SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Maria C. Horton, Jason Bloomberg, Elizabeth White, Zakia Bouachraoui, Andy Thurai

Blog Post

Results in a Clear Calm Morning

Results in a Clear Calm Morning

Gander Mountain


Two days of nasty weather produced a mixed bag of birds.  We found that the recent snow line stretched from Sioux City to Watertown, SD.  Also North Dakota was all frozen.  That means the potholes and the big water were ice covered. When we have three consecutive days of severe cold weather, the birds do not hang around.  The birds just plain left all that food behind and headed south.  North of Watertown they stopped and commenced the feeding process.  This is what waterfowl do.  They feed, drink water, get a little sand, and hang out.  What a life.



With the push of the weather, the boys headed to the pits to have big days of birds decoying into the swamp.  One out of the two they had great shooting, but the second produced nothing.  The third day called for northwest winds of 8-10 mph decreasing in the afternoon.  Unfortunately I missed the first two days due to previous commitments.   Usually during duck season,  I am not to be bothered.  The third day was my best day.  I was up at 4 AM and on the road by 5 AM.  I arrived at the Big Chicken in Tekamah for the rendezvous with the hunters.


Faces appeared a little long.  Everyone was worried about the lack of strong north winds and clearing skies.  So what, there was still northerly flow and with the overcast gone, we could see the birds coming at long distances.  Your glass has to be half full or half empty on a day like today.  This is true especially for the dark geese.  In the clear blue skies, they really stand out.  Also the high flying snows stand out as well.  With the reflection of the sun off their bodies, we saw high fliers by the thousands.  If it got slow, we just sat down and looked skyward at the enormous flocks of snows heading south.


Gone are the days when we would decoy snow geese by the hundreds into the swamp.  Now they are in such big flocks due to increasing numbers that you need a huge spread of decoys in an open field just to get a look.  This spring, I am gong to contact a couple of the commercial operators and go south along the Missouri River and pound on some snow geese.  There are so many that there is a spring season for them now and there is no limit in Nebraska.  One of these days Mother Nature will thin them out, and she is not kind.


Oculus 5.0 Series Binoculars - 10x42mm

Click on the link or pic to buy from Bass Pro


Getting back to the day's hunt, all ten of us were well in the blinds before shooting time.  The wind was almost non existent and was light and variable from the south west.  What happened to our Northwest wind?  Shooting time came and went and we all just stood and stared at each other like cows staring at an illegitimate calf.  No one knew what to do.


An hour later here they came.  Up from the south they circled once, locked up and fell into the swamp.  A small flock, but beggars cannot be choosers.  All hell broke loose and we dropped them all.  Out went the dogs and it was now a great morning.  Small groups of two to four would circle the blind, lock up and start to come in, then climb back into the atmosphere either to circle some more or fly away.  Everyone believed that these were local birds and when they got close to the blinds their bottoms start to burn.  They had been here before.  Even though they have a brain the size of a dime, they learn.

We still continued to get small flocks that would decoy and drop right in.  These were fresh birds and had not learned a thing from the locals.  I doubt if they communicate to each other saying, "Be careful over that strip of ground or your bottom will burn."  As the sun rose our action was still good and brisk, but they tended to stay up high and we were forced to take longer shots and a lot less success.


This was really interesting; the wind moved straight south and went dead calm then slowly moved to the northwest, but our action was outstanding.  By 9 AM the duck action just plain dried up, and we saw nothing.  That was okay because 10 AM is usually the start of the Canada shooting.


It did not take long and here they came.  50% of the birds gave us a look by circling a couple of times and then flying off.  Half of the 50% would lock up and glide toward the decoys and the open water.  I must buy a video camera to take pictures of this scene.  It is absolutely beautiful to hear them honking as they glide to the open water.  Something usually is not right if we lose them before a shot is fired.


Now the last 25% do the same thing except they drop into gun range and are promptly dispatched.  With the clear blue skies, they stay a little high and our shots are long.  In order to dispatch a big bird we all shoot 3.5 inch shells of either Black Cloud, Heavy Shot Heavy Metal Mixture or just Heavy Metal.  We have the best luck with these loads, some believe.   That is the personal opinion of a few, me included.  Other people shoot different loads, but still the 3.5 inch shell.  That is where the discussion begins.


HEVI-Shot HEVI-Metal Waterfowl Shotshells

There is a Rebate involved, Buy them by the case from Bass Pro.I shoot this shell.


At noon, we ended the morning with 26 Mallards and 19 nice big Canada Geese.  It was a great morning and a great shoot.



Gander Mountain






Click on a banner or text for great buys.


Good hunting, good fishing, and good luck.  Hank.

More Stories By Hank Huntington

Hank Huntington, Esq., is a native of southwest Iowa, healthcare professional, entrepreneur, accomplished pilot, hunting and fishing enthusiast, connoisseur, father and husband. He developed this web site for people to share their fun and excitement about the great outdoors. The best part of this hobby is, after a successful hunting or fishing trip, you are able to dine on fresh game or fish, after all, “ How do you eat a golf ball?” asks Hank. Hanks father and grandfather were both avid outdoorsmen so Hank learned his hunting and fishing skills from them and has passed the tradition down to the fourth generation. Plus the love of the outdoors, and a craving for exquisite dinning, would round out the package.

As a small boy, he fished a local oxbow lake formed by the Missouri River. The lake is primarily old river bottom mud, is not real clear, and has a lot of vegetation. The southeast corner holds a huge lily pad bed, and it was there Hank learned to drag through the water and across the tops of the pads, a Johnson Silver Minnow, with a pork rind attached. This was the place for big mouth bass, and there were lots of them, and young Hank loved to catch them.

At age of 12 Hank started going with his Dad hunting, and by age 14 he was an accomplished shooter with a 12-gauge pump. Shortly after that he was given his first shotgun a Winchester Model 12 pump; he still has it today. It looks like almost new, but the gun is never to be hunted again. Duck hunting in the late 50’s had little pressure after the first two weeks of the season, and when the north wind blew and it got really damp and cold, the big Canada Mallards came.

After graduation from high school, Hank attended Midland College in Fremont, Nebraska. There he met a fellow outdoorsman, and their friendship developed in the fields and streams of central Nebraska.

Hank had little time for hunting and fishing while attending professional school at Creighton University. After graduation he married his college sweetheart and they settled down to career, family, and as often as possible, hunting and fishing.

Hank and his family frequently flew their plane north to Canada to the legendary Canadian fly in lodges to fish for Northern and Walleye. Here he taught his son all the things his father had taught him about fishing. Most of the time the two went alone to the north woods, but when camping was not involved, his wife Pam went along. She always enjoys the fact that she has caught a bigger Northern Pike than Hank, and he has been fishing for 60 years. Today along the Missouri River valley, the deer population increased to the point that in many areas they are a nuisance. The duck, goose, and turkey has also population have also soared.

Area lakes have been well stocked. Many even have a walleye stocking program that makes outstanding fishing. Several are within easy driving distance of Hank’s lodge-like lakeside home. All packaged together is great dining. By the way, Hank harvests only what he will share at a table with family or friends.

Hank says, “Whenever I am on a lake, in the woods, or in the blind, I am always reminded of God’s great bounty and His constant presence. And whether in the great outdoors or at home with my wife, I strive to be a good steward of nature and all that God has given us.”

Good hunting! Good fishing! Good day!

Latest Stories
In today's always-on world, customer expectations have changed. Competitive differentiation is delivered through rapid software innovations, the ability to respond to issues quickly and by releasing high-quality code with minimal interruptions. DevOps isn't some far off goal; it's methodologies and practices are a response to this demand. The demand to go faster. The demand for more uptime. The demand to innovate. In this keynote, we will cover the Nutanix Developer Stack. Built from the foundat...
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessio...
"NetApp's vision is how we help organizations manage data - delivering the right data in the right place, in the right time, to the people who need it, and doing it agnostic to what the platform is," explained Josh Atwell, Developer Advocate for NetApp, in this interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Sold by Nutanix, Nutanix Mine with Veeam can be deployed in minutes and simplifies the full lifecycle of data backup operations, including on-going management, scaling and troubleshooting. The offering combines highly-efficient storage working in concert with Veeam Backup and Replication, helping customers achieve comprehensive data protection for all their workloads — virtual, physical and private cloud —to meet increasing business demands for uptime and productivity.
The Software Defined Data Center (SDDC), which enables organizations to seamlessly run in a hybrid cloud model (public + private cloud), is here to stay. IDC estimates that the software-defined networking market will be valued at $3.7 billion by 2016. Security is a key component and benefit of the SDDC, and offers an opportunity to build security 'from the ground up' and weave it into the environment from day one. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Reuven Harrison, CTO and Co-Founder of Tufin, ...
While the focus and objectives of IoT initiatives are many and diverse, they all share a few common attributes, and one of those is the network. Commonly, that network includes the Internet, over which there isn't any real control for performance and availability. Or is there? The current state of the art for Big Data analytics, as applied to network telemetry, offers new opportunities for improving and assuring operational integrity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Frey, Vice President of S...
"We were founded in 2003 and the way we were founded was about good backup and good disaster recovery for our clients, and for the last 20 years we've been pretty consistent with that," noted Marc Malafronte, Territory Manager at StorageCraft, in this interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Historically, some banking activities such as trading have been relying heavily on analytics and cutting edge algorithmic tools. The coming of age of powerful data analytics solutions combined with the development of intelligent algorithms have created new opportunities for financial institutions. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Sebastien Meunier, Head of Digital for North America at Chappuis Halder & Co., discussed how these tools can be leveraged to develop a lasting competitive advantage ...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settl...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In their Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, and Mark Lav...
@CloudEXPO and @ExpoDX, two of the most influential technology events in the world, have hosted hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors since our launch 10 years ago. @CloudEXPO and @ExpoDX New York and Silicon Valley provide a full year of face-to-face marketing opportunities for your company. Each sponsorship and exhibit package comes with pre and post-show marketing programs. By sponsoring and exhibiting in New York and Silicon Valley, you reach a full complement of decision makers and buyers in ...
According to the IDC InfoBrief, Sponsored by Nutanix, “Surviving and Thriving in a Multi-cloud World,” multicloud deployments are now the norm for enterprise organizations – less than 30% of customers report using single cloud environments. Most customers leverage different cloud platforms across multiple service providers. The interoperability of data and applications between these varied cloud environments is growing in importance and yet access to hybrid cloud capabilities where a single appl...
"At the keynote this morning we spoke about the value proposition of Nutanix, of having a DevOps culture and a mindset, and the business outcomes of achieving agility and scale, which everybody here is trying to accomplish," noted Mark Lavi, DevOps Solution Architect at Nutanix, in this interview at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"Cloud computing is certainly changing how people consume storage, how they use it, and what they use it for. It's also making people rethink how they architect their environment," stated Brad Winett, Senior Technologist for DDN Storage, in this interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
A look across the tech landscape at the disruptive technologies that are increasing in prominence and speculate as to which will be most impactful for communications – namely, AI and Cloud Computing. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Curtis Peterson, VP of Operations at RingCentral, highlighted the current challenges of these transformative technologies and shared strategies for preparing your organization for these changes. This “view from the top” outlined the latest trends and developments i...