THE SWAMP SIREN
It’s a dawn thing, most of the time, so it breaks my concentration when I’m in a deer stand or closing the distance on a squirrel. I hear a wood duck’s squealing whowheeet, who-wheeet whistle and my mind starts racing.
Is there a swamp over there? Did the beavers move up the creek? Could there be some new hidden honey hole I don’t know about?
I’m pretty nuts over most kinds of hunting, but ducks are tops on the list. A mallard’s quack or a pintail’s whistle cranks up my heart rate, no doubt. Those wild calls bring to mind prairie sloughs and big coast marshes. But a wood duck’s whistle is a totem of home.
I hear a woodie and I won’t rest until I find the beaver slough or oxbow pond where it hides, no matter how small or how briery. More than once, a single squeal deep in the woods has tipped me off to a hidden little nook of swamp water. And more than once, I’ve clawed my way back the next morning, shrouded in dark camo, waiting for dawn and the call of a duck I can never fail to answer.