Skip to main content

Band Tales: Oldest Banded Duck on Record

One lucky hunter strikes silver in Alaska.

Band Tales: Oldest Banded Duck on Record

Matthew LaTulip, Jr.'s gradutation present hunt turned out to be one for the memory bank. (Photo By: David Stimac)

Matthew LaTulip, Jr. represents the fourth generation of a duck hunting family, so it was not surprising that he chose a sea duck hunt at Cold Bay, Alaska as his high school graduation present. “At that time, the world was normal, and we were really looking forward to traveling up to Alaska in November 2020,” said his dad, Matthew LaTulip, Sr. We all know what happened next.

The Hunt

“It was touch and go, with cancellations looming all over, including St. Paul Island, due to the Covid scare,” LaTulip continued. “Fortunately, we were able to jump through all the testing hoops to make the journey.” It turned out to be a special trip, for several reasons. “We were able to procure trophy harlequins, Pacific eiders, and scoter slams,” said LaTulip, but the biggest surprise came from the very first bird harvested.

After clearing all the protocol, making the lengthy journey and heading out on the bay, the LaTulips were set up and ready when the first birds winged into their spread. First shot was bestowed on the young hunter, and he obliged by folding a drake long-tailed duck. Sure enough, when the bird was recovered, they discovered it bore a band.

That, in and of itself was a delightful surprise, but there was more to the story. After reporting the band, the duck hunting LaTulips learned the bird was banded in 2004 and reported to have hatched in 2003 or earlier, making it at least 17 years old. Upon further investigation they discovered the bird, which may well have been as old as the hunter, is the oldest on record at the USGS Bird Banding Lab. That’s quite a graduation present in a very unusual season.

The Band

HUNTER: Matthew LaTulip, Jr.

BAND #: 0966-56729

SPECIES: Long-tailed Duck (D)

BANDED: 08/05/2004

LOCATION: 93 KM E Deadhorse, AK

RECOVERED: 11/16/2020

LOCATION: 10 mi E of Cold Bay, AK

Recommended





GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

Adding honker floaters in your duck decoy spread can greatly add to your success.
Gear

Fiocchi's New Duck Busters

Adding honker floaters in your duck decoy spread can greatly add to your success.
Gear

Migration Strike

Adding honker floaters in your duck decoy spread can greatly add to your success.
Gear

Enhancing the Hunt: Skip Knowles and Tetra Hearing's Game-Changing Products

Adding honker floaters in your duck decoy spread can greatly add to your success.
Gear

The Goose Factory

Adding honker floaters in your duck decoy spread can greatly add to your success.
Gear

Heyday Outdoor - HydroFoam Diver Duck Decoys Review & Field Test

Adding honker floaters in your duck decoy spread can greatly add to your success.
Learn

Why You Suck at Shooting….and How to Fix Your Faults

Adding honker floaters in your duck decoy spread can greatly add to your success.
Gear

Remington Gun Club Cure Shotshells

Adding honker floaters in your duck decoy spread can greatly add to your success.
Gear

B&P Ammunition

Adding honker floaters in your duck decoy spread can greatly add to your success.
Gear

Browning Maxus 2 Wicked Wing

Adding honker floaters in your duck decoy spread can greatly add to your success.
Gear

Why You Should Be Using Confidence Decoys for Duck Hunting

Adding honker floaters in your duck decoy spread can greatly add to your success.
Learn

Exercise-Induced Heat-Related Illness

Adding honker floaters in your duck decoy spread can greatly add to your success.
Learn

Using Goose Floaters for Duck Hunting

Wildfowl Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Wildfowl App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Wildfowl stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Wildfowl subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now