Duck Season Somewhere Podcast

Duck Season Somewhere Podcast

Dr. Doug Osborne’s Waterfowl Banding Bonanz‪a

Like gleaming gold nuggets to ’49 boomtown miners, waterfowl leg bands are precious commodities coveted by some duck hunters. But to folks like Dr. Doug Osborne, these data points are a bonanza of much needed information.  Who is Doug Osborne, and why’d he start The Osborne Lab at University of Arkansas at Monticello? Why is waterfowl banding on the wintering grounds important, and how does it differ from late-summer banding in Canada?  How important are mallards to banding programs – and what’s so special about hens? What’re some cool things Osborne has seen along the way? Are flyways shifting westward? Why might we be seeing more ducks after hunting season?  Passionate about his waterfowl research, Osborne sheds light on some topics we hunters have been discussing among ourselves for years, and leaves me wondering about a few things that had not yet crossed my mind. Which is the whole point of meaningful research.

Related Links:

The Osborne Lab

Spring Snow Goose Hunting Swindle and Other Storie‪s

Freshly returned from his first real “guided snow goose hunting” in Arkansas, Forrest Russell colorfully describes to Ramsey Russell a school-of-hard-knocks swindle lesson about choosing the right outfitter, and why rolling with good friends takes precedence over all else.  Bigwater then asks Ramsey “questions from the inbox” as Duck Season Somewhere podcast turns a year old. What was happening a year ago? First duck, leg bands, places he’s hunted that he’d consider moving, and the only place he’d hunt if he had to? How’s the pandemic affecting travel? Much more in this episode.

Australia Duck Hunting Hanging by a Thread‪?

Despite other-worldly sightings, things like swamp dwelling kangaroos, unique pink-eared ducks, and beet-topped hamburgers, Australia duck hunting is more readily familiar to US duck hunters than elsewhere hunted worldwide. But they’re constantly fighting tooth-and-nail to preserve it, and this year proved an uphill battle. Absolute madness.  Who governs migratory bird management in Australia, and how are duck seasons set as compared to here in US? What waterfowl conservation activities are being conducted by hunters and anti-hunters, respectively? How do anti-hunters interfere with duck hunting afield? What does duck hunting mean to hunters – and what’s its relevance? Field and Game Australia’s CEO, Dean O’Hara, and Hunting & Conservation Manager, Glenn Falla, join Ramsey from way Down Under to discuss Australia duck hunting’s imperiled future. Is Australia a canary in the coal mine? Duck hunting has ceased elsewhere in the world. Could it really happen here in the United States, too?

Related Links:

Australia Duck Hunting

Field and Game Australia

But What About Bluebills‪?‬ Is Scaup Science Solid?

Originating in a North Dakota duck blind, targeting divers instead of dry-field puddlers, this scaup discussion was a real eye-opener for Ramsey Russell. Eric Smith cut his teeth on duck hunting while chasing bluebills (scaup) with his dad in northern Minnesota.  Later involved in graduate research and scaup banding studies, he’s remained fascinated by them ever since. How’d Smith fall into the scaup rabbit hole? How are scaup populations doing relative to redhead and canvasback populations? Why are daily bag limits only half that of redheads and canvasbacks? Are zebra mussels problematic for bluebills? How are scaup bag limits determined, what do mallards have to do with it, and is the best science being applied to scaup management? Like a flock of low-flying bluebills hammering toward the layout while obscured behind a huge swell, I never saw this one coming. Found this Duck Season Somewhere podcast episode extremely interesting and bet that y’all do, too.

Feeling Normal Again: Mazatlán Mexico Honeymoon Duck Huntin‪g‬

Never mind shooting 20-duck, spoonie-and-teal-trifecta limits daily, drinking pool-side foo-foo drinks, and eating seafood dinners together. Everyone’s first international vacation since the pandemic, it had immediately “felt normal” since walking into the beautiful Mazatlán Mexico resort, our duck camp away from home.  But what’s it really like down there? Ramsey joins guests pool-side for candid conversations about their experiences. Why’d Ray and Claire return with their growing family for a real family vacation? Why’d Matt and Asha literally choose this duck hunting destination for their honeymoon? And did Mr. Ian’s shooting really improve in Mazatlán, or was that just the post-hunt cervezas talking? What about safety? What about covid?  This mariachi-infused Duck Season Somewhere podcast episode is fun, light-hearted conversations depicting what famous Mazatlán Mexico “honeymoon” duck hunt is really like from guests’ perspectives.

Related Links:

Mazatlán Mexico Duck Hunting

California Dreaming: A Recap of Ramsey’s California Waterfowl Hunting Adventure‪s‬

After an epic final morning of California waterfowl hunting, with some beautiful cinnamon teal trophies icing down in the truck and a couple more carry-out world-class lunch burritos stretching their belts and weighing heavy on their eyelids, Ramsey meets with great friend-host Jon Wills at historic Stillbow Ranch lodge to recount the dozen days of duck hunting in the Golden State. From San Francisco Bay and throughout the Sacramento Valley, what’s Ramsey Russell remember most about his first California waterfowl hunting experience? Who’d he hunt with? The Duck Season Somewhere podcast episode proves it – Forget everything you ever thought about the Hollywood, hippie and surfboard versions of this great state, most of California is still as much “Real America” as it gets. Especially when it comes to duck hunters and their enduring tradition.

I Hunt. I Fish. I Vote. Mississippi HB 1231 MS Outdoors Stewardship Trust Fun‪d‬

Just imagine. At a time in history that wildlife resources and hunters need more not less, what could YOUR State Department of Natural Resources and Statewide Conservation Organizations do with FIFTY TO SIXTY MILLION DOLLARS?! OR MORE?! Acquire more public hunting land? Improve existing public-use properties for hunters (and non-hunters)?  Better wildlife habitat management? More and better places for you and future generations to hunt, fish, and just enjoy the great outdoors?!  Forever. And what if this could be done without tax increases? It can. MS HB 1231 Mississippi Outdoors Stewardship Trust Fund was modeled after a similar program in Georgia and elsewhere that diverts a very small percentage of existing state taxes into a conservation fund that can then be leveraged with existing federal dollars to put 3-4x that value on the ground. Right now! Not later!  Listen to this episode. Hear James Cummins, Ed Penny, and Alex Littlejohn explain the enormous wildlife conservation advantages to Mississippi – and possibly to your own home state. And then ask yourself, why would person or persons gut this bill on the Mississippi Senate floor? Ask yourself as a Mississippian, how can you ensure this bill becomes reality? And if you live elsewhere in the US, does your state have a similar program? If not – why not?! You’re not political, huh? If you hunt, fish or own guns, you’d damned well better be! But trust me, you’ll enjoy this dynamite Duck Season Somewhere podcast episode regardless.

Related Links

Mississippi HB 1231 Mississippi Outdoors Stewardship Trust Fund

Wildlife Mississippi

Ducks Unlimited

Mississippi Nature Conservancy

The White Way: California Goose Hunting with the White Brother‪s‬

Right about the time you think you’ve seen and done it all in worldwide waterfowling, you jump into a California goose hunting spread with Jonathon and Dillon White, the White Brothers, who show you “the White Way.” Gnarly, acre-sized flocks of snow geese and Aleutian cackler geese overhead, the seething eye of a hurricane growing in ferocity and intensity with each spin, then oftentimes landing 15 yards away because there’s no sense educating the entire flock you’ll hunt all season. Instead we swiped a few crumbs from our laps, cherry-picking from small, loose goose flocks that strayed from the masses until piles of dead birds numbered plenty. What was it like for them growing up the sons of a cowboy in rural California, the part that remains “Real America” even today? What are there earliest and fondest memories waterfowl hunting? What’s the local eats like? How and why did they transition to goose hunting, and how’d they progress to their goose hunting game to the highest level I’ve ever experienced?


Brain Huber is California Waterfowl Association’s Waterfowl and Wood Duck Program Coordinator. Late one afternoon, Ramsey Russell and he meet across the table at his hunting camp for a mid-blowing discussion about California waterfowl hunting and management. They plan the next morning’s wood duck hunt, too.  Why are California’s daily dark goose limits so much higher than in most other parts of the US? What CWA program has produced nearly a million wood ducks since implementation, and to whom does much credit go for its success? What incredible percentage of California’s annual mallard harvest are produced in California (you’ll likely be surprised to learn it)? What other species are produced here? What programs mitigate egg and nest losses in California’s vast agricultural landscape? How’d Huber get into this challenging waterfowl management field? What advice does he have for anyone wanting to be a waterfowl biologist? Great duck hunting doesn’t happen by accident. This Duck Season Somewhere podcast episode is a great behind-the-scenes glimpse of people and events that make California duck hunting happen.

Related Links:

California Waterfowl Association Conservation Programs

Duck-A-Minute Banta and Other California Duck Hunting Topic‪s

The orange sun melts slowly into the horizon on legendary Suisun Marsh, flocks of ducks are trading overhead and Yancey Forrest-Knowles speaks to Ramsey Russell from the heart of California duck hunting times past, present and future.  A lifetime duck hunter and former director of California Waterfowl Association, he is an articulate storyteller, a passionate waterfowl conservationist. What was duck hunting like when California became the 31st State and how’s it since changed? Who was Duck-A-Minute Bill Banta and how’d he earn that title?  How many duck clubs are there in California and what’s the California duck club culture? What is the Butte Sink, and what befell duck hunting on the fabled Salton Sea? Why’d Clark Gable once get kicked out of a duck club? What’s the significance of the Klamath Basin to California waterfowling? This is a fascinating Duck Season Somewhere podcast episode, covering full-range California duck hunting topics from past and present, for the entire length of the state. Like one of those picture-perfect duck hunts, you’ll not want it to end.

Mojo OutdoorsTom BeckbeFlashBack DecoysBOSS SHOTSHELLSKanati Elite Taxidermy StudioBenelli

As strong advocates of conservation, supports the following organizations:

Ducks Unlimited Dallas Safari Club National Rifle Association Delta Waterfowl SCI