This story originally appeared in the Independence Examiner newspaper.
By Kenneth Kieser
Early-season marshlands are an ecosystem full of life. Frogs. fish, snakes, turtles and an occasional river otter, beaver or muskrat spend their days in this pristine setting. Teal season lures hunters to marshes where mosquitoes seem big as airplanes. Leaving home without mosquito repellent is not advised.
Northwest Missouri’s Loess Bluffs region, located on the edge of the Mississippi Flyway and close to Mound City, Missouri, is noted for some of America’s best duck and goose hunting. Hunting is not allowed on the refuge, but there are plenty of opportunities. Early season teal hunts are legendary across this noted stretch.
Outdoor writers Zach Smith, Trevor Meers and Tim Kjellesvik decided to sample this hunt led by Jacob Peterson, part-time Iron Duck Hunting guide and full-time police officer at Chillicothe, Mo., Danny Guyer, owner of Iron Duck Hunting and Joe Laukemper, waterfowl hall of fame inductee and owner of the marsh to be hunted and located close to Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Area.
The group met at McDonald’s in Mound City. Duck and goose hunting stories started flying around the table when someone noted the time and everyone immediately jumped up to go. The blind was close by, but that didn’t matter to two Labrador retrievers waiting in pickups. Laukemper’s Birdie, and Peterson’s 2-year-old, 75-pound chocolate lab named Moose, both whined with anticipation of a chance to run across another marsh.
Minutes later the group arrived at their blind about 15 minutes before legal shooting time, only to chase bluewing teal out of the decoys. Guyer gave his safety talk while the hunters listened. A good guide takes charge of the hunt to ensure safety and Guyer is one of the best.