When I was a teenager I always knew I would live close to rivers and marshes where I love to explore, hunt and fish. Time and life have a funny way of changing youthful dreams. I have lived the last 20 plus years in one of the drier states there is. The desert is a beautiful place to live and contrary to popular believe there is water here. The Salt River has a series of four dams that store water for the use of the greater Phoenix Valley. This water combined with mild temperatures then provides the end of the line for many ducks migrating south for the winter. Two weeks after the season opener and higher than normal temperatures (i.e. 100 plus Fahrenheit), and more importantly, early morning soccer games, I finally had a chance to get out and hunt ducks. I am usually very good about having everything prepped and ready to go weeks in advance, not so this year. So late at night I rigged decoys packed bags looked for shells until late into the night. All of this was done thinking that the weather and water levels would make for a not so good hunt.
Packing up gear I told Josh I would be heading down river to scout a few other spots that can be productive ,so we split up and I headed down the river a couple of miles. The lower section had even more hunters there, I don’t recall a year when there where so many people hunting the river. Scouting along the river I carried my gun in hopes of possibly jump shooting a few more ducks. Heading across river through a large stand of cattail I was not disappointed when a teal flushed in front of me giving me a great shot which I took advantage of. Upon retrieval of the bird I was shocked to find out I had just harvested my first Blue Wing Teal. I have hunted ducks for 30 years and have only seen a hand full of them, all of which was well before the season opener. This is one of the joys of being outdoors, the unknown adventure that stirs the soul and imagination to reveal new secrets on every outing no matter what our experience level.