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My wife and I left for Japan on October 29th for a fifteen day tour of the country with our favorite tour company Odesseys Unlimited. You can look on line and see what the trip was all about at their website to see the fantastic experience we had with Odesseys.
This should have been right at the start of the migration and I would probably be missing some of the best duck shooting that takes place. My good friend John kept me well posted as to what was taking place and as it turned out Japan was a good place to be during the first two weeks of November. My cell phone carrier has a free service world wide if you enroll in it and it is texting. You can text and receive text messages anywhere in the world providing you are enrolled.
With a 14 hour time difference from Tekamah, Nebraska needless to say, I got messages sometimes at 2 AM in the morning Japan time. What are friends for, and the word was for John to text me anytime, and he did frequently. My wife and I both enjoyed his messages, because it was more than what was going on at the blinds, but what was taking place in the Omaha area and especially with the weather. We were never out of touch with home.
My son was more aware of the time time difference and kept the text messages to when we both were awake.
What was starting to develop in southwest Iowa and eastern Nebraska was a lot of high pressure areas with warm temperatures and southerly flow. These weather patterns extended north. With all the nice weather farmers were able to get into the fields and get their work done. That means harvesting and there would be plenty of leftover corn in the fields for the birds to feed on. Plus open water and plenty of sand here and there for them. What more can a duck ask for.
The reports coming to me in Japan showed little activity and no migration. There was good movement on small ducks, pintail, gadwall, teal, and widgeon. Very little mallard activity was taking place. The smaller ducks eat just as well, but when it comes to dinning on wild ducks, we like the big northern mallards. Still one has to keep an important point in mind; " a bad day hunting is better than a great day at work." In a weeks time when you add up all the small ducks that were shot, the numbers did not look too bad.
November 14th was still a long way off and there was plenty of time for me to get into some excellent mallard shooting as the weather turned up north and would begin driving the birds out of the Dakotas. I have always had my best mallard shooting late in the season and the later the better. It would be good providing there was not a total freeze over of our lake which was hard to do. When the weather stays above freezing, we just turn on the bubbler and keep the water moving to maintain an open hole. We always have some open water.
That freezing cold weather is the reason we invest in all that thermal gear for the outdoors. Sitting down in a heated blind swathed in thermal underwear and drinking hot coffee is what Gentleman Hunting is all about.
Good hunting, good fishing, and good luck. Hank