International Waterfowler Goes To Arizona As Part Of Nationwide Tour

Ramey Russell hunts ducks worldwide

Why would a world-renown waterfowler go to the desert to hunt ducks? Because they are there. There was still a bit of a chill in the air late last year as the sun began to rise over Phoenix, Arizona. No wind. No clouds. It was to be a blue bird day in the desert.

Bobbing in the current of the Salt River were a couple of handfuls of duck decoys as a few ducks, in ones and twos, flew over to take a look. Although it was anything but a wide-open hunt, waterfowling personality Ramsey Russell, Arizona Game and Fish Department Migratory Gamebird Biologist Johnathan O’Dell and the author were ready for whatever the day would bring.

Later in the morning, because the hunt was on public land within sight of the Phoenix metropolitan sprawl, the hunt also saw a group of birdwatchers with their binoculars and cameras stroll by, even as kayakers navigated around the decoys in the river. Talk about multiple use!

Desert duck hunting turned out to be a lot more fun than Ramsey initially had imagined. “I really enjoyed Arizona. People don’t think of the desert for waterfowl, but it can be a great place to hunt. When you find water in Arizona, you find ducks, Ramsey explained.

When Ramsey Russell talks about doing a hunting swing he ain’t whistin Dixie, so to speak. “This swing — so far this year, I went to Texas during the teal season, then Iowa, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Montana, Utah — north, southeast and west of the Great Salt Lake, Arizona — Salt River, then southwest, then New Mexico along the Rio Grande and then Roswell for sandhill cranes,” Ramsey noted shortly after leaving Arizona.

Read full story (PDF): International Waterfowler Goes To Arizona As Part Of Nationwide Tour