Posted at: 10/03/2012 3:15 PM
| Updated at: 10/03/2012 11:09 PM
By: Laura Kennedy
When you're sitting out here in the morning and you hear them whistling over your head before shooting hour, it's something to hear. It really gets your adrenaline going," said Zach Dagel, a local hunting guide.
For Dagel and fellow guide Grant Prokop, watching the world wake up is one of the best parts about duck hunting.
"Watching that sun rise in the morning with the fog and everything, that's a duck hunter's dream," Prokop said.
"All the trees over here, they're really starting to get lit up," Dagel said. "The Tamarack swamp back here is starting to turn gold. The colors are really nice."
Eventually the clock ticks down to legal shooting hours, and the game begins.
As duck hunting guides, searching for birds is their day's work.
"Ninety percent is scouting and ten percent is hunting," Prokop said. "We put a lot of time in in the truck, dropping boats in the lake, figuring out where they're sitting at and hopefully the next day they come to you."
"It's a lot more beneficial to hire a guide and go out rather than spend all this time looking for them and maybe shoot one or two," Dagel said.
The guys, along with Prokop's dog, Layla, hunt on more than two dozen bodies of water in Northern Minnesota. Part of the challenge is knowing when to shoot, and when to wait.
"We spend a lot of time on this little pothole. They'll swing around a couple of times before they come in," Dagel said. "If they come over the trees low, they're coming in. They're swinging around and kind of checking things out."
Last week, Dagel and Prokop bagged 14 ducks in a day. This time, they went home with two.
"You can never guarantee fish and you can never guarantee ducks," Prokop said. "That's why they call it hunting and fishing not killing and catching."
It's too early to be discouraged though, because the real exciting part of the season is yet to come.
"Usually the third and fourth weekend they start going and then the fifth weekend is crazy. Like bumblebees in the sky," Prokop said.
And no matter how many times they've taken aim, the thrill of the hunt never goes away.
To check out Zach Dagel's guide service, visit www.grandrapidsguideservice.com