Meet Kelsey – Northern Huntress Gone South

Below freezing temperatures, bone chilling winds, mile after mile we walk through the marsh with gear and carrying decoys. We break the ice to put out decoys and tilt the mojo wing into the water, turned on, to keep the water from freezing over. With hand warmers, 1600 gram thinsulate waders and coffee, we do our best to stay warm and dry. This may not everyone’s cup of tea, but I distinctly remember driving past lines of people standing outside of Best Buy on Black Friday at 3am, fully prepared to do whatever it took to ensure they received the best deals possible on that new flat screen TV and I thought to myself, “Who could possibly be that crazy?” It’s all relative.

Growing up in Northwest Ohio, I am certainly used to my share of cold winters and freezing mornings in a duck blind. Snowy hunts are common, especially in late goose season. Now a resident of Southeast Texas in my very first southern duck season, I am facing new hunting challenges and coming out of my northern comfort zone.

Being hunted while hunting is a new feeling for this girl. Although the seasoned southern hunters will tell you they don’t pose a threat to humans while hunting, alligators stealing the teal you just shot during early teal season is another story. I’ve seen my hunting partner literally chase an alligator through the water after it stole his teal, whereas I’m fairly certain I would have just said, “you’re welcome” and moved on. It has taken some getting used to, but sharing the swamp with these creatures started out to be very difficult for this yankee. We don’t have alligators or sharks on Lake Erie. We basically do not have any animal that can harm you in the lake. Southerners are vigilant in nature on the bayous and gulf because they have seen these dangers their entire lives. As for me, it has taken some getting used to.

The saying “The only good snake is a dead snake” has new meaning after being face-to-face with a cottonmouth. Don’t get me wrong, I am not afraid of snakes. I find them fascinating creatures and love to watch them in the wild. I will, however, kill any cottonmouth that I come into close quarters with, because those are some mean reptiles!

Being “carried away by mosquitos” may sound like just an exaggerated southern saying when you first hear it. It is not. The mosquitos down here are no joking matter. We have experienced an abnormally warm winter so far, and I cannot tell you how much deet I have ingested since moving here last February. These insects are monsters and you must be constantly moving and swatting, if not simply sitting underwater, waiting for shooting time.

I have duck hunted in Michigan, Ohio, Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Texas. Each state presents new challenges with different terrain. Depending on where you are hunting, decoy and calling strategies differ. Up north, aggressive styles of calling work better because the ducks are fresh, but by the time they have made it down south, little to no calling is necessary. The ducks down here have heard every sweet and sour note, the best callers, the worst callers, etc.

It is a blast to learn new skills, meet knowledgable people, and experience all the wonders this nation has to offer while doing something you are passionate about. You want to know what duck hunting is about? Ask any of us…. We are out there for the adventure, good company, and, of course, to do whatever it takes to blast some ducks!

Dec 30, 2015 | Category: Blog, Kelsey's Corner | Comments: 5


5 comments on “Meet Kelsey – Northern Huntress Gone South

  1. Catrina Quenon

    I always love reading about a fellow huntresses adventures. So far I have only deer and turkey hunted, I have lots of ducks here on my property but have never tried duck hunting. Great story.

  2. Erin loecker

    Awesome story.i haven’t done a duck hunt yet but hope to go sometime .looks like a lot of fun!

  3. I love duck hunting too!! Nothing beats the look of a bunch of wing-locked birds coming into the spread!! Great story!!

  4. Jessica Taylor

    I cannot wait to try duck hunting. I don’t mind the cold. Hopefully I can score some duck. I love your pic . it is super cute.

  5. Craig

    Crushin it Kelsey!!!!!
    Insert typical “you go girl” reply but with an epic outdoor flare and a shotgun blast in the distance.

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