Duck and goose hunting is just so much fun. "Flight canceled." The joys of getting up at 3 or four a.m., to get to an icy bank of a river blind, and have that 28" Benelli Nova Pump 12 gauge primed are what I live for. Those who have had the experience, know of what its like to have that anticipation, and to drop the hammer. Diver ducks are of course my favorite, due to the challenge of calling them in, and then how they seemingly can get away from even a close shot. While I do have my favorite ones for table fare, the divers are pretty good, as the black winged duck on a stovetop is delicious. Also, goose simmered in red wine in the crockpot, is a meal that when prepared right, can make people instantly fans of this bird.
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The first two times I went duck hunting, I went with Outdoor Action. This is a guide service owned and operated by Teddy Carr, who has won multiple awards in duck calling competitions. His popularity in Virginia and throughout the Delmarva Peninsula is high, so if you want to book a hunt, be sure to call him quickly. I will be taking a trip with him again this winter, not only due to his professionalism, his knowledge and willingness to share it, but also because he's flat out "funny as hell." This is a man who grew up duck hunting, and he knows so much about the various creatures on the banks of the Potomac River, where most of his excursions take place. You can see the "little boy" in his eyes, as he tells funny jokes that will have you howling, even if the action that day isn't at its peak.
He utilizes two dogs for these treks, and a 5 hour hunting trip for ducks at $150 is a real bargain. Many cost more, and only have half his expertise and passion. The Springer Spaniel he uses is the best one, and I forgot how much he paid for it. This dog has been bred for generations to be the duck retrieving champion he is, and there is nothing wimpy about him. I loved how he just sits in the blind, and as soon as the gunshots go off, he is in the water ready to fetch. The lab he has is pretty good too, although his adversion, to the cold water is kind of amusing. He will go, but with gentle encouragement, and a lot of treats.
Booking with Teddy is easy. Go to http://www.fishingwithteddy.com/, and call him up. He is really good at remembering people, and each trip he has been well prepared. You obviously have to get your hunting license, Federal duck stamp, and "registry forms." These are all a cinch, and he has a jon boat. There was one hairy trip where we were in the icy Potomac, on perhaps the coldest day in the past ten years. I was in the back, and glad for the safety of this boat, but damn it was cold. Standing in the Potomac all day in waders helped, but the ride back to the boat launch, caused ice to flow all over us. By the time we got back, we were pretty much walking ice cubes.
He has two primary blinds on the Potomac. One is by Quantico Marine Base, and the other is down in Stafford, just north of Fredericksburg. I like the one up North a bit more, due to it being closer, and generally a better spot for ducks and other game. This is where you don't have to walk in the freezing water and stand with your gun, but rather where you and your buddies with Teddy, can comfortably sit down by the space heater. Creature comforts, so to speak. Plus you can watch the cargo jets and helicopters landing, which is neat, and you can park your car in a spot without having to have a pickup truck. For those without, this is the one you want.
"Take em!" That's Teddy's prompt to shoot. He is a very hard working guy. I've been with other guides who only put in a half hearted effort, but with him its go, go, go, and go. The man has so much energy. He also has brought his young college aged son along for one trip, and you can see that he's done a fine job in raising him. I like Teddy, as he is not only a man who finds hunting to be so much fun, but he appreciates nature and is a member of Ducks Unlimited's Conservation Fund. Also, he has a lot of knowledge of history, and if you have kids interested in hunting, or one of his fishing trips, he is great with them.
Hunting season for ducks, is broken up into two seasons. Fall/winter, then it takes a break, then late winter/early spring. There are bag limits, and you never have to worry about shooting the wrong species. Many ducks are protected, and you want someone with a good set of eyes, to determine to "shoot or not." Landing a canvasback can cost you $500, and the confiscation of your firearm. Teddy is a "by the book type," so that's one less worry when out with him. He places a premium on safety, and I will be taking my son to him, if he chooses to hunt. Its up to each person, but I truly enjoy going out there, and getting in some action and dinner. While often I now go with friends who have dogs, I fully recommend Teddy, and Outdoor Action, because I've met his other guides and all of them are true professionals.
Once again, you can call him by going here. http://www.fishingwithteddy.com/
**A special thanks to Di(Surgrn911) for adding this to the database**
Best Suited For: Friends
Tour format: Boat
Tour length: One Day
Tour type: Group