At 12 Gauge Outfitting
Saskatchewan has always been known for a sky that seems alive and goes on forever…. But you won’t be seeing it for a couple of hours yet! Mornings start quite early for us- we need to have decoys set out before legal shooting light, which is a half an hour before sunrise. A light breakfast before we hit the road is first on the list, with fresh fruit, toast and jam, bagels, yogurt, and whatever else you might require. Your guide will have specified a pick up time and weather forecast the night before, and once everybody is dressed up and loaded, it’s go time. Be sure to bring a good mix of clothing as this part of the world is known for extreme weather fluctuations. Warm layers and waterproof outers are a must even if the forecast looks tolerable.
Morning hunts are in recently harvested grain fields that have been spotted and chosen before hand. There are a lot of factors that go in to making the decision on which field to hunt- field size, natural cover, waterfowl quantities and types, and how long the birds have been feeding there are all considered. Once the sky starts glowing in the east, you will see why we chose that field as the birds leave their roost on the water and start making their way towards us. Our blind selection is based on hunter’s needs- some hunters prefer to be sitting upright in a willow blind to allow more mobility, while others would rather be in a layout or “coffin” style blind. Decoy selection will sometimes depend on what we have spotted in the field before hand or if we are targeting a specific species. The decoy spread can be a mix of full body, silhouettes, flyers, silo socks, and mechanical flappers and spinners. The decoy trailer is like opening a toolbox, with every “tool” to fit the day’s job.
Once we have either reached the daily limit or the birds have quit flying for the morning it is time to tear down and head for brunch. Some hunters like to lay down after brunch for a nap while others like to try their hand at an afternoon duck shoot. These are generally done over small potholes with floating decoys and mechanical spinners. We can only do this on the occasion that we did not reach the daily limit of ducks during our morning shoot. You also have the option of accompanying the guide during the evening to spot a field for the next morning’s hunt. Who knows, he might even let you decide which
The day ends with a home-cooked meal served in the lodge, usually accompanied by laugher, tall tales, and excuses about missed birds. Soon it’ll be off to bed to get up and do it all over again.