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Grayson, our youngest son, killed his first duck on the Cache River when he was 11 years old It was a mallard drake and our lab swam the river to retrieve it for him.
DU's western regional manager of conservation programs, Virginia Getz, (whose mallard drake hatched and banded in the Valley was the trophy bird of the hunt) told me that canals, levees and ditches duplicate the natural flooding processes artificially, delivering water where and when it is wanted.
But eventually, the sunlight torched the decoys to bright colors and a mallard drake set his wings.
Then one shot rang out and a mallard drake folded up and sailed about 100 yards out into the woods.
Purple heaven is complete with a lake where every cast yields a world-record bass, every shot nails a mallard drake and every meal features pork chops, collard greens and cornbread.
She worked her way through the decoys to the bird, stared at it, looked back at me, grabbed it like it was a mallard drake and brought it back.
The dyed buckeye burl pintail is capable of making teal, wigeon and mallard drake tweets too.
Finally, one day, I winged a mallard drake that went down in a bean field a few hundred yards away.
A bereaved and injured mallard drake rescued from the street near busy Pioneer Parkway and Q Street on Thursday is the first such save of the season for a local wildlife group, and is a reminder to motorists that nesting birds are more likely to venture near traffic this time of year.