Duck hunters in Texas love to hear these catchy phrases from weathermen--polar plunge, brutal blast and frigid front. This is especially true since we never heard these phrases during last year's duck season, which went down as one of the worst in recent history.
But this week that all changes with temps getting down in the 20s. These types of fronts mean one thing: full waterfowl migration is underway. You can bet that most every duck hunter will hit their favorite spots this weekend in hopes of seeing some new ducks. So far this season, the hunting has been spotty at best. Reports seem to be about the same from everyone in North Texas as they send reports of harvesting a few teal, gadwalls, mergansers, etc. Very few mallards have been seen in North Texas and the ones that have been reported were probably "homers," having spent the year as a winter Texan.
Hopefully anyone with a retriever knows that your dog should be in good shape by now for the rigors of hunting. Walks around the block don't do it. Retrieving drills at full speed are the best way to get your dog in peak shape. Do this at least three times a week. Retrievers love this type of exercise and with the cooler weather, don't be surprised if the drills go on for an hour. A sudden sit down strike from your dog when you are heading back to your vehicle are very common.
Also, your dog should be fully fueled the night before. Nutritionists say that it takes 12-24 hours for the digestion of the necessary fuel needed for a hunt. A healthy portion the morning of the hunt will not help. How many of us want a full meal before working out?
And take your first aid kit just in case. Cuts and scrapes on your dog are commonplace. A neoprene vest also comes in handy for your retriever. It not only keeps them warmer, but it prevents injuries to the chest and stomach.
So go out and have some fun with your favorite hunting companion. You are developing memories that will last a lifetime!