietly, especially when ducks are coming to the decoys (ducks can hear you and will veer away).
  • Indicating that you will attend a hunt and then not showing up.
  • A pattern of being more than a few minutes late.
  • A pattern of canceling at the last minute.
  • Not returning the event coordinator’s/leader’s phone calls and/or emails.

The following people are on the Guided Inland Duck Hunt Rotation for 9/1/20 – 8/31/21:

  1. Don Hebert and his son
  2. Jonathan Fleming
  3. Clayton Carrier
  4. Chris Campbell
  5. Earl Prochnick
  6. Raul Pena
  7. Kevin McConnell
  8. Zack Tumlinson
  9. Mike Smith
  10. Burl Fulenwider
  11. Jeff Cates
  12. Jim McGee
  13. Wayne Weilnau
  14. Mark Kelton
  15. Mike Pozhenko and his son
  16. Ian Daniels
  17. Randy and Ryan Rowley
  18. Ted, Blake, and Isaac Lieb
  19. Burl Fulenwider

Let Randy know at randywrowley@gmail.com (his preference) or 512-922-2484 if you would like to be added to this rotation.  Individuals added after 9/17/20 will be added to the bottom of the rotation.  Let Randy know if you have any questions.

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Bible verse of the day

Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him.

Today’s Devotionals and Blogs

Kent Crockett’s blog – www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com

Mark Dillow’s blog – http://noclearline.blogspot.com/