The Chivalry of Ducks: Can Men Learn a Lesson? Can Women?

I live on the north side of Dallas, Texas. Those of you who are familiar with that part of the city know there’s a lake called Bachman Lake by Love Field airport. It’s awesome. It’s three miles in circumference and a lot of fun to walk, run, or bike around. Well, this evening I walked around the lake watching the ducks. I love watching the ducks. I’m a little obsessed with the ducks. But, hey, they make the journey more exciting. There are a ton of them. Well, a ton of birds, really. I’m not a bird expert or a duck expert so I can’t really tell you what types live there, you’ll just have to trust me that there are ducks at Bachman Lake…that much I do know.

This evening as I strolled, I noticed the cutest thing. It’s been raining a lot here lately and there were plenty of places around the lake where water stood in the middle of the track. One flooded place in particular covered quite a stretch of track. I refused to go to higher ground (that wet track wasn’t gonna lick me, by golly), so I chose instead to walk on the narrow concrete ledge flanking the track. Not the smartest thing, but it felt like being back in grade school again when the teacher made you walk a straight line on something that looked like a beam in the ground so she could test your balance. Anyway, so I was walking on the beam, minding my own business, when I happened upon a group of ducks. School? Herd? Flock? Whatever, there were more than two of them. In fact, there were two males, two females, and five babies. And, yes, I might not know what type of ducks they were, but I could tell by their markings which ones were male and which were female. (No, sicko, I looked at the markings on their heads and backs! Geez, what do you think I do at that lake?) As I watched, they came upon a place where they wanted to cross the track to the other side. (Why did the ducks cross the track?) To my amazement, the male ducks stood on top of the concrete and watched as the female ducks and the babies crossed in front of them. Out of deference for their chivalry, I stopped some feet back and waited until the females and babies crossed and, finally, the males followed.

Wow, I couldn’t help but think about this as I continued along my journey. And then, because I’m an observer of behavior – animal and human – I couldn’t help but compare the duck way of life to what I saw from the humans at the lake. I can tell you, I didn’t see much chivalry. In fact, my favorite human male move is the let-your-girlfriend/wife/lover/wanna-have-her-as-your-lover/whatever-walk-in-front-of-you-while-you-check-out-every-other-woman move. Love it! Talk about disrespectful. Or the have-your-arm-around-your-whatever-and-while-she’s-looking-down/away/at your chest-check-out-every-other-woman-over-her-head move. That’s right, ladies, I figured out why men like to date shorter women. It has nothing to do with dancing or doing the hibidy-bibidy, it’s so they can incorporate move number two.

So, I continued on my own silent rant about men and how there are no good ones left and where did all the cowboys go, when it hit me. One thing I didn’t see the female ducks do was turn around and yell at their mates. I didn’t hear them say, “What makes you think I need you to stand there while I walk across this track. I walked across tracks long before you came into my life and I’ll walk across tracks long after you’re out of my life. I am a DUCK, a FEMALE DUCK, hear me QUACK. I don’t need you to watch my back or be my guardian. I had one father in my life (God rest his soul) – I certainly don’t need another one. Besides, you really think you’re duck enough to watch over me? Puhleaze… What have you done in your life anyway? You’re certainly not the BIGGEST duck, you’re not even as big as the last duck I was with. Now that was a DUCK. That duck was fine, he treated me so good. He wouldn’t have disrespected me by pretending to watch my back when he really just wanted to watch my ass. You think you’re so tough, you should try being female. I didn’t see you squeeze out any eggs…quack, quack, quack.” Nope, I didn’t hear any of that – maybe because it wasn’t said or maybe because I don’t understand duckese. I don’t know.

So, I continued my jaunt around Bachman Lake, pondering my little conundrum. I came to the conclusion that this was much like the duck-egg theory. Which came first? Did men stop being chivalrous before or after women started emasculating them for it? I’m sure a duck’s life isn’t perfect (that whole laying eggs thing seems kind of like a drag), but I wonder if we can’t learn a small lesson from Duckville…all of us.

TonyaDawn.com

The 8 Must Have Items In Your Duck Hunting Gear

Every duck hunter knows you need to have a lot of duck hunting gear with you when you head out to the blind. The ability to carry all of this gear to and from the duck blind is no easy feat, so it is important to fill a blind bag and have it ready to go. When we compiled the following list, we have taken into account the fact that you already have a duck hunting gun, ammunition and decoys. So, to help you decide what duck hunting equipment is a necessity, we have listed the top eight items every waterfowl hunter should carry.

1. The first order of business and the first item on our list, is a high quality blind bag which can organize all of your gear. This is your primary piece of equipment. My favorite is the Avery Floating Blind Bag. It has enough room to carry everything a waterfowler needs. Not to mention its water repellant construction and buoyancy makes this bag an excellent choice.

2. There is no sense in going hungry while you are in the blind. Snacks and water are the next order of business. What types of snacks isn’t all that important, but items which are individually packed such as trail mix and cereal bars will be protected if, the unfortunate should happen and they get wet. Coffee or water can be taken; finding a thermos which floats is a good idea. Oh, by the way, while you’re at it, don’t forget some snacks for man’s best friend.

3. Many duck hunters head out to the blind in the pre-dawn hours much like their deer hunting counterparts. A ball cap light will help until the sun brightens up the landscape.

4. A jerk cord is a must have item. This is the simplest, yet most effective item to create motion on the water when mother nature doesn’t do it for you.

5. A good set of binoculars should be a given no matter what you are hunting. I would suggest a minimum of 8×42. This should be perfect for spotting the ducks off in the distance.

6. You never know when you will need to mend something or improvise a jerk cord in the field. Having an extra nylon cord is always a good idea. This simple, yet versatile piece of equipment can save you a lot of headaches when you are out at the blind.

7. Duck hunters spend many a cold morning in the blind. Having some hand and foot warmers will make the wait easier to take.

8. Last but definitely not least, a prepared duck hunter should have multiple duck calls to increase his chances of success. Consider having a double reed call, short reed goose call and a whistle call in your arsenal.

Being prepared when heading out to the duck hunting blind will make your duck hunting experience a more enjoyable and hopefully a more successful one. Having this essential duck hunting gear ready before you head out will help to eliminate any stress along the way.

Duck House Plans – How to Choose the Best Plans and What You Need to Know

Ducks may not be typical pets; but they are as good as dogs and cats. They can also be kept for business. They can serve as sources of meats and eggs for you to sell. Raising ducks for profit can be lucrative. It is not expensive either. However, just like people and common pets, ducks need houses too. If you buy commercial houses for ducks, you will be shedding off a lot of money. The prices of most branded duck houses are not practical. They can even cost more than two hundred dollars. So, the better and more practical solution would be to purchase some duck house plans and build the duck houses yourself.

Well, you can find a lot of duck house plans online. There are online stores that sell items like these. You can type in keywords such as “duck house plans” on a search engine and you will be lead to various websites. You just have to search diligently because there are some sellers who charge huge amounts for shipping. There are also sellers who sell incomplete yet expensive plans. If you are lucky enough, you may find duck house plans that are easy to follow and fit your budget. Most of these plans are sold by reputable companies selling duck houses for several years already. They aim to help duck breeders by offering their plans to the public.

There are actually plenty of house styles and designs. When you search for a house plan meant for ducks, you have to consider the number of ducks you have. Obviously, if you only have a duck or two, you will just need a small one. On the other hand, if duck breeding is your means of livelihood, you will need to get plans that detail on how to make larger houses. You also have to consider if you have a pond or stream near your home, especially if you are going to house Mallard ducks. Nonetheless, you can also search for a free plan online. Most free plans have downsides, though, such as no written instructions. However, if you are really lucky, you may find a house plan for ducks that includes both pictures and written instructions.