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spring issue DEParTMENTs 5


the direCtOr’s desk Debt And The Future Of Our Fish And Wildlife Resources


WOOd duCk nesting prOgram SCWA Wood Duck Production Project Update



Camp LeOpOLd update

Chapter neWs New Year – No Down Time for Our Volunteers!

21 COrpOrate spOnsOrs

24 Camp WOOdie update


26 Camp LeOpOLd


SCWA’S CAMP LEOPOLD PROGRAM TAKES IT OUTSIDE prOduCt & OutFitter revieWs Duck Commander Blind Blanket

30 Orvis

by Doug



36 dOg training - FOLLOW THROUGH 38 the spOrting CheF - BETTER BURGERS

in the neWs

32 Drought Monitors - North america & canada

$882.4 Million In User-generated Funding To state wildlife agencies

33 Duck Hunters Finish The season on DNr wMa

Features 8


BOy sCOut “man’s up” tO suppOrt COnservatiOn

CharLestOn retriever CLuB hOLds 10th anniversary hunt test

On the COver:

W iLdLiFe phOtOgrapher J ared L LOyd used Light and OpppOrtunity tO Create this stunning shOt OF a maLLard hen On the rise .


m e M


r e b

Catherine Condon February Youth Hunt

nap hots

Newberry Committee Members

SOUTH CAROLINA WATERFOWL ASSOCIATION Board of Directors President James H. Walker Senior Vice President Philip L. Horn, Jr. Secretary/Treasurer John W. Williamson, III

Gary W. Dietrich Delbert E. Eggert Marshall J. Collins, Jr Stan Luthi Lou Tocci

Charles C. Rountree III Allen Bell John Stroud John N. McCarter

Executive Director / Head Biologist David J. Wielicki Chapter Development Mac Bagnal

Office Manager / Fundraising Coordinator Jennifer McNeely Data Entry Thomasyne Hipp

"Saw" Courtesy of Jess White

Eagle Scout Project

Camp Director Ed Paul

Waterfowl & Wetlands Magazine is the official quarterly publication of the South Carolina Waterfowl Association. SCWA is a state-wide, non-profit, waterfowl and wetland conservation organization based in Rimini, SC. All money raised by SCWA is spent within South Carolina on waterfowl and wetland education, management and research programs, and legislative education. All donations to SCWA beyond the retail value of the merchandise acquired are fully tax deductible under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code. Direct all SCWA and magazine inquiries to: 9833 Old River Road Pinewood, S.C. 29125 (803) 452-6001 Fax: (803) 452-6032

Hugh McLaurin Big Lake Duck Calls

Drake Myers Age 5

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Queries for story and photo submissions should be sent directly to the editor. Photos must be released by the photographer prior to publication. SCWA assumes no responsibility for unsolicited material.

Camp Leopold

“Camp Leopold Excitement”

Camp Leopold’s Inaugural Year a Success

Camp Leopold has had a wonderful school year with many South Carolina public and private schools attending 1 day and 2.5 day field trips. We still have a few openings for this spring, but I urge schools to book as soon as possible for next school year so that they will have the chance to lock down the dates they desire. We are receiving calls daily for next year’s dates which are listed on the under “Camp Session Calendar”. Beaufort Academy recently ventured to Camp Leopold for a 2.5 day session and had a blast. Here are a few student testimonials and pictures from Beaufort Academy! If you have any questions about our school year program contact me anytime. If next school year (2013 and 2014) is the time for your school to join us on an adventure be sure to contact me quickly so that you can book your dates before they are taken. Sincerely, Ed Paul

SCWA Director of Education Programs Office: 803-452-6001 Cell: 803-600-8977 Email: Check us out on Facebook under “Camp Leopold”

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he United States national debt has risen past 16.75 Trillion dollars while the congressional budget office projects the national debt to increase to over 23.75 Trillion dollars by the year 2023. According to the United States Federal Reserve, unfunded future liabilities for social security and Medicare now total $123.3 Trillion dollars.    As a result of these budget realities, future public funding for fish and wildlife conservation will become increasingly difficult to secure in state and federal budgets. The recent federal budget sequester resulted in cuts of 6% from the conservation provisions of the US Farm Bill. The farm bill includes critical soil and water conservation programs like the conservation reserve and wetland reserve program  which provide tremendous benefits to fish and wildlife populations through the creation of habitat.  The USDA conservation reserve program has done more to benefit waterfowl populations than any public or private conservation program in history.  It is estimated that CRP grasslands in the prairie pothole region of Montana, North and South Dakota account for an average annual increase in duck populations of 2.2 million ducks.       Budget talks in the US house of representatives recently proposed cutting 18 billion dollars from the conservation provisions of the next Farm Bill.  The proposal would decrease the allowable number of CRP acres from 32 to 25 million acres while also reducing funding for other conservation provisions.    Although a new farm bill has not been voted on there is a high probability that conservation provisions will be cut in an effort to help fund entitlement programs and reduce budget deficits.   CRP is also losing ground to high commodity prices.  CRP rental rates would need to be increased by up to 60% to encourage farmers to renew their 10 year CRP contracts.  Budget cuts will not allow this to happen resulting in further decreases in CRP acres if commodity prices continue to remain high. The conservation provisions of the farm bill provide an excellent return on investment for American taxpayers by annually providing billions of dollars in economic benefit through increased fish and wildlife populations, reduced soil erosion,   improved water quality and flood control.  It is a sad state of affairs when the United States government is forced to

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cut beneficial programs like the conservation provisions of the farm bill in an effort to help cover the unsustainable burgeoning costs of entitlement programs. According to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service "The Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Program apportionment for 2013 totals $522.5 million. The Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Program apportionment for 2013 totals $359.9 million. As a result of the statutorily required sequester, these apportionments have been reduced by 5.1 percent, or approximately $39.2 million. Additional Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration grant funding to the states has also been reduced, for a total sequestration-related reduction of approximately $44 million." This 44 million will not be sent to states for fish and wildlife restoration but will be held in a federal trust fund.  With state budgets strained due to poor economic conditions, state wildlife agencies across the country need these funds to manage fish and wildlife habitat.  For 2013, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources funding will be reduced by up to $440,000 due to the sequester.     State appropriated funds for SCDNR have decreased from 31 million in 2001 to 14 million in 2011. Over the next decade and beyond the future of our fish and wildlife resources will depend even more upon the efforts of private landowners and those of us who hunt and fish.  We will all be called upon to do more to enhance the management of fish and wildlife habitat.  State and Federal fish and wildlife agencies will be hard pressed the maintain or expand programs as tight budgets   continue in order to fund growing entitlement programs at the state and federal level. The South Carolina Waterfowl Association will do our best to help.  We will continue to focus on assisting landowners and agencies with improving waterfowl and wildlife habitat while also expanding our youth conservation education programs (Camp Woodie and Camp Leopold).  These programs are vital to the recruitment of young conservationists who will have a positive impact on the future of our waterfowl, wildlife and fisheries resources.  The importance of these programs has never been more critical to the future of our fish and wildlife resources. wETLaNDs


Boy Scout “Man’s Up” To Support Conservation

he highest rank a scout can receive is the rank of Eagle. Hayden Stone started scouts as a Tiger Cub and always knew he would be working on his Eagle Project one day. It was no wonder he chose a project that included ducks and water. He received Lifetime Sportsman Licenses in North and South Carolina from his grandfathers by the time he was 6 months old. He has always enjoyed hunting, fishing and water sports. Hayden also understands the importance of Lake Paul Wallace to his community. It is a beautiful lake that has something to offer everyone. The fishing is great, but Hayden and his family can be found there many afternoons enjoying an afternoon of skiing. Hayden is the fourth generation of his family to ski on Lake Paul Wallace. As far as the actual Eagle Project, Hayden held a conservation class for the scouts to attend. It was conducted by SCDNR and covered the migratory patterns of birds and the importance of habitat boxes. Hayden's grandfather, Butch Cashman of Laurinburg, NC, donated rough milled Cypress to build his duck and blue bird boxes. The cypress had been harvested from XWay mill pond in the late 1980's, this mill pond was purchased by Hayden's Great Great Grandfather, Danial Alton Monroe of Biscoe, North Carolina in the late 1800's. Several work days were scheduled and many of the scouts participated in the project. Hayden, his fellow scouts, and other volunteers built 5 duck boxes which were placed at the head of Lake Paul Wallace. He also built 10 blue bird houses that were placed along the walking trail. Hayden also built an extra Blue bird house and donated it to the South Carolina Waterfowl Association so that it could be auctioned at the Pee Dee/Marlboro annual Conservation dinner. One person Hayden would like to thank in particular is Mr. Larry Griggs, who was Hayden's project coach. Mr. Larry is an extremely skilled woodworker. Hayden was able to use his shop and tools for building all the boxes. Mr. Larry always showed genuine care for Hayden and his project.

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Now Recruiting!

SCWA would like to start a few new chapters around the state. If you would like to start a chapter in your area please call me.  We currently have 27 active chapters and we could use a few more to help with our conservation efforts. We are currently recruiting new volunteers for our local chapter committees to serve in various positions including the following: Chapter Chairman Banquet Chairman Sponsor Chairman Ticket/Membership Chairman Wood Duck Chairman Youth Chairman If you are interested in participating on your local SCWA committee please contact the local chairman or me. If you would like to start a new chapter, please feel free to contact me as well. Mac Bagnal 803-452-6001 803-938-3145

You are a member of SCWA, but how about some of your buddies?

You know SCWA is a quality organization, your recommendation is the best advertising we have. So, pass this membership application to a buddy and help grow SCWA along with perpetuating our waterfowl heritage. Just fill out the membership form below and mail it to: SCWA, 9833 Old River Rd. Pinewood, SC 29125

it’s easy to join!

Please sign me up as a member!

$10 Woodie Membership (up to 16 years of age) Pin & decal

________________________________________________________________ Name ________________________________________________________________ Address

$25 Regular Membership SCWA magazine & decal

________________________________________________________________ City, State, Zip

$50 Contributing Membership SCWA magazine, decal & hat pin.

$100 Donor Membership SCWA magazine, donor decal, hat & hat pin $250 Sponsor Membership SCWA sponsor gift, hat, hat pin, magazine, sponsor decal, local chapter banquets couples ticket, & invitation to local sponsor events.

________________________________________________________________ County Telephone (Home) (Work)

$10 Woodie Membership $100 Donor Membership $25 Regular Membership $250 Sponsor Membership $50 Contributing Membership Amount Enclosed: $__________________

For more information call us at (803)

__Visa __ MasterCard __American Express__Discover

452-6001 or check out our website at

(#____________________________________) Expiration Date____

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New Year – No Down Time for Our Volunteers!

he South Carolina Waterfowl Association banquet season has come to a close. Our fiscal year ended on February 28th, 2013.  During the past twelve months, our chapters have worked so hard to rebound from some of the worst economic times in years.  As most of you know, fundraising has been tough everywhere.  SCWA and our volunteers have worked hard to weather the storm.  We’ve had to watch our expenses, recruit new volunteers, start new chapters, and ask for more donations and sponsors.  It is amazing what we can accomplish with our sponsors, donors, and committee members. We have such success because of what our organization represents and what it means to our members and our state. The 2013 Sportsman’s Ball and Duck Shuck was a success, and I want to thank all who helped to make it successful, especially the Four Holes and Goose Creek chapters for the great job they did with catering the Duck Shuck.  It was the best we have ever had! I have only heard great comments. I am personally asking every reader of this magazine to step up and be a committee member.  We find that the more people we have on these committees, the easier the task is for everyone. We need everyone’s help.  We are currently rebuilding several chapters and need help from our members for this process.  We are looking for new places to have a presence so if you are interested in getting a chapter started, please get in touch with me or a local chairman to get involved. We must make these conservation dinners better so we can sup-

2013 - 2014 Chapter Events As of April 15th 2013

04/27/13 Four Holes/Edisto Conservation Dinner - Utopia Club 08/09/13 Midlands Conservation Dinner - The Millennium Center 08/16/13 Clarendon Conservation Dinner - The Cypress Center 08/24/13 Tri-County Conservation Dinner – Ladson Fairgrounds 09/10/13 Greater Piedmont Conservation Dinner - Baxter Hood Center 09/27/13 Anderson Conservation Dinner – Civic Center 11/07/13 Georgetown Conservation Dinner - National Guard Armory 11/14/13 Greenville Conservation Dinner - St. George Greek Orthodox 11/22/13 “Fowl” 1st Season Kick Off Dinner & Auction - SCWA Wildlife Ed. Center 12/04/13 Charleston Conservation Dinner – Alhambra Hall 12/06/13 Horry Conservation Dinner – The Boathouse 12/13/13 “Fowl” 2nd Season Kick Off Dinner & Auction - SCWA Wildlife Ed. Center 12/14/13 Barnwell Conservation Dinner - National Guard Armory 01/18/14 Walterboro Conservation Dinner - National Guard Armory 01/25/14 Orangeburg Conservation Dinner - The Garden Room 02/07/14 Newberry Conservation Dinner - Newberry Shrine Club 02/14-15th Sportsman’s Ball - Duck Shuck - Omar Shrine Center in Mt Pleasant TBD Berkeley Kick-Off Poker Run Beaufort Conservation Dinner Greenwood Conservation Dinner Greater Wateree Conservation Dinner Black Creek Conservation Dinner - Prestwood Country Club Spartanburg Conservation Dinner - CCC Family Room Kingstree Conservation Dinner - Recreational Department Francis Marion Conservation Dinner - SiMT Building Berkeley Conservation Dinner - Shrine Club Laurens Conservation Dinner - Lakeside Country Club Sumter Conservation Dinner - Sumter County American Legion CSRA Conservation Dinner - N. Augusta Community Center

port Camp Woodie, Camp Leopold, and our conservation programs. They need the funding to educate our future generations. Many of our chapters are having sponsor events and recruiting committee members during the spring and summer months. These events are a way for us to say “Thank You” to our supporters and to gain new sponsors, members, and committee members. If it weren’t for the past supporters and new supporters, we would not have been able to make this year a success! As always we are looking for new areas to start a chapter and gain stronger committees.  Some areas are Hilton Head, Spartanburg, and any colleges or universities that want to help out. If you or someone you know would like to join or start a new committee, please contact me at 803-452-6001 or a local chairman in your area.  If we are serious about our mission of “conserving, enhancing, and perpetuating our waterfowl heritage” we must get serious about raising money for our organization!

SCWA Industry Sponsors Agridrain Cypress Knee Chufa Proline Remington Shady Grove Kennels Sportsman’s Warehouse Hevi-Shot Columbia Sportswear Federal Premium Chapter

Anderson Barnwell Beaufort Berkeley Black Creek Charleston Clarendon Clemson CSRA Four Holes Four Holes Francis Marion Georgetown Goose Creek Greenville Greenwood Grt Piedmont Grt Wateree Horry Kingstree Lancaster Laurens Midlands Newberry Orangeburg Pee Dee/Marlboro Spartanburg Summerville Sumter Walterboro Walterboro

2013 Chapter Chairmen


Chad Myers Cartlon Wall Matt Hurt Matt Dalton Cal Wheeler Will Freeman Pete Surette

Austin Taylor Kevin Weatherford Tripp Mitchum Brad Marlowe Patrick Sports Robbie Wright Stan Luthi Bud Thomas Byron Hill Matt McCaskill Larry Elvis Kevin Mouzon Kevin Stillwell Jim Watson David Stanley Blair Long George Wells Jimmy Jones James Owens Larry Wells Ryan Steen Allen Bell Jim Minor

Phone #1

864-226-7355 803-259-6351 843-694-1745 843-826-2879 843-858-0766 843-270-5454 803-518-1405 803-452-6001 803-556-9626 803-492-8280 803-664-4768 843-566-3622 843-543-4497 843-729-0630 864-320-8861 864-941-7299 803-371-0141 803-669-2180 843-254-2896 843-319-1937 704-254-2062 864-543-3717 803-781-8765 803-321-6276 843-810-2453 843-454-4005 864-809-7911 843-873-0047 803-720-8921 843-893-2230 843-846-6346

800-232-4742 252-539-4434 800-334-4612 336-548-8560 803-892-5797 803-731-3000 541- 367-3522

Phone #2

864-617-9098 803-541-4371

803-707-9301 843-863-0967


843-372-2175 803-283-1122 864-420-7170

803-924-8743 843-709-3175

843-908-1234 843-812-8023

For further information, please call Mac Bagnal, Chapter Developement Director at (803) 452-6001 ext.108 or Jennifer McNeely, Coordina tor ex t.109 o r visit our web site at waTErFowL 12 1 wETLaNDs


Barnwell - SCWA Chapter Of The Year

Midlands - Div. 1 Chapter Of The Year

Barnwell - Div. 2 Chapter Of The Year

Walterboro - Div. 3 Chapter Of The Year

Member Of The Year Carlton Wall

Crop Production Services Corporate Sponsor Of The Year

Jesse Wessinger Camper Of The Year

Larry Avins Robert M. Stuck Founders Award

Stuart Hanckel SPB Thousand Dollar Cash Raffle

Duck Shuck Oyster Roast

Sumter Committee

Orangeburg Committee

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2013 Palmetto Sportsman's Classic

Annual Committee Meeting 2013

Our annual leadership meeting will be held on June 14-15th at the SCWA Wildlife Education Center. We will start this meeting with some skeet shooting at the five stand range Friday afternoon. This time will be used to mingle among other chapters and have some social time to get acquainted with other committee members from around the state. The actual meeting will start Saturday morning around 8 with program updates from David Wielicki, Ed Paul, Jennifer McNeely and Mac Bagnal.   Afterwards Jennifer and Mac will go into a detailed discussion about Fundraising this coming year and how we can improve on communication with our volunteers. We will also discuss ideas on how to get more volunteers involved.  Hopefully we can have more committee members at this year’s meeting.  We would like up to four people to attend from each chapter. Meetings like this will make our organization better and can also make everyone’s job easier through the sharing of ideas.  Thanks to the ones that plan on attending and all they do for our Organization.  To RSVP your spot please let Mac ( or Jennifer ( know by June 11th.

Chad Myers

Chad Myers began hunting at the age of 5 with his dad, Jimmy Myers. Chad shot his first deer at the age of 10. It was a 3 pointer and after he shot he rolled down the hill behind him.  He continued to deer hunt and learn from his dad and his dad’s friends as he grew up. He was also introduced to turkey, dove and rabbit hunting. About 12 years ago he decided to expand his hunting season and try out duck hunting. It only took one hunt for him to be hooked.  He started buying duck decoys and researching duck calls.  His dad passed away in 2007 and he inherited his jon boat.  He fixed it up to make a custom duck hunting boat and still uses it today. His friend, Dean Harbert, asked him to be a committee member for the SCWA Anderson Chapter in 2006.  In 2007 Chad was honored to be Volunteer of the Year for SCWA.  He continues to serve on the committee and in 2012 he took over as Chapter Chairman.  He also participates as a guide at SCWA during duck season and served as a camp counselor one summer session at Camp Woodie. Chad loves to share his duck hunting passion with friends and family.  He is responsible for more than one friend taking up the same hobby.  He tells everyone who’ll listen about SCWA, Camp Woodie and Camp Leopold and what they do for the state. Chad now has two little duck hunters at home. He has a son, Drake, who is 5 and a daughter, Lucy, who is 2.  They both have their own Big Lake duck call to start practicing, Lucy’s is even pink!  The Federal Youth Hunt 2013 was exciting for both father and son as Drake killed his first ducks.  He looks forward to passing the hunting legacy on to his children just like his dad did for him. waTErFowL 14 wETLaNDs

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Charleston Retriever Club Holds 10th Anniversary Hunt Test

pring is in the air and with it come all the wonders of Mother Nature! It is truly an amazing time as the outdoors come to life with all the sights and sounds of winter wearing away.  For those of us with the Charleston Retriever Club, one of those sights and sounds are dogs… and lots of them.  On March 16th and 17th, 180 retrievers and their handlers poured into the SCWA Wildlife Education Center (home of Camp Woodie) to compete in CRC’s 10th Anniversary Hunt.  The Charleston Retriever Club and the SCWA Wildlife Education Center have hosted many Hunt Tests together over the last ten years, and it was special to be able to come back where so many fond memories have been made. Retrievers competing in hunt tests, such as the one CRC hosted, are tested to standards set by the Hunting Retriever Club and the United Kennel Club.  These standards are broken into three levels for retrieving test and also an upland test.  The Started level, usually the beginning level, test for retrievers natural ability and willingness to hunt.  This is an extremely fun level to be a

spectator and judge because the retrievers most raw and instinctual programming is revealed. However, it is for the same reason that this can be one of the most nerve racking levels to be a handler. Retrievers can demonstrate that while they do have instinct and trainability, sometimes curiosity overrides and you just need to find out where that butterfly is going.  The Seasoned level tests are geared toward retrievers that may not have been through a complete training program, but probably have at least one hunting season under their belt.  At this level the handler and retriever begin being judged as a team.  The retriever is expected to show a moderate level of control as the handler directs it to make blind retrieves.  Seasoned Hunting Retrievers should demonstrate a certain level of training as the retrieves they are expected to make are slightly more difficult than those made at the Started level; in addition they are expected to show certain abilities such as delivering the bird to hand.  The pinnacle of the weekend hunt test is the Finished level.  Finished Hunting Retrievers are expected to make multiple retrieves in heavy cover, make blind retrieves showing exceptional control and complete an honor while another retriever works.  Sounds simple right?  Finished level retrievers train for months and years to be able to compete at this level, and when competency at this level is achieved it is something to be proud of. The SCWA Wildlife Education Center (WEC) was a spectacular venue to spend such a special weekend and we cannot thank them enough for their hospitality.  The facilities were great and the scenery was equally impressive. HRC hunt tests are a great way to spend time with both the family and the retrievers that bring so much joy to our lives.  Handlers of all ages came from North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Georgia and Alabama to test their retrievers’ abilities, and all had wonderful things to say about the tests and the grounds.  The children that were in attendance had a wonderful time and enjoyed the amenities that the SCWA WEC had to offer.  If anyone has the opportunity to come out and check out a hunt test, I highly recommend doing so.  It is a great way to learn more about the ins and outs of hunt tests as well as make some great friends in the process. Thanks again to the SCWA for making such a great weekend for us retriever enthusiasts by providing a family friendly environment.

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Wood Duck Nesting Program


Joe gonzalez & adam Bedard - Wildlife Biologists

SCWA Wood Duck Production Project Update

ast year brought dry conditions to the Southeastern and Atlantic states during the late January through July wood duck nesting season. This resulted in decreased wood duck production across the region and decreased wintering numbers of wood ducks during the 2012/2013 waterfowl season. Hunters across the state complained of reduced numbers of wintering wood ducks and hunting success was significantly reduced. In 2012, SCWA field crews installed and distributed 450 wood duck nesting boxes and maintained several thousand nest boxes while SCWA project cooperators maintained thousands of additional nesting structures.  For 2013, we have already installed 150 nest boxes with plans to install and distribute another 300 nest boxes

throughout the year.   This will bring the total number of wood duck nest boxes installed and distributed by SCWA to over 23,000 since 1987. Wood duck production from these nest boxes is over 900,000 ducklings. The wood duck nesting season is in full swing and habitat conditions have improved greatly over this time last year.    Winter rainfall across the region has improved wetland quality and resulted in an excellent start to the nesting season.    Normal rainfall patterns will be needed to ensure a successful nesting and brood rearing season. SCWA would like to thank the following companies for their continued support of the wood duck production project:  Marshall Air Systems, Culp Lumber and A&K Mulch.

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Carolina WaterFowler Guide Service

Duck Hunt Central North Carolina

Ronoake Rapids Lake Morning and Afternoon Hunts Mon., -Wed., -Thurs. Sharon Harris Lake Morning and Afternoon Hunts Tues.,-Fri.,-Sat.

$150 Per Person –

( Min. Four People, Max. Ten People) Breakfast served in the Blind

Call Darrell McAuly Office-910-423-8853 Home-910-486-0241 Mobile-910-263-3499

IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ACTION! Where The Central & Mississippi Flyways End, and the Gulf of Mexico Begins! $300

Experience the Best Duck Hunting in Louisiana, ”Private Marsh Hunting, No Pressure, 2 per Blind”. Fees include Lodging, 3 Meals a day (You Know how Good That Cajun Food is), Guided Boat Transportation to and from the Blinds, Decoys, Pirogues. Caring of Game, Gun Cleaning Equipment, Rods and Reels for PM Fishing and fully Equipped Dog Kennels!

per Person, per Day! 3 Day Hunt

Milton “Pete” J. Pitre, Jr. 4349 Bayouside Drive, Houma,LA 70363

Cell: 985.637.2404, Eves: 985.594.7476, Day: 985.594.9936, Lodge: 985.594.2681 waTErFowL 20 wETLaNDs

$10,000 - $20,999 SCANA Blanchard Machinery Co. C. N. Brown Plastics & Chemicals, Inc. Ferguson Enterprises, Inc. Super Sod $5,000 - $9,999 Remington Arms Company, Inc. Sportsman’s Warehouse $2,500 - $4,999 AAA Well Drilling, Inc. Adam Jackson Dick’s Sporting Goods Enterprise Car Sales Nucor Steel – Darlington Terry Anthony Tideland Utilities, Inc. Waste Management, Inc.

$1,000 - $2,499 Black River Hunt Club Buck’s Building Supply, LLC Carrol Josey CMA Financial Services Coastal Pond Solutions Cross Fit of Sumter Dorchester Logistics, Inc. Duraclean Systems, Inc. Eat More Tees First Citizens Bank - Summerton Gallivan, White, & Boyd, PA Guns-N-Things Jackson’s Taxidermy Kent Porth Nature Photography L & S Farms Linda Bush Luthi’s Sports and Pawn Martin Marietta Mattress Express Nucor Steel - Berkeley Prothro Chevrolet Real Art - Helen Bone

Robbie Freeman Shady Grove Kennels Steelwater Gun Safes Tideland Utilities The WM Powell Co./Starflo Corp. Todd Muckenfuss Wedgefield Meat Processing Window World of the Upstate

$500 - $999 A & S Auto Sales Adam Wiant Ag South of Summerville Allen Ray Alveron Cookers ATP Gun Shop B & B Body Shop Bank of Clarendon – Manning Billy’s Lawn and Garden Carlton Wall Carolina Air, Inc. Carolina Eastern-Aiken Carolina Orthopedic Specialists Carolina Paint & Body Carolina Pole, Inc. Chapman Company Charles Bostic Charles Crocker Charleston Rubber & Gasket Coastal Electric Cooperative Conway Auto Parts Craig S. Heath Crossroads Archery David D. Douglas David Harrelson David Stanley Dilmar Oil Co., Inc. Doc's Gun Exchange Dorchester Tractor Eastern Sales Co. Fantastic Floors Farmers & Merchants Bank of S.C. Frank Feltham General Shale Brick Glenn A. Durant Goose Creek Heating & Air Greg Myers Harry’s Equipment Center Holcim, Inc. Howard’s Liquor waTErFowL 21 wETLaNDs

Jason Dandridge Jason Stapleton Jennifer Mixon Jeremy Wall Jesse & Jennifer Weeks Jim Hudson Lexus Jordan Scrap Metal Judy’s Electric, LLC LAD Corporation of West Columbia Lawn Consulting Services McCutcheon's Welding Metal Technician, Inc. Michael Knight Mid Carolina Pipe & Maintenance Mitch Johnson Construction Co., Inc. Myrtle Beach Building Supply Neeley Appliance Company Nicanor M. Aguilar Norman Wilcox Ol’ Rev’s Shooting Preserve Palmetto Putt A Round Palmetto Rural Telephone Co-op, Inc Professional Training Service Rance Boozer Robert Bowers Robert E. Mead Russell Hightower Ryan Martin SAFE Federal Credit Union Manning Schmoyer & Co., LLC, CPA’s Silver Lakes Plantation Southern Welders Supply Sparrow & Kennedy Tractor State Farm Companies Foundation Steven C. Gamble Sumter Chrysler Jeep Dodge Sumter Transport Company The Alpine Restaurant Thomas Auto & Towing Tire Town Triangle Construction Company Truck Toyz Tyler Brothers Waste-Pro Will Dickens

W W W. d O u g g a r d n e r . C O m

$21,000 - $30,000 Defender Services, Inc.

Corporate Sponsors

Corporate Sponsors as of


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he 2013 Camp Woodie summer is currently on track to shatter last summer’s record setting numbers! We are excited about our staff this summer with 11 counselors and 7 being 3yr veterans. Our other four members are no newbies to the outdoors or youth environmental education! They range from graduated wildlife biologist to skeet shooting instructors for major Universities who have tons of experience working with outdoor education programs and hunter’s safety. We are very blessed to add them to our Camp Woodie family! Campers it’s not too late to join us this summer, just go to and sign up now! Weeks are beginning to fill up months ahead of the years past, so make sure you don’t miss out on the week of a lifetime making friends and learning all about the great outdoors! Turkey season is in full swing, and we here at Camp Woodie love to hear those birds sing the song and dance the dance. We also enjoy getting the chance to live vicariously through our campers from time to time, so if you have a great story or pictures from the 2012 or 2013 season email them to me at so we can put them in the next issue. Check out Neil Chastain a Camp Woodie veteran and a 3rd year returner as a counselor enjoying the sweet moment after a spring time tango with a nice gobbler! Neil’s skill as an outdoorsman is unmatched by most, and he enjoys sharing his knowledge with all of you each summer.   Way to go Neil! Sincerely, Ed Paul


The program works like this: a person or family serves as a host to their friends and their kids that are interested in learning more about Camp Woodie. I will come to the host house to explain the activities and goals behind Camp Woodie. All questions will be answered and a slide show will be presented. Contact Camp Woodie. 803-452-6001


Week 1 - June 2 - June 6 Level 1 - Coed Week 2 - June 9 - June 13 Level 1 - Coed Week 3 - June 16 - June 20 Level 2 - Coed Week 4 - June 23 - June 27 Level 1 - Coed Week 5 - June 30 - July 4 Level 1 - Coed Week 6 - July 7 - July 11 Level 2 - Coed Week 7 - July 14 - July 18 Level 1 - Coed Week 8 - July 21 - July 25 Level 1 - Coed Week 9 - July 28 - August 1 Level 2 - Coed Week 10 - August 4 -August 8 Level 1 - Coed Level 1 - $420 - Level 2 - $575 - All Weeks are Co-ed!

For more information on Camp Woodie call the office at (803) 452-6001 or visit our website at

South Carolina Waterfowl Association please reserve space at Camp Woodie for:

Camper’s name __________________________________male_____female_____ age Week of Choice ___________________________________ Parent’s Name Address


Payment type (circle one):







Birth date



expiration date Name on Card________________________________credit card # Mail this form to: SCWA Camp Woodie, 9833 Old River Road, Pinewood, SC 29125 Fax: (803) 452-6032 PH: (803) 452-6001 web site: waTErFowL 24 wETLaNDs

SCWA Wildlife Education Center - New Building Construction

On March 18th, SCWA started the construction of a new lodging facility at the Wildlife Education Center. This new building will house 56 youth and 8 counselors for our Camp Woodie and Camp Leopold program.  The building was needed to provide lodging for our growing education programs.  The building will increase our summer camp,  Camp Woodie capacity to 90 youth per week and our school year camp, Camp Leopold to 150 youth per week. We hope to have a dedication ceremony for the building during the first week of June at the start of Camp Woodie.  Special thanks go out to the following major donors who contributed a total  of $250,000 in money and construction services to make this project possible: Parkdale Mills Wells Fargo, Inc. Odell Corporation Orton Plantation Foundation Quality Electric Hill Plumbing and Electrical Mike Smith Clay Johnston Sandy Daniel

Bill Smith Marshall J. Collins Lee Cory Goose Creek Heating and Air Glasscock Company Jason Ross SCE&G Defender Services

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SCWA’s Camp Leopold Program Takes it Outside CAMP LEOPOLD


hen was the last time you looked at a tree? Took the time to closely examine the leaves and the bark? With the everpersistent influx of new technology, it is oftentimes very easy to overlook the natural world around you.  In 1960, 30% of our nation's population grew up on a farm.  Now less than 2% of US citizens live on a farm.  Most South Carolina residents live in urban areas or cities.  As a result, most South Carolina children have limited opportunities to enjoy meaningful experiences in nature.  As a result of these demographic changes, the need for outdoor environmental education has never been greater. To help meet this need SCWA has developed the Camp Leopold program. Camp Leopold is a school year natural resource conservation and environmental  education camp.  The Camp Leopold curriculum was developed by Jim Koenig,  one of the Southeast's leading environmental educators.  The curriculum meets South Carolina education standards for third through seventh grade students.   The Camp Leopold curriculum reconnects students to the land community through the use of hands on environmental education programs.  These programs demonstrate the land's ability to provide clean water, food, fiber, wildlife habitat and recreation on a sustainable basis through wise management. Camp Leopold is named after Aldo Leopold, the father of wildlife management and the creator of the "land ethic" concept which set the stage for the modern conservation movement.   Students learn the land is a community that includes the soil, water,

plants and animals. Leopold believed that all people should have a close personal connection to the land. This connection allows individuals to develop a personal land ethic defined as a self awareness of their individual responsibility to help ensure the health of the environment and the wise use of our natural resources. This program immerses students of all ages into the outdoors to learn hands-on about the environment around them.  Some of the curriculum includes courses such as Creatures of the Woods, in which students travel a woodland trail and learn about ecosystems from the forest soil to the top of the tree canopy. In the Wetlands or Badlands class, students get to put their boots on and catch aquatic invertebrates and fish with a seine net, while learning about the biodiversity, ecology and value of wetlands.  One of the program’s capstone classes, Seasons of Change and Waterfowl, allows students to get outside and observe waterfowl in their natural habitat.  In addition to learning about waterfowl physiology and life history, this class also addresses why the seasons change, and how this aspect affects waterfowl.  Other courses include Orienteering, Celestial Navigation, Their Blood Runs Cold (Reptiles), Spineless Wonders and the Scarecrow and the Plow which teaches youth about farming history and sustainable farming.  The program also offers a team building low ropes course. Each Camp Leopold instructor possesses a background in natural sciences and a passion for the outdoors, which are both reflected in each class.  As instructors at Camp Leopold, we share this passion for environmental education with each student.  It is a very rewarding experience to see children become excited to learn about nature.   In the 2012-2013 school year, the first year of the program,  over 1000 students have visited Camp Leopold to learn about the environment around them.  Camp Leopold is situated on 410 acres of mixed pine/hardwood forest land, wetlands, agricultural fields and waterfowl impoundments.  The Wildlife Education Center Chace Lodge is base camp for all expeditions, and the Bunkhouse, Woodie Roost and new lodging facility provide lodging for overnight programs. Camp Leopold operates day long and two and one half day camp sessions for thirty weeks during the school year.   Daily capacity is 150 youth and up to 15 teachers and chaperones.  Total capacity is 22,500 day campers and 9,000 two and one half day campers.  If you or someone you know may be interested in Camp Leopold, or request any additional information, please contact director Ed Paul at (803) 452-6001.  We’ll see you outside. -Joe Gonzalez & Adam Bedard, SCWA Biologists

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Kids Word Search







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Word List summer camp flyways drake shoveler wigeon teal archery hen coot

Answers on Page...35


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If you are looking for an incredible angling experience in a truly untouched paradise, you must experience Cow Creek Ranch in the mountains of northern New Mexico. Many of us have spent our lives searching for the seclusion of a cool high mountain valley to fish an undiscovered stream surrounded by lush riparian habitat and tall pines. We’ve imagined working our way up the riffles of a rock bottom mountain stream to discover deep beaver ponds, one after another, thriving with large native trout just waiting to rise for a fly. Search no longer. This little slice of heaven that most of us have only dreamed of, can be found at Cow Creek Ranch. 4 1/2 miles of private stream and seven high mountain lakes teeming with trophy rainbows, browns, brookies, and cutthroat all within walking distance from the lodge, makes this Orvis Endorsed angler's paradise one of New Mexico's best kept secrets. More adventurous anglers often fish the wildest upper waters of the ranch in search of one of the purest strands of Rio Grande cutthroat and the rare and aggressive Tiger trout. This well-nurtured natural fishery, yields trout averaging 16"- 20" in size, with the 2012 record measuring in at 28 1/2”. Experienced guides are available to offer instruction to guests of all levels, from beginners to seasoned anglers. Located at an elevation of 8,600 feet, this pristine, 1,200 acre guest ranch is surrounded by National Forest and is just one and a half hours outside of Santa Fe. The ranch offers a wide variety of outdoor recreational activities,

including fly fishing, horseback riding, hiking, biking, sporting clays, archery, spa treatments, cookouts, cowboy music, and more. Accommodating up to 20 guests, it is the ideal setting for executive retreats, family reunions, and individual getaways. With its open beamed ceilings and river rock fireplaces, the historic lodge provides a warm atmosphere for dining, visiting with friends, or enjoying a favorite beverage. You’re not roughing it at Cow Creek Ranch. The charming rooms, each with fireplace and private bath, combine luxury with traditional western ambiance. Guests are beckoned by the ranch bell to the dining room, where savory meals are served by the friendly and attentive staff. Choose to dine inside or enjoy the outdoor patio with a view of the cascading mountain lakes. Enjoy a changing menu of culinary delights and delectable pastries skillfully prepared from the finest of ingredients by our executive chef. Cow Creek Ranch has been a family owned and operated business for over 80 years. Managers, Lanier and Michael Hartnagle, have a lifetime of fly fishing and ranching experience and a background in wildlife fisheries science and waterway management. Their attention to detail, passion for and focus on impeccable service, and attentive management of the fishery and the land, is what sets this lodge apart. It is in a place such as this that one can truly understand why New Mexico is called "The Land of Enchantment."

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g a ry C a r t e r

W W W. d O u g g a r d n e r . C O m

Spring In The Carolinas

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Drought Monitors

USFWS Announces $882.4 Million In User-Generated Funding To State Wildlife Agencies

More than $882.4 million in excise tax revenues generated in 2012 by sportsmen and sportswomen will be distributed to state and territorial fish and wildlife agencies to fund fish and wildlife conservation and recreation projects across the nation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today. These funds are made available to all 50 states and territories through the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration and Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration programs. Revenues come from excise taxes generated by the sale of sporting firearms, ammunition, archery equipment, fishing equipment and tackle, and electric outboard motors. Recreational boaters also contribute to the program through fuel taxes on motorboats and small engines. “The sporting community has provided the financial and spiritual foundation for wildlife conservation in America for more than 75 years,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe. “Through these programs, hunters, anglers, recreational boaters and target shooters continue to fund vital fish and wildlife management and conservation, recreational boating access, and hunter and aquatic education programs.” “The financial support from America’s hunting, shooting sports, fishing and boating community through their purchases of excise taxable equipment and hunting and fishing licenses is the lifeblood for funding fish and wildlife conservation; supporting public safety education; and opening access for outdoor recreation that benefits everyone,” said Jeff Vonk, President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and Secretary of the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks. “Fish and wildlife can be conserved, protected and restored through science-based management and it is critical that all these taxes collected be apportioned to advance conservation efforts in the field.” The Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration

Program apportionment for 2013 totals $522.5 million. The Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Program apportionment for 2013 totals $359.9 million. As a result of the statutorily required sequester, these apportionments have been reduced by 5.1 percent, or approximately $39.2 million. Additional Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration grant funding to the states has also been reduced, for a total sequestration-related reduction of approximately $44 million. The Service’s Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program reimburses up to 75 percent of the cost of each eligible project while state fish and wildlife agencies contribute a minimum of 25 percent, generally using hunting and fishing license revenues as the required non-Federal match. Funding is paid by manufacturers, producers, and importers, and distributed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program to each state and territory. For information on funding for each state,visit Master_apport_table_Final_2013.pdf. The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Programs have generated a total of more than $15.3 billion since their inception – in 1937 in the case of the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Program, and 1950 for the DingellJohnson Sport Fish Restoration Program – to conserve fish and wildlife resources. The recipient fish and wildlife agencies have matched these program funds with more than $5.1 billion. This funding is critical to sustaining healthy fish and wildlife populations and providing opportunities for all to connect with nature. Please visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program website at for more information on the goals and accomplishments of these programs and for individual state, commonwealth, and territorial funding allocations.

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Duck hunters finished the season on S.C. Department of Natural Resources public hunting lands, with a totalreported harvest of 5639 birds, an average of 2.0 birds per hunter. A total of 2885 hunters participated in these popular hunts at the 16 Wildlife Management Areas that recorded individual hunt data. Total hunter participation and total harvest were up 41% and 27% respectively from last year. Timely rains in the late fall allowed for the flooding of several management areas that were dry last year including Hickory Top Greentree Reservoir and Sandy Beach. Wood ducks accounted for 38 percent of the total harvest, followed by American green-winged teal, Gadwall Northern shoveler, and American widgeon. Overall the season for our waterfowl areas was excellent, given the rather dry winter we are having,” said Dean Harrigal, Waterfowl Program Coordinator with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR). “Most areas were able to flood and attracted good numbers of birds which provided good hunting opportunities for our sportsmen.” Hickory Top Greentree Reservoir in Clarendon County had the highest hunter participation and harvest with 1101 hunters reporting a harvest of 1765 birds, the vast majority of them wood ducks. On Category I Wildlife Management Areas (drawing only), 909 hunters (on 7 areas) harvested 3140 birds with an average of 3.5 birds per hunter. American green-winged teal, Northern shoveler, Gadwall, and American widgeon were top birds in the bag. Bear Island WMA in Colleton County had the highest hunter average with 4.1 birds per hunter, followed by the Santee Coastal Reserve in Charleston and Georgetown Counties with 3.6 birds per hunter, Santee Delta in Georgetown County with 3.4, and Broad River in Fairfield County and Sandy Beach in Berkley County with 2.0 birds per hunter, respectively.

“American Green winged teal are a mainstay of our Category I Wildlife Management Areas, especially along the coast,” said Harrigal. “When teal are around we generally have good hunter success.” Top individual hunt units were Bear Island East (4.7 birds per hunter) ,Springfield/ The Cut of Bear Island (4.3 birds per hunter), The Cape of the Santee Coastal Reserve (4.4 birds per hunter) , Santee Delta West (3.6 birds per hunter) and Murphy Island of Santee Coastal Reserve (3.5 birds per hunter). Hunt data was collected on 6 of the 25 Category II Wildlife Management Areas (open to the public on specific days). Hunters reported a harvest of 2137 birds on these areas, the vast majority coming from Hickory Top Greentree Reservoir. The average for 1837 hunters was 1.2 birds per hunter. Wood ducks accounted for over 89 percent of the bag. Regular season adult-youth hunts were held on 3 special adult -youth only areas. The reported harvest was 362 birds by 139 hunters for an average of 2.6 birds per hunter. Wood ducks, Ring-necked ducks, and American green-winged teal were the top birds in the bag. Bonneau Ferry WMA in Berkeley County was the top adult-youth waterfowl hunting area during the recently completed season. The Department sponsored special hunts for youth during State and Federal Youth Hunting Days on December 1 and February 2. A total of 142 youth harvested 278 birds on the 6 Category I areas that reported data. Top areas were Santee Coastal, Bear Island and Santee Delta Wildlife Management Areas. “We were especially pleased that our youth-oriented hunts provided quality waterfowl hunting opportunities for young men and women during the season,” Harrigal said.

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Word Search Answers











Word List summer camp flyways drake shoveler wigeon teal archery hen coot

For over 30 years, Doug and Mary Sonnier have been helping hunters enjoy some of the nation’s finest waterfowling. From this experience has grown Doug’s Hunting Lodge, a full-service camp that’s sure to satisfy even the most seasoned hunter. Spanning thousands of acres of prime habitat, Doug’s prairies and marshflats are strategically spread throughout the heart of America’s greatest wintering grounds. When the birds move, Doug’s hunters move with them, led by the best guide staff in the State of Louisiana. Whether it’s a fun hunt with family and friends or a corporate excursion with big business on the line, Doug’s Hunting Lodge can make your next outing your most exciting and memorable. Hundreds of serious wingshooters throughout the nation make their annual pilgrimages here to experience some of the world’s best hunting and hospitality. We hope you’ll join us.

337-536-7902 or 1-800-888-0960 email: website: waTErFowL 35 6 wETLaNDs




very new year most of us make resolutions to be better - better health, more wealth, better husband, wife, son or daughter, less waste and waistline, better shot at those ducks, less of a temper, and perhaps a promise to be a better dog trainer. The problem with ninety percent of resolute people is that they get discouraged and don't follow through. When it comes to training the gun dog the failure to follow through will result in the dog taking the leading role and the owner just going along for the ride. How many of us have been hunting with dogs that take off on the first shot, whether there is a duck down or not. If the dog does fetch a duck and bring it back then more often than not the bird will be dropped several feet away and refuse to


bring it all the way in to deliver to hand. The hardest thing for most amateur trainers is knowing how to correct a dog when the pup misbehaves. How much pressure can a dog take? Failing to get the dog to do as you ask will teach the dog that he can get away with no obeying. This can escalate into misbehaviors in other commands as well. If you ask the dog to come to you and he ignores you and then you turn away and let the dog have his way he will learn that he doesn’t really have to come when called. So, what do you do if a pup does not come when called? The pup should be dragging a check cord, about ten feet long, with no knots in it. The trainer should have durable treats in the pocket (durable so that you don't have crumbs or mush in your pocket) whenever you and the pup have the potential for a lesson. BY PAMELA O. KADLEC

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That means always be prepared to get in little lessons at any time. If pup ignores your call to Come Here, don't keep calling, go to the check cord, pick up the end and give a light tug and get the pup's attention. When the pup comes to you, tell him Good Here and give him a treat. If pup is not food driven then you will need to find a ball or squeak toy that makes him happy. If using a toy, when the pup comes in, tell him Good Here and toss the toy a few feet or toss it in the air for the pup to catch. This can turn into more mini-lessons if the pup decides now is the time to take off and play keep away. In this case, again get the end of the check cord and get the pup to you so you can get the toy back from him. Coming when called should be conditioned into the dog so strongly that no matter what the distraction pup comes when called.

This does not happen over night, it takes weeks or even months of consistent training until Here is second nature to the pup. So, now what happens if pup drops the toy, bumper or bird a few feet away from you? Or, worse case, runs away and wants to play keep away? The follow through is to train for Here first and foremost. Don't worry if he drops the object as long as he comes when he's called. Once you have the Here fully conditioned then you worry about delivery to hand. What if pup won't fetch? Make it a fun game and get rid of any stress you might be bringing to the sessions. Depending on how old the pup is will dictate how long you play with the pup. For an eight-week old puppy you want ONE good fetch in a session. Tease the pup and only toss the toy a few feet away. If he runs out to it, sniffs it and walks away then you go to the toy, tease the pup again and toss the toy. If the pup fetches, gently reel him in and tell him Good Fetch, Good Here. If he doesn't fetch, so what? He's a puppy and tomorrow is another day. Try different objects to fetch, balls, bumpers, birds, knotted up socks, until you find something he likes. When he is fetching, limit the retrieves to no more than five a session so pup stays excited and loves to retrieve. If you work the pup until he is tired he will soon also tire of the ‘game’. What about a six-month old pup that used to fetch but now shows no interest? A couple of things to consider, the first is to think about how much free time the pup has before this session? If pup has been running around playing with other dogs or your children then you aren't very interesting any more. Start putting the pup in a crate or kennel for several hours before training. Kennel the pup at night and train first thing in the morning when pup is fresh. What if your pup is rested and still won't fetch now but did fetch in the past? Think back and see if you might have over corrected and now pup doesn’t want to play anymore. If this is the case, back up to no pressure fun retrieves without expecting any steadiness. Do baby puppy retrieves with teasing and tossing a few feet. If pup won’t fetch, keep trying and keep the lessons fun and short. Get one retrieve and quit for the day. Find anything pup will fetch even if it’s a squeaky toy. As pup starts to retrieve again gradually try bumpers and birds to get pup back on track. The point of the follow through is to have a plan before going out to train. Know what you want to work on and decide that you will teach your pup that one lesson. If your pup has other ideas, think about how you can get the pup to comply, even if you have to take a few steps back to get the point across. Then, follow through and you both will be happier with the results. Best afield, Pam


• Dogs in training and dogs being tested at field trials and hunt tests. • Private sittings at your place, at a hunt test, or in Edgefield, SC, (Birds provided) • Gun dog portraits. • Pet and wildlife photography. • Great gift idea for all gun dog owners. • Call for your appointment today. • Shipping free on all orders.

Just Ducky Kennel & Spaniel Training Academy Edgefield, SC 29824 803- 637-2007 • cell 803-341-0541 •

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Better Burgers

Americans eat a boatload of burgers. Based on an annual consumption of over 38 billion burgers, or about 3 burgers per person, per week, that's about 40 pounds worth of quarter-pounders a year for every man, woman and child in the U.S. If you figure that some folks aren't big burger eaters and others don't eat them at all, some of us are eating way more than our share. But while overindulging in the highfat, fast-food burger might increase your risk of a heart attack, a burger made from lean ground ducks and geese is a healthy and tasty alternative that might give you a few extra years in the blind. Grinding your trimmed, skinless duck or goose breasts is relatively simple. If you have meat grinder, run the meat through on a coarse setting. Too thin a grind leaves the meat without much texture and it tends to fall apart easier when cooking. Since most people don't own a grinder, the next best thing is a food processor. Cut the meat into 2-inch chunks and pulse it until the pieces are roughly the size of garbanzo beans. When all that's on hand is knife, start chopping. Place the processed meat in a bowl and start adding ingredients that will enhance, not disguise the flavor of your

burger. The reason that people eat so many fatty hamburgers is because fat equals flavor. Waterfowl meat is very low-fat, so many home chefs add 10 to 20 percent ground beef or pork to their burger mix to make them taste better and to help bind meat together when pressed into a patty. While I'm all for a juicy burger and often add some beef to my ground duck, there are other ways to add moisture to your mallard. Sautéed mushrooms, onions, garlic and peppers, to name just a few ingredients, contribute both moisture and flavor. Add some fresh salsa, diced jalapeno peppers, a squeeze of fresh lime and some salt and pepper and you've got Southwestern Duck Burgers. Slap them on the grill, add a slice of jack cheese and hand me a cold frosty beverage. Adding a binder such as egg or yogurt and a little flour or some crushed quackers…sorry, crackers… will help keep your burger intact when cooking. The wet stuff mixes with the dry stuff and holds the burger together. For your first attempt, I'd recommend making duck burgers in a heavy skillet rather than a grill. It's less likely to fall apart in the pan. Once you've got the hang of it, flame on! Duck Burgers Makes 4 - 6 servings This recipe works with trimmed goose breasts and antlered game as well. Serve as you would any burger with bun, lettuce, tomato and your favorite condiments. 2 1/2 cups duck boneless, skinless duck breasts, cut into pea-sized pieces (see above) 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 2 egg yolks 1 tablespoon garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground pepper 1/3 cup Japanese breadcrumbs (panko) or substitute any breadcrumbs 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced 3 tablespoons flour 4 slices cheese, any kind (optional) In a medium bowl, combine ground duck, Worcestershire sauce and egg and mix evenly. Combine next 6 ingredients and mix evenly. Cover and refrigerate for 1 – 2 hours. Sprinkle flour over mixture (to help bind them) and form into 4 – 6 patties. Heat some olive oil in a large, heavy-duty skillet over medium heat. Brown on both sides, about 3 minutes each, or until cooked to desired doneness. Top with cheese until melted and serve immediately.

Scott Leysath is The Sporting Chef America’s Premier Wild Game Chef

Scott's TV show, HuntFishCook can be seen on Comcast Sports Southeast(CSS) every Sunday AM and nationwide on The Sportsman Channel. He also appears each week on Ducks Unlimited TV on OLN. Check out his website,, for more information and great fish and game recipes.

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Waterfowl & Wetlands - Spring 2013  

Waterfowl & Wetlands - Spring 2013

Waterfowl & Wetlands - Spring 2013  

Waterfowl & Wetlands - Spring 2013