By Travis Thompson
The people have spoken, the the writers at huntfowl.com have listened.
In our haste to prepare the indisputable list of waterfowler stereotypes, well, we left a few out, making for, basically, dispute.
So, without further adieu, here are the second wave of waterfowler stereotypes. Make sure to tag a buddy who falls into one of these categories!
Listen, guys. When it was pointed out I forgot the claimer, I wanted to wail and gnash my teeth. But I didn’t. Instead, I decided it was time for a confession.
I’m a Claimer.
I have never missed a duck I’ve shot at. Ever. I shot 8 cases of Hevi-shot last season and hit a bird with every. Damn. One.
I’m so dead eye, I shot birds that weren’t even in our decoys. Hell, I shot birds that were in your decoys, but from my blind.
Cold blooded. Assassin.
Serious talk for a second – if you hunt with a regular group of guys, and there’s not a Claimer, you NEED to step up and fill that role. Most duck hunters are humble, “awww shucks” types . . .
“Man, Jeff, did you hit that drake?” . . . “Naw, I thought you did” . . . This, right here, is your opening. Claim it.
Pro tip – only claim drakes, or banded hens. Oh, and about every third hunt, kill a bird and don’t claim it, just to keep up the air of mystery.
He pulls up to the ramp in the DU trim package F-150. He makes remarks like “Hmmmm, should I shoot the Bennelli or the Caesar Guerini today?” He has a pair of Banded Black Label Waders.
To the ATM, money is no object. It spills out of the magnetic cap of his Yeti coffee cup. His 75 HP Boss drive mud motor runs on dollar bills.
His gun jams? Straight to Bass Pro on the way home to pick up a new one.
Ducks don’t respond to his calls? One of everything is en route to his house – Haydel’s, Duck Commander, Zink, 737, RNT – you name it, he ordered it from his phone.
Paint chips on the decoys? The next morning he has a new spread of Tanglefree’s, foam filled.
Love the ATM. Cherish the ATM. This is, assuredly, a top-3 hunting buddy . . .
The Gear Guy
Sometimes, this guy is the ATM. But not always.
The gear guy can be distinguished by the fact that he looks like a Paratrooper smuggling life vests in his waders. 2 blind bags. 6 boxes of shells, including at least one box for a gauge that’s not even in the boat. Extra decoy weights. Extra decoy line. Extra decoys. A can of spam. 2 shotguns (gotta have a backup). A change of clothes. A backup change of clothes. Extra mojo batteries. Extra mojos. Spare prop. Hell, he probably has a spare surface drive in his truck, just in case.
The advantages of the Gear guy are obvious – anything that goes awry, you can just dip into his stash and carry on with minimal interruption.
The disadvantage is that you sink.
The Know-it-All – “Yeah. See. Most people would think that’s a drake Coot, or Fulica Americana, one of the medium sized members of the rail family. But they would be wrong, as there are three distinct features that tell me it’s actually a mature hen that would fool most hunters. You see . . . ”
“Shhhh – there’s ducks comin'”
“Ahhhh – yes – those are Anas Acuta, or, as youuuuuu’d probably call them, ‘Pintails’ – many hunters don’t realize that they have no known subspecies, and are among some of the longest migrating waterfowl. One hen was tracked making a round trip of over -”
“You missed. The physics of shooting a shotgun are misunderstood by many, including most waterfowler’s – you see when you -”
(Sound of crickets chirping)
The Dog Whisperer
“Here Bud! Bud! BUD! COME HERE DAMNIT!”
“I don’t know what’s gotten into him today. He’s usually rock solid”
This phrase is often uttered while an 80 lb lab chases bullfrogs around the perimeter of your decoy spread with a 240 lb guy in waders in full on hot pursuit.
Sure, the lab probably does great on retrieves. But you’ll never know, as the nearest mallards are making alternate wintering plans in a neighboring state.
Pro tip – never use a buddy’s dog until you’ve seen him work. On your buddy’s trip at your buddy’s spot.
She sits at the far end of the blind. Whisps of blonde hair betray her gender behind the face mask. She wears her husband or father’s old camo jacket, ill-fitting at best.
A single comes in, banking hard at 35 yards – before the shot is even called, a report rings out and the assassin calmly shucks another shell into the magazine as the mallard splashes into the corn.
You’ve just been schooled.
The assassin can take on many forms – old timers, kids, anyone in between – they just have an uncanny ability to shoot ducks.
For obvious reasons, do not trifle with the assassin. Just sit there and hope her mojo runs off on you, or that she lets you claim a few of her kills.
I think that’s everyone. Let us know in the comments if you think of any we missed . .