“Was that a pin-tail drake?” Kyle asked me as he peered over Eli’s blind.
“Yes, I think so!” I replied. I was amazed at the lucky circumstances of Yellowstone Hunt Club’s first Youth Hunt.
Between Kyle, Rick and I more than 500 days of duck hunting had past with very few chances at pin-tail drakes. That was second of the day that had attempted to land in the midst of our four dozen decoys.
Aaron, Rick, Kyle and I had humped those decoys and blinds across a half mile of broken and boggy ground in the pre-dawn darkness to the edge of Big Lake. Youths Kyle, Tyler and Eli had carried their gear over the same ground. By the time Eli harvested his first sprig, we all knew that the planning and work we put into this youth hunt was paying off!
The work started in the Spring of 2014 with our first ever shotgun raffle. With the proceeds raised by that raffle the YHC purchased three youth shotguns, two layout blinds and more decoys. The hours the YHC membership put in hanging posters and driving around town selling tickets allowed us to make those purchases. Those purchases laid the foundation for the hunt. Kyle, Rick and I had spent many hours scouting. That scouting helped us to build the plan.
Youth hunter Kyle had the finest shot of the day. A mallard drake swung into our spread, when he was in range the youths sat up, aimed at the bird and missed! BOOM, BOOM, BOOM! The mallard was still flying, flapping hard to get out of range.
Kyle calmly drew a bead and BOOM! The duck fell out of the sky dead. Kyle slayed that duck at every bit of 45 yards! Gunnr retrieved his duck.
During a lull in the action Kyle Mcall decided that the decoys needed some adjusting. The next thing I saw was Kyle sitting in the mud looking sheepish. Rick was the only other hunter with waders, so it was up to him to save Kyle!
By noon the flights of birds had slackened and it was time to hump all the gear back to the trucks. Once all of the hunters made it back to the trucks it was time for lunch. It’s funny how good a salami sandwich and a Powerade taste after a hunt.
This is what the Yellowstone Hunt Club does! We get and keep people hunting. In case you didn’t know, hunters are America’s greatest conservationists.