Duck Season Somewhere Podcast

MOJO’S Duck Season Somewhere Podcast

North Dakota Diver Hunting Mindsets

Autumn is usually incredible for field hunting ducks and geese in North Dakota, but this hard-boiled collection of dedicated diver duck hunters march to a different drum beat, choosing to chase canvasbacks, bluebills, redheads and more over a massive spread of traditional, hand-carved wooden blocks. Following a brisk morning in the blind, Ramsey Russell joins die-hard diver enthusiasts Jeff Pelayo, Eric Smith and Texan Mike Hruby for conversations about why this kind of hunting most appeals to them.

From the Mississippi Flyway Headwaters: Jim Leafloor, Canadian Wildlife Service

The sun is setting on the rooftops of fabled Delta Waterfowl Research Station across the road, and gregarious Canada goose flocks are trading along the sprawling shores of Lake Manitoba when Ramsey Russell meets with Jim Leafloor, Head of Aquatic Unit for the Canadian Wildlife Service. Responsible for all migratory gamebird management activities throughout Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan, Leafloor’s team also oversees arctic goose banding programs. A lifelong waterfowl hunter himself, Leafloor covers pertinent, must-hear migratory waterfowl management topics from the Mississippi Flyway headwaters.  How’d Leafloor begin waterfowl hunting, what lead to his interest in becoming a waterfowl biologist?  How are Canadian bag limits determined and why are they more generous than in the Unjted States? What drives harvest rates, how are harvest rates determined and do spinning-winged decoys detrimentally increase harvest? Why were pintail limits increased from 4 to 8 daily throughout Prairie Canada? What happened when mallard bag limits were lowered in Canada last time? How might prevailing drought conditions affect Canadian duck bag limits in upcoming seasons–and what other important factors are now considered? What proposed modernizations to Migratory Bird regulations could effect waterfowl hunters, why were they proposed? Is there really a new spring hunting season for Canada geese in Manitoba? In a world awash with misinformation derived from intentional bureaucratic obscurity and online armchair quarterback conjecture, it’s sobering to hear it explained straight from the top and backed by scientific data. You do not want to miss this episode.

Wings in the Wind: The Armistice Day Storm of 1940

Monday, November 11, 1940 was a federal holiday. The weather was mild but a cold front was rumored to be blowing in. Everyone went duck hunting. And many never returned.  Jon Steffes of La Crescent, Minnesota, wrote the book Wings in the Wind: The Armistice Day Storm of 1940 (link below) based on his father’s first-hand accounts as a 16 year-old duck hunter that was there and with old-timers that remembered that fateful day in US duck hunting history. On the 81st anniversary of the famous Armistice Day Blizzard, this conversation that really hits home. Ask yourself: if you’d been sitting under surprising numbers of ducks the likes of which you’d never before seen, would you have stayed in the blind too?


Related Links:

Wings in the Wind: The Armistice Day Blizzard of 1940

“I Punched a Polar Bear”

There’s no telling what surprising topic the next duck blind conversation will entail. Today’s episode is proof. Before becoming a full-time Canadian hunting and fishing guide, Jason Hamilton was a marine mammal biologist in remote reaches of the Canadian Arctic. What was it like growing up in Canada, how’d he get started hunting, and what inspired him to such a career path? What’s it like working in that part of the world and what critters did he work? Why did they have to handle process polar bears within 20 minutes? What made this line of work dangerous, what were some memorable close calls and when did he decide to pursue other career avenues? Life is full of surprises, especially in a country as big as Canada.

Texas Blue Goose Legends

It began on the Garwood Prairie. The famous Blue Goose Hunting Club was brainchild of colorfully legendary waterfowl hunting guide Marvin Tyler and spawned Texas’s once world-famous snow goose hunting industry. Mike Lanier was only 13 years-old when his dad dropped him off at the Blue Goose Hunting Club to work. In this special episode of Duck Season Somewhere, he describes hunting snow geese back in the good ol’ days before ATVs, e-callers, full-body decoys, telling stories about the salty pioneers that made it happen, why it became famous and what became of it. Like a collared blue goose fluttering slow-motion over old-school rags at only 15 yards, this is an episode you’ll definitely not want to miss!

All In in Manitoba

Paul Conchâtre owns and operates Birdtail Waterfowl in Manitoba Canada, served as President of Manitoba Lodges and Outfitters Association for 10 years, and remains extremely active in Manitoba tourism. When he says, “I’m all in,” what’s he mean? How’d he get started, what were his influences? How does he distinguish his program as very best? What advice does he offer to hunters shopping for hunts, and to those considering  guide or outfitting careers? How important is hunting tourism to Canada? What was the pandemic’s economic impact to Canada–and how are returning hunters behaving differently? Fantastic episode that digs into what it’s like to be truly “all in” as a guide or outfitter. Or anything else really.

How Waterfowl Hunting Brought Her Full Circle

Alberta, Canada born-and-raised, Kerrap Nisbet is a young, professional wildlife biologist that’s been tagging snakes near major hibernaculars. Having developed a profound passion for ducks pursuant to volunteer banding activities, she explains how her recent duck hunting introductions brought her full circle as a biologist and, importantly, as a human being.  How and why did she pursue a career in wildlife biology and how’d she find renewed life purpose handling ducks?  How’d duck hunting complete Kerra’s circle, why is it important to her to understand both sides of the coin? What was her first duck hunting experience like, what compelled her to go, what areas will she try to improve? How’d it influence her career and personal life? What advice does she have for dads, and for women considering a wildlife career or hunting?  Kerra is an amazing person, the kind of people that waterfowl hunting and management truly needs, living proof that when one comes to a fork in the road, they should definitely take it!

Alberta Mixed Bag Kings

Known to their buddies as “the mixed bag kings,” Jake Dahl and Spencer Podgurski have forsaken traditional big game hunting pursuits most popular among Canadian hunters for feathered fowl. They’re a couple of young, savvy heavy-hitters that put in the miles and time scouting, playing for keeps while hunting. Snow geese are their passion. What was it like growing up in Canada, how many of their classmates hunted waterfowl, and what lead them to waterfowl over big game? What’s the power hour? What is it about “high risk, big reward” snow geese that excites them most? How long is their season? What do they do with all of those birds, anyways? How does hunting in Canada differ from most parts of the United States, and how’s it becoming increasingly similar?  Like watching snow geese back-flipping into the decoys eye-ball high to your layout blind, this episode offers excellent perspective of what it’s like to be a genuine waterfowl hunter north of the border.

A Tekton in Saskatchewan

Following several days fun waterfowl hunting together in Saskatchewan, Canada, Ramsey Russell meets with Joey D’Amico of Tekton Game Calls, who recently quit the 9-to-5 grind to chase his dreams. Where’d D’Amico grow up, how’s hunting Canadian Prairies contrast with hunting South Carolina’s Sparkleberry Swamp? What lead him to pursue his dreams full-time? Where’s the name Tekton originate and what’s it’s importance to D’Amico? Like walking to the truck with a strap-full of ducks swaying on your shoulder, this episode leaves you feeling good.

Help Wanted Solving Texas’s “Dusky Duck” Dilemma

Your help is urgently needed. The “dusky duck” in Texas as experienced precipitous population declines in the mottled duck’s traditional range, and management alternatives are being considered. Here’s a chance for you the listener to possibly participate meaningfully in real-world waterfowl management and help avert catastrophe.  Waterfowl Geneticist, Dr. Phillip Lavretsky, joins Ramsey Russell to discuss. They recap North American mallard-like genetics discussed in a previous episode (Just a Mallard? Think Again) and status of African Yellow-billed Duck and African Black Duck tissue samples/ biometric data recently collected by Ramsey.  Lavretsky then explains what’s possibly going on with Texas’s mottled ducks, why he’s been contacted by TDWFP officials to perform genetic sampling and how you can specifically assist. We duck hunters are without doubt the most passionate waterfowl conservationists on earth.  Here’s your chance to possibly become hands-on and involved in real waterfowl management.


Related Links:

Contact Dr. Phillip Lavretsky

Lavretsky Labs

Donate to Lavretsky Labs Conservation Research

Previous Episode: Just a Mallard? Think Again.

The Surprising Genetics of American Black Ducks and Mallards

UTEP Professor, Smithsonian Researchers Make Genetic Discoveries Related to North American Ducks

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As strong advocates of conservation, supports the following organizations:

Ducks Unlimited Dallas Safari Club National Rifle Association Delta Waterfowl SCI