Hunting Back Home – Iggy The Duck Dawg Makes My Day

December 29, 2014

I usually try to find some time to get into the field when I’m back home (in NC) for the holidays.  My brother, Scott, is always good for finding a way to set up some sort of opportunities, whether it’s chasing whitetails at his place, or getting out along the Cape Fear river for ducks… and that’s what we did on Saturday morning.

It wasn’t exactly an “epic” hunt, but as I don’t get many opportunities to hunt waterfowl these days, it was an excellent morning.  It was cold, but not too cold.  A low fog kept things interesting, and kept us hidden.  Wood ducks aren’t generally bad for flying around in the stratosphere, but they seemed pretty happy to buzz us at tree top level… offering reasonable shots with low levels of frustration.

But the best thing was that Iggy finally got the chance to do what he’s bred for… retrieve waterfowl.  He’s fetched doves for me (which he hates).  He’s retrieved squirrels.  And, as I’ve written many times, he’s a pretty darned good blood-trailer.  But we have never had the chance to work with ducks. I wasn’t sure how he’d perform, to be honest.  But the first bird came in, crossing left to right, and I made a clean, one-shot kill.  The drake woodie splashed right across from the boat, about 20 yards away and in plain sight.  Iggy marked it, leaning forward eagerly.  I checked, to make sure my brother’s dog, Macy, wasn’t going for the retrieve, and when I saw she was steady, I sent him.

It was like he’d been doing it his whole life.  There was no hesitation… no second thoughts.  He swam straight to the mark, picked up the bird gently, and brought it back to hand like a champion.

A little later, we had a trickier opportunity.  The bird evaded Scott’s first shots, and then my first barrel.  My second barrel is full choke, and it throws a really tight pattern.  I hate to shoot decoying birds with it… but it’s the ticket for that longer shot.  The load of #3, Black Cloud pellets caught up with the bird and practically upended him.  He was going down hard, but he managed to round a slight bend in the creek before he splashed.

Iggy broke without a command, a bad move, but I didn’t want to correct him and risk him losing his mark.  He took off swimming against the falling tide, and soon disappeared from sight.  We could hear him swimming, and then there were some splashes.  He was gone a while, and Scott suggested that we push off the boat and go get him.  I was about to agree, when I noticed that the sounds were starting to get closer again.  I saw his wake first, and then his head as he swam proudly back to the boat with another drake woodie in his mouth.

So yeah, I know I can’t take much credit for the genetics and instinctual behavior of my dog.  But I was pretty proud anyway.

To top it off, a little while later, Scott knocked down another wood duck, just across from the boat.  Iggy held steady this time, and honored as Macy bailed out and made the retrieve.

Iggy the Duck Dawg


3 Responses to “Hunting Back Home – Iggy The Duck Dawg Makes My Day”

  1. Hunting Back Home – Iggy The Duck Dawg Makes My Day | on December 29th, 2014 06:22

    […] Hunting Back Home – Iggy The Duck Dawg Makes My Day […]

  2. Jesse Murillo on December 29th, 2014 11:06

    Awesome! I loved watching my dog work when we went waterfowl hunting. Seeing dogs work is amazing and makes the hunt that much better.

  3. Phillip on December 31st, 2014 14:59

    Jesse, I’ve done a lot of duck hunting without a dog, but there’s no denying that the animal adds whole layer of enjoyment to the experience.