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Hunting Ducks in Colorado Antelope Country

October 5, 2009.

Unlike most years, I don't have any antelope tags in my pocket this fall. I had applied for a high-probability Montana tag, and was so confident I'd draw it that I didn't put in for any other antelope tags as a backup.

My antelope application stategy let me down, and while pretty much everyone I know was up in Wyoming chasing antelope this past weekend, I was on the sidelines.

Fortunately, this weekend was also the Colorado duck opener.

I threw my 12 gauge in the truck and headed out to the high plains of Colorado to jump shoot ducks. The country I headed to is also a spot I'm considering for a 2010 antelope hunt, so this was a scouting trip as well.

In typical early-season high plains fashion, I came across a very mixed bag — mallards, teal, widgeon, and even some pintails (not in full plummage, unfortunately).

I actually got a couple ducks, sneaking up behind dams and jumping them. I didn't do great by the standards of a hard-core duck hunter, but not too bad for a sidelined big game hunter.

The scouting was insightful as well — I saw very few antelope in the area, and the only antelope hunters I talked to were very discouraged. I'll save my preference points and apply elsewhere.

I might go back for more duck hunting, however.


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