Michael L. Schummer has been an avid duck hunter since way back when. What began humbly enough as a scientific way for putting more ducks over his decoys spawned into a career, eventually leading to his becoming a Senior Research Associate at SUNY ESF, where he conducts myriad waterfowl-related research. Having developed an algorithm that accurately predicts waterfowl migrational timing, he shares with Ramsey reasons that waterfowl migrate — or not. Lots of fun and interesting stories, something to talk about whether you’re sipping cold coffee, looking at empty skies and wondering where in the heck the duck are, or already back at camp early after a barrel-burner.
During an inaugural exploratory visit to Guatemala this month, Ramsey immersed himself fully into the local duck hunting culture thanks to the help of amazingly hospitable hosts he now regards as family. Though considered a world-class bill fishing destination, this small Central American country was full of many interesting surprises, great food, and blue-winged teal. Today’s conversation with friend Eduardo “Toto” Samayoa is the first of a 3-part Guatemala duck hunting series that proves yet again that birds of a feather flock together, that the world’s a lot smaller–and in some ways a whole lot more similar–than you may otherwise think.
Ducks all colors and sizes, white-winged doves, black brant, unique quail species and chunky large-mouth bass seasonally draw hunters and anglers from throughout the United States to this part of Mexico, but for different reasons. Duck hunting is highly subjective. Hunter expectations vary. Following eventful week-long hunts, Ramsey meets with freshly tanned Obregon guests to hear what they will most remember about their hunting experiences here. Beyond just the trigger-pulling, some of their answers might surprise you.
Situated in the Sonora Desert along the Sea of Cortez, the Yaqui Valley is one of Mexico’s most productive breadbaskets, a fertile oasis of irrigation-based wheat production. Frank Ruiz grew up here and has delivered guided hunts since forever. He and Ramsey have now been working exclusively together for a decade. What was it like growing up in this part of Mexico, what are his hunting origins, and how’d he start outfitting? What makes hunting here unique? When did wheat farming come to the Yaqui Valley, how’d it impact waterfowl and other game species? What other hunting opportunities exist? What operational and management activities keep him and his sizable staff busy year-round? How do commercial hunting activities benefit local wildlife and indigenous communities? And will he share his secret margarita recipe? A candid, behind-the-scenes look at one of GetDucks most successful destinations.
Really! What the heck is a “honeymoon duck hunt”?! As another fun-filled week winds to an end in sunny Mazatlan, Mexico, Ramsey meets poolside with duck hunters and non-hunting spouses to learn the answer to that burning question while enjoying frosty margaritas. How was the duck hunting? What duck species? How’d the hunting compare to duck hunting back home? Do non-hunters really enjoy it? Where do guests stay and how’s the service? What do the ladies do while the men are hunting, what do they enjoy most about the resort experience? Where do they eat, how’s the food? What all else is there to do besides duck hunt? And is it safe?! Sí Señor! After hearing these guests describe their honeymoon duck hunting experiences, you’ll be ready to pack the flip flops and sunscreen, grab your sweetheart, and enjoy the most fun either of you have ever dreamed of while duck hunting!
It’s another beautiful sunshine-filled February day in Mazatlan, Mexico and the resort is buzzing with happy tourists. Following the usual fast-paced morning duck hunt, Ramsey meets with long-time associate Ivan Paplovich, discussing all aspects of Mazatlan, Mexico duck hunting. What was it like growing up in Mexico and how’d Ivan get into the hunting industry decades ago? Why is Mazatlan a popular destination for both duck hunters and tourists alike? Are there really bag limits in Mexico–and are northern shovelers really a protected species? What all is required to legally hunt in Mexico and why isn’t do-it-yourself duck hunting as simple as just driving south of the border? Pull up a chair and join us to learn more about duck hunting in Mexico.
Ramsey catches up with Boss Shotshells’ Brandon Cerecke, discussing the past season, Cerecke’s old school duck camp and habitat. They then get down to copper-plated business. What makes BOSS’s cast of characters unique? How does good old fashioned work bring about life purpose? Are materials and components going to be easier to get this year? Is the global supply chain mended? What’s BOSS’s top-selling load? How do 3/5 loads compare to straight up 4s? What’s Ramsey think of the little 1-ounce Stinger loads? What’s controlling the controllables mean to Cerecke, and why’s obsessively delivering real American value to duck hunters so important to him? Like perfectly patterned BOSS copper-plated shot, this episode covers the board, hitting hard where it matters.
Stale ducks. No ducks. Whether real or perceived, it sometimes comes with the territory. But is it getting better or worse? Is it really a function of flooded corn fields further up the flyway, or might there be other factors influencing migratory duck behaviors? Might modern duck hunter behavior be conditioning ducks to learn new scripts? Dr. Cohen is an Assistant Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Management at Tennessee Tech. A long-time duck hunter himself, much of his research involving duck behavior and the way ducks interact to habitat and to hunting pressure originated in the duck blind. Like high flyers that ignore every secret weapon in your playbook, this sobering discussion will likely give you something to think about. And humbled.
Born and raised duck hunting in Connecticut, Bill Embacher began carving traditional gunning decoys as a youngster. While he makes his living doing so today, it’s come to mean more than that. Ramsey and he got to know each other through a black duck travel decoy. How’d he get started carving decoys? Who influenced his carving style? What’s it like duck hunting in Connecticut, what’s his typical gunning rig, how’s hunting there changed–and how does practicing old-school traditions keep things on an even keel? What else did he recently build as a father-daughter project? Like scoring a single black duck hand-carved decoys, this episode is all about quality.
Though he and Ramsey connected over their shared waterfowl hunting interest, Trevor Santos is Director of Government Relations and State Affairs for the National Shooting Sports Foundation. In the same way that neither great duck hunts nor quality habitat happen by accident, there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes efforts in ensuring that the firearms and hunting industries remain healthy in today’s political climate. Today’s episode gives us a glimpse behind that curtain.