Band Tales: Summer in December

Band Tales: Summer in December

A late December forecast for highs in the 70s almost coaxed Kenneth Mullins to turn off the alarm clock and go back to sleep rather than duck hunt.

"It was the last day of Arkansas duck season before the Christmas split. So, reluctantly, I got dressed and drove the two miles to the duck club," Mullins

said.

band-tales


Given the expected warm conditions and a possibility of thunderstorms, Mullins chose to go it alone. "My blind was an open water hole on a two-mile wooded slough," he recalled. "It had been productive earlier in the season."


After setting out the decoys and seeing very few birds by 8 a.m., and with darkening skies and approaching thunder, Mullins decided to pick up and leave ahead of the storm. Before he could gather his gear however, he noticed five ducks flying directly toward him.


"I picked out the lead bird, which seemed unusually white, and as I shot, it folded."

band-talesUpon retrieving it, he was pleased to see he had shot a drake goldeneye, a rare encounter in the flooded woodlands of southwest Arkansas.

Mullins retreated to the cabin to ride out the storm, which passed quickly, and was contemplating calling it a day.


"But with more than two hours of shooting time left (we quit hunting at noon), I decided to go back and check out an area that had not been hunted recently."

The walk into hole No. 17 was over a half-mile and just as Mullins was approaching the blind, a group of a dozen mallards flew directly over him. "I shot three times and dropped two greenheads, one of which was not hit well and required a short chase and a couple extra shots."

He was lucky to retrieve it as it sported not one, but two bands, the second offering a $100 reward. It also happened to be his 40th banded duck and the third double-banded mallard drake he's shot in 50 years of hunting.


"Days like this are what gets me up and going when the weather conditions may not be exactly right," said Mullins.


If luck has handed you a banded bird, don't miss the opportunity to be featured on the pages of Wildfowl.  Before you proudly display your silver on leather or lanyard, take the time to submit the story behind the band.

Simply fill out your information (here) and since luck's already on your side, you could end up in the Passages or Band Tales section of Wildfowl.

Recommended for You

Here's how to cash in on the spreading numbers of white-fronts. Hunting Tactics

Take Advantage of the Specklebelly Surge

John Gordon

Here's how to cash in on the spreading numbers of white-fronts.

To date, Ducks Unlimited has played a role in conserving 14 million acres. Industry

Ducks Unlimited: A Duck Man's Best Friend

David Hart

To date, Ducks Unlimited has played a role in conserving 14 million acres.

Make summertime barbecues super easy by grilling up one of these duck recipes from Scott Leysath, Recipes

2 Easy Duck Recipes for Summertime Grilling

WILDFOWL Online Staff

Make summertime barbecues super easy by grilling up one of these duck recipes from Scott...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Puppy Training Getting Started

Puppy Training Getting Started

Puppy Training Getting Started

Arkansas Snow Geese

Arkansas Snow Geese

Wildfowl Editor Skip Knowles took this short video showing all the Snow Geese flying. Let's just say, he had a very good hunt!

Cowboy Fernandez Commemorative Yentzen Classic Duck Call

Cowboy Fernandez Commemorative Yentzen Classic Duck Call

As Groves, Texas duck call maker Sure-Shot Game Calls celebrates their 60th anniversary during 2019, company CEO Charlie Holder shows off the limited edition Yentzen Classic aimed at commemorating the life and times of company founder Jim 'Cowboy' Fernandez. With a special autographed box and a laser engraved call body, the Cowboy Classic is a perfect way to honor the legacy of the 1959 world duck calling champ and inventor of the double-reed duck call.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

While there's no guarantee they'll make you a better shot, these 8 newly-designed shotgun choke Accessories

8 Best Choke Tubes for 2017

Wildfowl Online Staff - October 25, 2017

While there's no guarantee they'll make you a better shot, these 8 newly-designed shotgun...

Let's face it, that old mud motor from two years ago isn't cuttin' it any longer.

Of course, it Boats

8 Best Mud Motors for 2016

David Hart - May 26, 2016

Let's face it, that old mud motor from two years ago isn't cuttin' it any longer. Of course,...

Jim Orth needed'a simple blind for hunting Lake St. Clair. A staffing recruiter and outfitter from How-To

Building a Duck Boat Blind on a Budget

Mike Marsh - May 10, 2016

Jim Orth needed'a simple blind for hunting Lake St. Clair. A staffing recruiter and outfitter...

See More Stories

More Band Tales

An afternoon hunt nets an international goose Band Tales

Better Late Than Never

Bob Humphrey - November 03, 2010

An afternoon hunt nets an international goose

Guess California girls are sought after by greenheads too

 A Tennessee waterfowler is amazed when Band Tales

Banded Greenhead Surprises Waterfowler With Its Travels

Bob Humphrey - February 23, 2018

Guess California girls are sought after by greenheads too A Tennessee waterfowler is amazed...

They hypnotize us, mesmerize us, enchant, haunt and beguile us. But most of all, the bands that Band Tales

Precious Metals: Wildfowl's Banded Birds Gallery

Gary Kramer - July 09, 2012

They hypnotize us, mesmerize us, enchant, haunt and beguile us. But most of all, the bands...

See More Band Tales

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

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

×