It’s unseasonably single-digit windchills and bone-chilling cold when Ramsey Russell goes North dakota waterfowl hunting with Dirty Bird Outfitters’ Nick Marcyes for their 3rd- or 4th Annual “Where’s-Matt-At Hunt” together in North Dakota – way different than preceding visits! Undeterred, Nick rolls with the punches and develops a winning game plan for DBO guests. What did Canadian border closures do to license sales in North Dakota and could Nick tell a difference? How do the ducks and geese respond to these unseasonable cold snaps and what’s a good game plan for dealing with? What duck species besides mallards did they shoot this time? Why does Nick think they didn’t kill a leg band during this year’s visit? The 2020-2021 North America Waterfowl Tour continues in this fun episode.
Dirty Bird Outfitter North Dakota Waterfowl Hunting Guide Nick Marcyes and Ramsey Russell Discuss North Dakota Duck Hunting, Cold Weather Tactics, Late-Season Canada Goose Hunting
Ramsey Russell: Welcome to Duck Season Somewhere, live from North Dakota waterfowl hunt. Boy, has it been a cold. For a Southern Boy, it was cold. It was unseasonably cold. I got here about two or three days ago for my annual visit with Dirty Bird Outfitters’ Nick Marcyes. Matt Peihl don’t ever make it here. He’s always working, don’t ask me how I know his calendar but I do. But anyway, it was cold. We killed the ducks, that’s a fact. We killed a bunch of birds. Today’s guest is Nick Marcyes. How are you, man?
Nick Marcyes: Doing good.
Unseasonably Cold North Dakota Duck Hunting
Ramsey Russell: What was going on? I mean, it was a single-digit windchill the first day.
Nick Marcyes: Yeah, we’ve had about six days of a cold front come in, really unseasonably cold.
Ramsey Russell: All this white stuff is not normal?
Nick Marcyes: Yeah, we’ll see some flurries in October but we kind of lucked out. Thursday, they were predicting that we were going to get 10″ of snow around here. We only got a dusting, probably 2″, which made hunting real good on Thursday but thankfully most of the snow sled South and East of us. I know Minnesota and Southeastern North Dakota got a lot more.
Ramsey Russell: And Wisconsin. I have been in all that mess. I came from Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota. It was snowing the whole time. The whole landscape looked like a Christmas card to a guy like me. What did it do to the birds? I’ve hunted these prairies and I would have thought it was going to be gangbusters Monday morning. It was cold, and I figured, “Okay, the birds got to eat, we’re hunting at that cut cornfield.” Why didn’t they come out and play?
Nick Marcyes: It’s probably because it’s the first hard-cold of the year. We have had a little bit cooler weather days prior, but that first real cold that comes through, it’s almost like it shell shocks the birds to where they don’t want to leave. They don’t leave their water. I don’t know if they’re worried about it freezing up. Most of the birds are roosted on the big lake, so it’s not like the lake’s going to freeze up on them, but at the same time, they should have to feed, with it being that cold, but they just went into the late season pattern. In December, that’s how our honkers get.
Ramsey Russell: What you call “late season pattern” is they come out one time and feed really good. That’s what those birds did. They came out. You called it. That morning, we left the decoys where they were, and you said, “Hey, let’s go eat, let’s go warm up, let’s go take a nap and meet back out here at two o’clock,” and we didn’t have to wait long.
Nick Marcyes: No, the last few days at that two o’ clock mark, anywhere from one to two o’clock, they start to come out and they don’t stop till dark normally.
North Dakota Duck Hunting on Infamous Hamburger Hill
Ramsey Russell: I saw that. What was the scenario we were hunting those first couple of days? You called it Hamburger Hill.
Nick Marcyes: Yeah, it was quite the spot. It was last year’s corn that they got cut this summer. They combined it and then after they combined it they actually ran a rake through it and raked all the trash up and then bailed it. They’ll use corn bales for betting and feed. Because we use it both ways, they can munch on it while they’re laying on it at the same time.
Ramsey Russell: Y’all had been hunting it pretty darn steady. Those birds got in that field. How many ducks was the scout report?
Nick Marcyes: The first day that we went in there, I would say, ballparking, probably 15k, maybe 20k. They had it black up against the bale pile the first day and they just don’t want to let up. We hunted for four days straight. I think, after yesterday’s hunt, that made the seventh time I’ve hunted that field since the season opened.
Ramsey Russell: My goodness. You were telling me a few of the clients just seemed to be a little miffed, miffed may not be a good word, about going to the same field again.
Nick Marcyes: Commonly, we don’t hunt the same field over and over again, day after day. Normally, I’ll hunt a field and get out of there and maybe in 3-4 days the birds are still there, go back in, but without shooting on them, they didn’t care. They wanted that field so bad.
Ramsey Russell: Back home, we strike while the iron is hot. If the ducks really want to be in this area right here, want to be in this duck hole or whatever, ride it until they don’t want to be there.
Nick Marcyes: That’s pretty much what we did there the day before yesterday. They need a break out there.
More Dry-Field Green-winged Teal Than usual During this North Dakota Duck Hunt
Ramsey Russell: How often is it? Because I would say the first afternoon we hunted, 80% of the bag was green-winged teal.
Nick Marcyes: That’s made up such a high percentage of the bag.
Ramsey Russell: Was it that way all four days?
Nick Marcyes: I would say that one day was probably half and half on the mallards. The first day we went out there, we went out at 02:00 and we killed an eight-man limit. Everything was green-winged teal, except we killed two mallards. We started shooting at two and we were done at 03:30. We took our birds, got our birds out of the field and our guns, left the decoys, and gave the birds the field. While we sat on the road getting ready to take a picture, they were already landing on the decoys.
Ramsey Russell: Yesterday, we moved down the hill in that little dark area, like the ducks have been feeding there and there wasn’t as much snow cover and they were really wanting to hit it hard. I’d say probably 50% of the bag was green-wings again. I’ve shot wood duck, I’ve shot green-winged teal, I’ve shot all kinds of stuff in fields before, but I’ve never shot that many green-winged teal in dry fields before. Is that usual?
Nick Marcyes: No, I’ve never shot that many. Normally, if we’re killing green-winged teal, it’s probably the last few that are around in early November. They’re going to be your first flight birds out in the morning. They’re going to look like blackbirds, they’re going to be about three feet off the ground coming into the cornfield, but it’s not the flocks that we’re seeing. Some of the flocks were pretty big, 200 – 300 green winged teal, sometimes.
Ramsey Russell: Love shooting mallards, love seeing those big flocks get in over the decoys. Those green-winged teal were giving it up like a drunk chick at spin-the-bottle. They just couldn’t get enough of it. When they came in, they just gave it up. I found myself yesterday afternoon just wishing more green-wings would come in, but then yesterday was a real curveball because we shot some crazy stuff, we shot some shovelers. Our buddy Eric said something to me about me shooting shovelers. I’m like, “They don’t call me Ramzilla for nothing. They even chased me into the cornfield. What was that? Was that a redhead hen? Out of freaking nowhere!
Nick Marcyes: Yeah, it was a hen canvasback and two redheads that came by and buzzed the decoys.
Ramsey Russell: Man, they were lost.
Nick Marcyes: Taking a tour of the cornfield.
Ramsey Russell: As Bugs Bunny said, take a wrong turn at Albuquerque into that field. What’s the season been like up here? I want to talk about that because last year, for those of y’all that remember Nick coming on last year, it was wall-to-wall wetness up here. It was an ocean. There were dirt roads underwater. Ducks were highly spread out. A really tough season, which is to say, Nick and staff had to really work hard. They produced ducks, but y’all really had different birds, and waterfowl could be anywhere.
How Do Water Conditions Affect North Dakota Waterfowl Hunting
Ramsey Russell: This year is not quite as wet, but it has been what kind of season?
Nick Marcyes: Oh, it’s been a good season, It’s a little more of a normal season other than probably only 50%, if we’re lucky, of the fields were actually planted. I would say half the corn crop from last year didn’t get cut until June and July. I think August 10th was the last time I saw a combine with corn going down the road. You had all those cornfields. We started the season hunting cut corn. Not something that’s typical. We normally don’t get cut corn until mid-October, maybe the first part of November even, and then the way the birds have been feeding, normally, they start out on wheat and then they’ll transition in early October to beans, and then once corn gets cut, normally, they’d be in the corn. This year they just skipped all past that and we’ve been primarily shooting birds out of corn fields. I don’t think I’ve hunted a bean field yet.
Ramsey Russell: Really?
Nick Marcyes: Yeah, they just skipped through that part of the whole feeding schedule.
Did Covid-related Canada Border Closures Increase Duck Hunting Pressure in North Dakota?
Ramsey Russell: This is a different time of year, I normally hunt. Normally I come up here with you and your family to hunt the opener, and this is getting on into late October. I noticed the difference in a lot of trucks, a lot of people, a lot of stuff. What did that Canadian closure do for y’all?
Nick Marcyes: Oh, it definitely amped it up. I heard something before the season started that it had already doubled license sales for a typical year and now it is even before the season started. I know our swan lottery, typically there’s leftover tags on that. There were like 350 people that didn’t even draw a tag. There are some nights that we’ll find a feed and there might be 10 or 15 trucks driving around looking at it. Lots more traffic around.
Ramsey Russell: Can you tell a difference in hunting pressure?
Nick Marcyes: It’s been weird. We’ll see a lot of guys scouting, but then at the same time you don’t hear that many other guys shooting around you in the morning. Not like you would think you would hear. You’d think you’d hear a group over every hill, but you don’t. I don’t know if people are not seeing what they want to see. I don’t know why guys aren’t hunting as much.
Ramsey Russell: I’ve been talking to a team, it’s about an hour and a half from here, and one of them told me they had shot like two ducks in four days.
Nick Marcyes: Well, I know with this cold snap, a lot of guys are not smart enough to wait it out. Either wait it out and hunt the evening or just focus on that evening. They just hunt their morning and they scout their evenings. They’re kind of like me, but I know better. If the ducks are coming out to feed, they’re going to come out to feed again. You just got to be there when they want to come to feed.
Ramsey Russell: This morning the thermometer read about 34 degrees when I stepped outside on the truck. The thermometer on the truck said at 34 degrees and a 10 mile an hour wind, but it felt downright balmy. Yesterday at 09:00 AM, I got the truck to run across the street and get a cup of coffee. It was still single digits with a 10-15 mile an hour wind. I didn’t want any part of that. I just bided my time. I worked on this podcast and worked on some internet stuff. I’ve answered some phone calls. At 1:00 PM, I get a text that simply read, “They’re flying.” We showed up and everybody started showing up to the blind, and it was on like Donkey Kong, steady the whole time. I wonder, have you seen anything like this, the amount of pressure put on North Dakota this year? Have you experienced that? You’ve been here a long time.
Nick Marcyes: No, I’ve never seen this many trucks that are around.
Ramsey Russell: The ducks didn’t seem still to me. They seem normal to me.
Nick Marcyes: I think the ducks are just fine. It’s definitely different. Only in certain areas will you see that much pressure. I know south of where we typically hunt, some of the boys have been seeing a lot more trucks down that way than what I’m seeing right around my place.
Ramsey Russell: I’m sure north of here there’s a whole bunch of big destinations.
Nick Marcyes: Oh yeah.
Ramsey Russell: Wall-to-wall folks.
Nick Marcyes: I’ve heard up at Devil’s Lake it’s a madhouse this year.
Ramsey Russell: I can’t imagine. Is the hunting pretty similar up there?
Nick Marcyes: Yeah. You got a couple bigger lakes, like Devil’s Lake, Lake Alice and Lake Irvine. Real big lakes, but it’s similar. A lot of field hunting. A few more guys probably go up there and chase divers on the big lake than you see around here. But no, it’s pretty similar.
North Dakota Duck Hunting Still the Wild West, But Changes Coming
Ramsey Russell: One thing that’s always impressed me about North Dakota: it’s like the Wild West. It’s been a long time since you could walk up a driveway, knock on the door, and get permission to hunt a field, say, in Mississippi or Arkansas. But up here, the existing rule for a long time has been: if it’s not posted, you can hunt it. If it’s posted, you need permission. But you were telling me, last year and again yesterday, those laws are changing.
Nick Marcyes: Yeah. I know the last time it came up for vote, it almost passed, I think it comes up for vote next year.
Ramsey Russell: What exactly will be voted, do you think?
Nick Marcyes: I know the Game and Fish [services] are fooling with it this year. They got three counties that are in this experimental electronic posting in North Dakota. You’d have an app on your phone, you can pull up to a piece of land, and I think they said they would be like three different colors: green, yellow and red. Green was like, you can go ahead and hunt it. It would be considered unposted as of now. Yellow is ask permission, and red is just don’t even ask.
Ramsey Russell: What do the landowners get out of that system?
Nick Marcyes: That’s my problem. I know they’ve tried other programs like this in the past for coyote hunting, early honkers, a program that would connect hunters and farmers together, but a lot of guys just are not going to take the time to sign up for something like that.
Ramsey Russell: Yeah, you told me the other day that the reason a lot of farmers, especially last year when they were racing the weather to get their crops out, don’t post their properties is that they don’t want to be bothered.
Nick Marcyes: Yeah. If they’re worried about hunters being out there, they’ll post their land for the most part. At the same time, if it’s not posted, I try not to bother a farmer just because he’s busy. This is his busy time of year. I always try to get out of the farmers way. This is when he makes his life.
Ramsey Russell: You lived here and you’ve gotten to know a lot of the locals over the last 15 years. That probably makes a big difference. I would think that the new regulations, if passed, is going to make it difficult for people to drive up and over.
Nick Marcyes: If you don’t have that relationship already built, it will probably make it a lot tougher. I know after this last fall, with everything being so wet, a lot of land that’s never been posted got posted this year because guys are trying to drive trucks and trailers into stuff that they shouldn’t have been trying to drive into. We ran off our track rigs till the ground froze up here. We never drove a truck. I think I drove a truck out in the field the last three days I hunted on the east side of the state. It was the only time I drove a truck on a field.
Ramsey Russell: You were telling me at the dinner the other night that I saw the best of last year.
Nick Marcyes: Yeah, when you were here, it was actually the best it got, because after you left, we got a blizzard. October 10th dropped 28” of snow and then that all melted in a matter of four or five days when we had all that moisture that added.
Ramsey Russell: A sloppy mess, a sloppy nasty mess. We had this big freeze and this morning it warmed 20-something degrees. It’s unbelievable how the temperature will swing like that. You knew those birds were going to come out and play this morning.
Nick Marcyes: Yeah. I figured that they’d fly. They still had kind of a different flight. We had our early morning ducks that come in and then we had some geese show up, we shot some snows and some littles, a few groups of bigs and then it was a lull. We decided to pick up. If we had stayed another half hour, we’d have probably seen that second flight coming. But there was a second flight that started to come out. It’s the weather changing on them again, they got to get back into a normal pattern now.
Ramsey Russell: I would venture to guess you’ve got several more hunts left in that field. We didn’t even scratch the surface.
Nick Marcyes: Once we started picking up, that’s why I want to just get out of there, give them the field. They’ll get back in there.
Ramsey Russell: Even as we were loading the trailer, they were following in across the way.
Nick Marcyes: Yeah, they don’t want to leave them. If you find the right field right now, you have a lot of hunts lined up off that field.
North Dakota Duck Hunting Conditions All About Migrational Timing
Ramsey Russell: What does the rest of the season look like for you?
Nick Marcyes: It’s looking a lot better now that it warmed up. I know Matt was pretty nervous with this cold that just came through. We’re checking a lot of our roosts, because we lost most of the little stuff. It froze up, but it’ll probably open up in the next long as it stays warm until I get done on the east side of the state, nothing can get cold. I want a cold in December. That makes the geese play out West.
Ramsey Russell: You Minnesota and Dakota boys have got a different tolerance for cold than a lot of us do because, the first morning, myself and all the other clients were bundled up with bibs and coats and boots and long johns and caps and scarves and gloves, and you’re out there wearing uninsulated cowboy boots and a flannel shirt and hoodie, pull up Carhartt bibs, going bare-handed. I didn’t see you wear gloves the entire time I’ve been here. It’s so cold out there.
Nick Marcyes: I probably don’t wear gloves till December.
Ramsey Russell: That must be that Viking genetic or something. I don’t see how you do it.
Nick Marcyes: I guess you just get used to it. I don’t handle the cold as well as I used to, but I miss most of the winter now when I head south for snow geese. The cull this time of the year up here is January and February.
Ramsey Russell: Just take the weather out of the equation right now, the variance of weather. Where do you see from experience that we are with the migration? Where’s the migration? Where are the birds right now? Because I’m hearing reports way down south, I’m hearing reports up in Canada. Where do you think they are?
Nick Marcyes: I think it’s real spread out, is what it is. That was a pretty typical spec migration. We’ve got a few specks that are hanging here now. I think there’s some probably hanging to the north, a few. Their typical migration is that in early October we’ll see them pushing up high, over the top of us. When we saw them going over us and could hear them, we had like four days of straight northwest winds at about 40 miles an hour. I called a buddy in Arkansas and two days later they showed up in big numbers down there. Mallards, we’ve seen one little push and I don’t know if it was a true north push, it could be birds from a couple hours from north that come down.
Ramsey Russell: It could be some of y’all’s production birds just consolidated.
Nick Marcyes: Yeah, it could be that too. It’s definitely been a different year because with swans, I always say October 15th to November 15th, November is all depending on the freeze up. But that’s kind of our window for swans. This next week here is normally when we’ll hit peak numbers. We haven’t seen a swan until about 9 days ago when we saw our first swans.
Ramsey Russell: I was hunting about an hour west of here with some folks and they had seen some, but they really showed up this past weekend.
Nick Marcyes: Yeah. Now with this cold here we had a lot more swans pile in. The snows have just been hit or miss. I know guys are still shooting them up in Canada and I heard that there’s snow geese all the way down in Texas already. It’s kind of weird, we’ve never seen our big push of littles, I think they’re finally starting to show up now, but I would say they’re almost a week behind. It’s normally we have a week where all you have around you is little geese and they’re actually messing with your duck feeds. This morning was the first field I’ve been in that we actually had a bunch of little geese come whirling around and doing what they do in North Dakota.
North Dakota Waterfowl Guides in a Haunted House?
Ramsey Russell: Change of subject here, Nick. The guide staff we hunted with this morning, that young man y’all hired he wouldn’t talk much about it, because I think he was sleep deprived from sleeping in his truck the last few days. What’s up with this guide house y’all got? What are some of the stories? Tell the listeners, because Halloween is coming up. You want to hear about a haunted house, y’all listen to this stuff. You ain’t going to believe it. None of the kids will sleep in it. None of them.
Nick Marcyes: Well, since we’re running next to spread out here in North Dakota this year, Matt didn’t want to make me pack my house, so he found a house for rent in a little town about 30 miles north of me. The old couple that owned it said that people had been there three months prior, but when the guys moved in there, it didn’t really look like anybody’s lived there for a while or been in there for a while. The neighbor’s said that they hadn’t seen anybody in the place for three years.
Ramsey Russell: What made the people think someone might have been there for months?
Nick Marcyes: The old couple said that they’d had people up there, but I don’t know if they did. There’s been some weird stuff. One of the TVs was turning on when the guys would walk by it. Seth and his buddies heard kids laughing at night. I told him I’d have just left the place right there.
Ramsey Russell: He said the TV was unplugged when you walked by, but it would flicker. Then he got to talking about the kids this morning. He said, “You know what’s so weird? It’s like there’s all these pictures, all these random kids just all over the place.” I’m like, “Man, that’s starting to get kind of creepy.” They’re like the Silence of the Lambs. Maybe you ought to go look at milk carton pictures, you might recognize some faces, creepy.
Nick Marcyes: Seth said that they’re going to try and find a basement. I said, “I’d probably just leave that be.”
Ramsey Russell: You may not want to go down in that basement. Somebody was saying one night that all four of those kids got in the same bed together.
Nick Marcyes: The night that they said they heard kids giggling and running around the house, they all went and slept in one room together.
Ramsey Russell: As their leader, Nick, you could go over there and sleep for a night or two and they come over here.
Nick Marcyes: No, because I’d probably just burn the house down if I heard anything crazy.
Ramsey Russell: He was saying last night he slept in his truck to watch that field and he woke up scared to death because he heard voices outside. That old boy behind me, one of the other clients, says, “It’s probably the ghosts in your catalytic converter. They caught a ride out here with you.” He didn’t like talking about that too much.
Nick Marcyes: I told those guys I just wouldn’t stay there anymore.
Ramsey Russell: So they’re all sleeping in their truck?
Nick Marcyes: I don’t know. They started messing with the one. I know they got Sam the one day. When he wasn’t paying attention, they moved his duffel bag and took one of his sweatshirts and turned it inside out and laid it on top of his duffel bag. Sam freaked out enough that he was packing his stuff. He’s going to stay in the hotel. He had had enough.
Ramsey Russell: Yeah. Then the rest of that stuff happened?
Nick Marcyes: Oh yeah.
Ramsey Russell: Nobody stays there.
Nick Marcyes: Now, they don’t think it’s as funny anymore.
Ramsey Russell: I don’t do haunted houses.
Nick Marcyes: No.
Ramsey Russell: That just ain’t my thing. It ain’t like I believe in ghosts, but I’m just going to let it be. If the TV comes on and it ain’t even plugged in, that kind of gets the best of me. The owners say people have been there because they’ve seen the lights on but ain’t nobody had been there for years. That’s weird, isn’t it?
Nick Marcyes: Yeah.
Ramsey Russell: You ain’t had nothing going on in this house, have you?
Nick Marcyes: No, I want to keep it that way too. I might not let Seth come back once after he stayed up there.
North Dakota Waterfowl Hunting Season Length
Ramsey Russell: How long does the season run up here in North Dakota?
Nick Marcyes: On the west side or the east side of the state, duck season runs right to the first part of December. It’s normally around December 2nd that we close out. A lot of years, we don’t make it that long. It will freeze out prior to that. It shuts down for about a week. You can’t shoot ducks. Then, everything opens back up in the High Plains. They split North Dakota in half, they have Low Plains and High Plains. High plains season out West opens back up and runs right around 1st of January. You can still kill ducks and geese.
North Dakota Waterfowl Bands
Ramsey Russell: The first year I hunted with you that we didn’t shoot a waterfowl band.
Nick Marcyes: Yeah, the first year you didn’t bring the old yellow dog, though, too.
Ramsey Russell: Mama sent me a picture of the yellow dog and she was lying in a beam of sunlight yesterday. She doesn’t care anything about these waterfowl bands. We are on our own as far as she’s concerned. She’s 10 years old and just soaks it up. She lays down to find her sunny spot to sleep. At around 04:30, because Anita usually feeds them around 05:30, around 04:30, I guess because she’s ain’t wearing a watch, she doesn’t know exactly what time it is, she starts getting frisky, starts acting like a young dog again. If she sees a shadow walk through a window or in the back of the house, she starts barking. You go out there and feed them, it takes her 2.2 seconds to eat a whole bowl full. She sniffs all the other bowls, makes sure they didn’t miss a crumb, picks up her bowl, puts it on her bed, and that’s where she is till 04:30 next afternoon.
Nick Marcyes: Taking it easy.
Ramsey Russell: Yeah, we’re on our own Nick. We’re on our own. We’re going to have to get one of these mutts to start getting some band mojo.
Nick Marcyes: Oh yeah, hopefully.
Ramsey Russell: Do y’all shoot many bands up here, though? It seems like you would because you shoot a bunch of birds.
Nick Marcyes: We shoot a lot of birds, but we don’t kill much for bands. We’ve killed one band so far this year. We’ve killed it on a resident opener. We’ve killed a banded wood duck from Wisconsin. That was a pretty cool bird to shoot. We shoot some wood ducks but we don’t shoot a lot of bands. It was a five year old duck.
Ramsey Russell: Isn’t that something?
Nick Marcyes: Yeah. I thought it might be one. I know they do some banding in South Dakota on wood ducks and a lot of times they’ll fly up into North Dakota after they’ve been banded, but this one was banded about 75 miles south.
Late-Season North Dakota Honker Hunting with Dirty Bird Outfitters
Ramsey Russell: So y’all will be basically shut down or froze out around the first of December. Then what do you do?
Nick Marcyes: Then we move West, hunt along the Missouri River for big honks, finish our season out there.
Ramsey Russell: Do y’all book that trip also?
Nick Marcyes: Yeah.
Ramsey Russell: What’s the limit?
Nick Marcyes: You can kill five Canada geese in that zone out there. It’s the Missouri River Zone. I would put it up against any honker hunting in the country. You get those sandbars stacked up, you’re looking at a couple miles stretch, and there might be 150,000 honkers that are going to come rolling, and when they roll, it’s a nonstop flight.
Ramsey Russell: It’s pretty cold?
Nick Marcyes: It is cold, but we went and bought a custom built 24-foot trailer blind that we’re going to have heat.
Ramsey Russell: That’s a nice concept. I know several guys that use it. Tell everybody about this new blind because that’s a really big deal.
Nick Marcyes: Yeah, it’s a trailer blind. It’s pretty much like having an above ground pit.
Ramsey Russell: Like a pit blind trailer, double axle trailer?
Nick Marcyes: Yeah.
Ramsey Russell: Hydraulic?
Nick Marcyes: Hydraulics. You just pull it out wherever you want. I know we’re going to try and hunt fence lines and stuff with it, but it’s big enough that it’s going to look like its own rock pile of grass strip, stubble it up real good.
Ramsey Russell: With what, willows and grass?
Nick Marcyes: Probably grass. We’re trying to figure something out for a snow cover on it. I told Matt, “If we get a bunch of snow, we don’t want to stick out too bad.” But if we’re in a cornfield we find some taller corn stocks, put a bunch on the front and stuff like that. I know a lot of guys running up in Canada, so we wanted something that keeps people warm. You can hold heating and the A-Frames help a lot.
Ramsey Russell: Anything that knocks the wind down.
Nick Marcyes: Yeah, it cuts that wind down. If you’re laying in the layout blind, all the wind’s doing there is blowing right down your neck. A-Frame gets that wind off and we can put heaters in that. But I like this trailer, it’ll be way more relaxing to sit, I think.
Ramsey Russell: You put some heaters in it?
Nick Marcyes: Yeah, we’re going to plum it up so they’ll be like 7-8 heaters in it.
Ramsey Russell: It’ll be nice and toasty.
Nick Marcyes: I think we’re going to have a little griddle in there if people want to cook. Because, typically, with clients, I go and set up in the morning. If I was going to go hunt myself, I probably won’t go out there till 11 o’clock, 10 o’clock to get set up.
Ramsey Russell: Because late year, again, it is cold, and those birds are just making one big movement a day.
Nick Marcyes: Yeah.
Ramsey Russell: There might be some early bird flying.
Nick Marcyes: Yeah. You might pick up a couple early ones here and there, but you can tell when the river starts to lift.
Ramsey Russell: That’s the downside of being in your business. It gets cold. If a cold event happens, like it happened the other day, you know the birds aren’t going to fly, but you gotta take the clients out.
Nick Marcyes: I told the clients I’d feel terrible if for some reason we didn’t hunt in the morning and I drove by that field and there’s a whole bunch of birds out there. That’s on me. As long as clients are cool with toughing it out, we’ll set and hunt for a little bit in the morning or, if they want, they can sit in their trucks and stay warm until the first flock of birds come. It’s not like you’re duck hunting in some places that you might only see a flock or two. You can miss the first flock out here and be just fine. That’s not going to hurt you.
Ramsey Russell: Well buddy, I know you probably got to go do some scouting, and I’m going to head on down the road to the next stop. I wish y’all the best of luck for the rest of the season.
Nick Marcyes: Sounds good. I hope you have a good season too.
Ramsey Russell: I’ll be back here next year. Next year, I really want to come back and hunt with you and your brothers and your daddy. That’s just a lot more fun to me. I feel like family now, I’ve known y’all so long. I know, I got to meet your mama last year. Tell everybody, real quick, how they can get in touch with y’all at Dirty Bird Outfitters, North Dakota waterfowl guides, because, folks, seriously, whether you go to Canada or not, North Dakota waterfowl hunting doesn’t require a passport. It’s right up here. We’re shooting. When did your season start?
Nick Marcyes: About the end of September or early October for nonresidents.
Ramsey Russell: And it runs through December?
Nick Marcyes: Yep.
Ramsey Russell: And then later y’all go shoot the migrater Canadas on the Missouri River over in Western North Dakota. Again, just tell everybody how they can get in touch with you. Social media and web pages and all that good stuff.
Nick Marcyes: Yeah, you can look us up on Instagram and Facebook, Dirty Bird Outfitters, or we also have a website, dirtybirdoutfitters.com.
Ramsey Russell: Yep, and we’ve also got a profile for him, USHuntList.com North Dakota. Folks, thank y’all for listening. You’ve been listening to Nick Marcyes for Dirty Bird Outfitter here in South Central North Dakota. Check them out, come visit. See you next time.