As hunters huddled in the frosty blind below, a flock of gadwalls rocketed high over the reclaimed catfish pond and circled, deciding whether to land or not.
Surely, the 150 mallard decoys spread over every square inch of the pond since late October would attract these birds.
The ducks circled high again, scrutinizing the decoy spread before kicking in afterburners without committing to land. Seeing something they didnt like, they flew over the old fallow field and eventually settled into a soggy pothole in the corner of an adjacent field.
Disgruntled hunters cursed their luck and asked each other, What happened? Why didnt they lock up to land?
Too often, similar scenarios play repeatedly during duck season. After running a gauntlet of gunfire for four months from Canada to the Gulf Coast, migrating waterfowl learn to recognize every tantalizing decoy spread imaginable. Wily old mallards, pintails, gadwall and wigeons dont grow old by acting stupid.