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So, if you are a Spaniel owner, your dog already knows how to retrieve and swim, so why not hunt ducks and geese?

"This little foray into the realm of the Ill-Conceived Plot takes place when you think you can get close enough to a flock of grazing geese to make an all-out, wader-flopping, eye-bulging, Pickett-up-Cemetary Ridge charge that, you have deduced, will put you within range of the big birds before they know what's happening."

Guns, gear and blinds are also discussed. Personally, I would have liked to have seen more discussion of decoys and calling, but the rudimentary facts are presented in good order.

Mostly this is a book on hunting techniques. As one who does not normally hunt from blinds, I thought some of his observations on protocol we helpful. He really stressed letting the ducks get in and taking shots so that everyone can get some shooting. "How to hunt ducks and keep your friends" could have been the subtitle for this book.

Smith's description of jumpshooting techniques were true to every detail. Interesting to note that I'm not the only duck hunter who keep binoculars in the truck to pinpoint the flocks. Knowing where the birds are seems to be the most essential aspect of jumpshooting.

Along with jumpshooting, and traditional blind methods, Smith also discusses flooded timber hunts and river (float) hunts. The advice is good and practical.

"Thinking of the little things can make the trips for waterfowl more enjoyable. For example, teaching a dog to shake (his whole body, not just with his paw, although it's a nice touch if you congratulate him) outside the blind after a retrieve is a good way to make points with hunting buddies..."

The book also discusses the aspects of hunting managed areas (where you have drawings for blinds) vs. doing it on your own. Something to think about, anyway. I believe that there are a lot of duck hunting opportunities away from those managed areas that get overlooked by the traditional upland hunter.

At 130 pages, it won't take all month to read. Smith is a professional writer, and the book is well crafted, enjoyable, and you will probably learn something from it.

Copies of this book are available from:
Spaniel Journal Bookstore

Hunting Ducks and Geese, second edition
by Steve Smith - Copyright © 2003
Stackpole Books
ISBN 0-8117-2888-9

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