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Loving The Fall

Absolutely my favorite time of year has begun. Husker football on the tv/radio and cool mornings afield. This is what I dream about all year. Granted, I will say the same thing about winter but just let me digress for a moment.

The Dove opener lived up to the hype for some while a bit spotty for others. This year, resources are good and the birds are spread out in many areas. Regardless, we have had a few good hunts and just the feel of the little 20 gauge coming to my cheek as a bird swoops into the decoy has been worth the price of admission. Mojo still works!

We like to locate fields of sunflower, weeds and open areas next to a pond. The pond should have good mud edges around it for doves to land on for a drink and feel safe. Doves will need food and water morning and evening. Find these two things and you will find doves. Also key is a grain field that has been cut early for silage, hailed out, etc. These can be magnets holding doves well into the season.
Homemade dove tree doing its thing!

My father-in-law enjoying the evening

Buster bringing in the bird.... he lives for this!
The teal opener was also a lot of fun. About 8am Saturday morning my brother-in-law Dave Flannagan looked at me across the blind and said “man is it good to be back on the pond!” Man was he right. I sure missed the blind. But alas, we are back!

Teal hunting is about the least complicate of all waterfowl hunts. Throw out a handful of teal decoys and a Mojo (dove, teal or mallard really makes little difference) and get ready. Teal are very susceptible to the flutter of the Mojo wings.   Teal like shallow water with lots of visible food which is indicative of many Nebraska farm ponds and marsh areas.

The basins are looking real good this year and were loaded with teal over the weekend. This should prove well for those of us on farm ponds. We had a flock dive into the decoys late Saturday morning with around 16 birds. Love the sound of those wings as we heard them well before we saw them. Also saw shovelers and mallards so make sure your identifying the birds before you pull the trigger!

A simple spread works!

With breeding success and great water conditions having been good this year, the 2014 migration should be another banner event in the Great Plains. Aaahh! I really like this time of year!

About jeff rawlinson

Jeff is the Education Manager in the Communications Division with Game and Parks where he has worked for the last 15 years. He oversees the Hunter Education, Boater Education, Hunter Outreach and Shooting Range Development for the Commission and is a devout hunter, angler, wildlife viewer, naturalist, father and husband. He holds a BS and MS from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. He has been a Hunter Education Instructor for over 20 years, NRA firearms instructor and range officer, National Archery in the Schools Program Archery Instructor Specialist and member of the National NASP Board, sits on the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Hunter Recruitment and Retention Committee and Education Committee. Jeff is an avid handgun hunter, loves to chase turkeys in the spring, squirrel hunting enthusiast and philosopher of the outdoors. He is an avid shooter and loves to spend outdoor time with family and friends. He has a passion for exciting others about the outdoors. A history buff, Jeff is a strong supporter of our North American Model of Conservation and tries to spread the message of its importance and relevance every chance he gets.

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