The Poddo Factor



Over the past 4 years, Mike “Tuck” Poddo has made a trip to Oklahoma to come duck hunting with me. Without going into details of each of those years, basically our success rate has fallen each time Tuck shows his face around here. Somehow he brings bad luck with him everywhere he goes or at least it seems that way. This last weekend was no different. Although the ducks are few and far between right now, there’s always those spots you can scratch out a few. The first morning we hunted my creek. I had just scouted it the day before and it was holding a couple dozen mallards and gadwall. Friday morning we didn’t fire a shot other than Tuck jumping a few that had landed down stream. He missed of course. We scouted a few spots I’ve been to in the past and found a backwater holding a few birds so we setup on that the next morning. Saw 2 and they never hit the decoys. I sent a message to my buddy Scotty and asked if he had a place that we could kill a few. He took us out to one of his spots that always produces. Saw 3 that never hit the decoys. On the way back last night, Tuck and I decided that he would sleep in his last morning here and I would sneak down to the creek and see if I could get him a duck to take home to his kids (they told him he better bring a duck home). Here’s the story of this morning:

I woke up at 7:45, grabbed my gun and took a walk with Cody, my old lab. I checked 3 spots along the south side and not one bird on the creek. I walk over to the north side and checked a few spots and nothing. Not one bird on the water. As I walk towards the point where my two creeks meet, I hear a drake gadwall make their notorious buzzing quack. I look downstream and he’s down there quite a ways feeding. I decide to make a sneak attack out to the point of my property to see if I can get Tuck a duck to take home. As I get out there hidden behind the last tree, he’s still about 60-80 yds away and there’s also a drake mallard with him. I stand up and as they get up I make three hail mary shots at them which was obviously not successful at that distance. I look down in disgust and I look back at them as they fly way. Well, for some stupid reason the drake mallard ends up flying towards me instead of away. I grab one shell out of my pocket, chamber just in time for one shot. I dropped him dead on the ground on the other side of the creek. After several attempts, Cody finally picks up the scent and makes the retrieve. As he brings it back to me and drops it on the bank, there was a shine on his bright orange leg that I hadn’t seen in a long time. It was a band! I just stood there and laughed and thought to myself “The Poddo Factor”


Kill em!



Tex Strikes a Beautiful Red Fox

Love it when a plan comes together! I have always wanted to kill a fox at my cabin, on my own property and tonight I was blessed with that opportunity. I had originally planned on watching the Daytona 500 this afternoon/evening but due to rain, the race was postponed and I headed out for one set before dark.

This has been a really crazy winter with extreme amounts of snowfall, making it challenging for predator calling and limiting the movement of predators. We got a typical Michigan thaw last week to firm up the snow and allow the predators to move about much easier. I have been starting to see more sign in the last couple days and I had to take advantage of this beautiful evening. I decided to take my 17HMR out today since I was targeting a fox and I didn’t want to destroy a pelt with the 22-250 if I could avoid it.

I walked out to the back of my property to overlook the hardwoods and swamp down to the lake. I set my Fox Pro CS24 out under a bush in front of me about 20 yards. There was a neighbor out shredding it up on a snowmobile so I just sat still for about 15 minutes until he was finished and the woods had calmed down. I was in no rush and planned to sit until dark. I fired up the Fox Pro at the 20 minute mark, playing some Rodent Squeaks at various volumes for 15 minutes on and off. I then got on my Red F for a couple sequences with some short pauses in between for about 5 minutes. Still not seeing any movement around me so I played a couple short red fox distress sounds. I then switched back to rodent distress, periodically playing a few short bursts of fox in distress. Out of the corner of my eye at 2 o’clock I catch movement and its a fox trotting in at 40 yards and closing. I have my rifle on my sticks pointed at 11 o’clock and they are buried in snow so I just froze as it moved in. My only hope at this point is that the fox moves in between me and the caller and I can get a shot off without having to move my gun. The fox trotted right in to about 15 feet, still focused on the caller with no clue I was there until it turned with a flash and looked right at me. She spun around and I pulled my gun off my sticks as she retreated. I lip squeaked one time, she stopped and turned back for another look at about 25 yards. I got on my rifle offhand as the fox stood facing straight at me and let the 17 HMR rip with one shot to the chest/lower neck area. The fox went down in a pile and never flinched a muscle. It all happened in about 30 seconds and I was left sitting there amazed at what had just taken place! Sometimes it sure does pay off to be patient, let a set speak to you and give it the appropriate time needed.

I am a blessed man to be able to enjoy the outdoors and participate in such a fun and rewarding sport. I would really like to thank all the guys in my life that have taught me the true art of predator calling in its purest form! Thanks to Yotehead Ed, Opie and Bob Patrick at Rare Earth Predator Calls.

Shoot Straight!




Review: G&H Decoys Magnum Swivel Mallard Duck Decoy (Item # M4M)


Like most of you, I started my duck hunting career using any decoy I could get my hands on with the money I had in my pocket. Hand me down decoys, yard sale specials and flea market deals is what I relied on to drive my passion for duck hunting. Only in the past 5 years have I been able to start buying decoys that, up until now, I’ve only seen my mentors use. Due to the stories I’ve heard and hunting over them a couple times, I decided I was going to try floaters from G&H Decoys out of Henryetta OK.

I really wanted a decoy that would hunt as hard as I do so I was looking forward to putting these Mallard decoys to the test. Most years, I put in 70-75 hunts. I would say that 75% of those hunts are on water of some kind and about 60% of those water hunts are out of my 18’ flat bottom aluminum boat. I also Texas rig all my floaters and if I’m hunting out of my boat, my decoys DO NOT get bagged up. They get drug in and out of that boat by the lines and tossed into the set. These decoys get beat to death day in and day out during the season. I’ve now completed my 4th season with them.

Overall durability

In Oklahoma, I hunt the full spectrum of weather and temperatures from early September Teal to late January Mallards. There are days I hunt in 70-75 degree weather and I don’t see any kind of durability or deformation issued in the body, heads or keels. I also hunt in the opposite extreme during the late season and I’ve not had one of these decoys crack in the beak, head, body or keel.

Paint scheme and adhesion

I will say right now that I do not think that these decoys are the best looking decoy on the market OUT OF THE BOX, however the paint scheme on the G&H Mallards is very realistic. I’ve been to the G&H factory in Henryetta and they are hand painted by a real human being, every one of them. They use a non-glare paint as well. But before they are painted, the molded plastic body is dipped into a special treatment which helps the paint adhere to the plastic. Of course, they wouldn’t enlighten me on this process any more than what I just explained. I’m sure there are much “fancier” looking decoys on the market but, like I said before, I’ve beat these things up and, other than a few nicks and scratches here and there, they pretty much look like they just come out of the box after years of use and abuse.

Features and Points of Interest

There are a few things that make these decoys stand out against the competition in my opinion:

- Realistic looking acrylic eyes – I’ve noticed most decoys on the market have eyes that are just molded with plastic. G&H actually has an acrylic eye the pops into the “socket” and adds to the realism. I have lost a few eyes but you can get extras if needed and they are easy to replace

- Recessed bottom – The G&H decoy has a unique “cupped” bottom. On choppy water, most flat bottom decoys will sort of bob around side to side but the cupped bottom of the G&H creates a vacuum and holds it lower in the water so it rides fore and aft

- Front and rear tie offs – Out of every dozen decoys that I rig, I will rig 4 of those from the rear of the decoy to give my spread a more realistic look to incoming birds. G&H has holes in the keels on the front and rear so you can rig them however you want

Price point comparison

G&H Decoys are not the least expensive or the most expensive floating decoys on the market. They seem to be right in the middle when it comes to full retail price. I tried to stay away from any flocked decoys in doing my comparisons. Using multiple websites including manufacture direct pricing, prices of similar magnum sized Mallard decoys ranged from $100 to $180 per dozen. The G&H Magnum Swivel Mallard Decoy (Item# M4M) is retail priced from the manufacturer at $150.00 per dozen before tax or shipping.


Even though the G&H Mallard decoys may not be the best looking decoy out of the box, in my opinion, they are the best value for the hard working duck hunter. The value really comes when you think about the longevity that you will be hunting over these decoys compared to others on the market. They are proven duck killers not only by my team but by the many guide services and hard core hunters out there chasing the migration. My recommendation is to get your hands on a dozen or two and try them out for a couple years. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Best part is, they are all MADE IN THE USA!

View this Product at G&H Decoys by clicking HERE

Kill ‘em!


Season One with FLG – Bubba’s Perspective


Well here it is, early February and duck season is long gone; however, this season was very different for me than any of the other duck season I have ever had the pleasure to hunt. The season started as usual, hunting with my good buddy Rooney. But during the second split I got a phone call from Rooney asking if I would be interested in becoming more involved in FLG and be a part of the staff. I was honored, to say the least. I have been hunting with Rooney for the last 3 years and this was far unexpected, so of course I told him I was in!!! So, here we are at opening day of second season and it started off with a bang! We scouted all day on Friday and found a field with about 500 mallards on it so we decided that was the spot for the morning. We woke up at an unpleasant hour to beat the crowd, since we were on public land. We got set up and had ducks flying before shooting light which is always a good thing! We waited for what seemed like an hour and finally Rooney said “It’s time!” so we started whackin’ em and in fifteen minutes we were limited out! Towards the last few minutes of the hunt I dropped a bird way out in the tall grass and Rooney told his dog to go retrieve it. He came back and asked if I was the one that dropped that HEN in the weeds, I reluctantly said yes and when he threw her to me in my layout blind there it was, shining like a diamond, my FIRST band!!! What a great way to open the season! We didn’t slow down much; if I wasn’t working I was spending time with the family and scouting or hunting ducks. We were covered up on ducks this year; this couldn’t be a better season to be my first season with FLG! Not only did I get my first band but I also killed my unicorn, a fully mature pintail drake!!! Rooney and I were hosting the good folks at Fowled Reality and The Management Advantage when I picked that pintail out of a group of 80 mallards! But overall this was an awesome season! I met some awesome people and learned a lot about what being a part of a group like FLG is all about! I do not consider myself a professional, just a good ole Oklahoma boy that loves being outdoors! We are all here for the same reasons. We all love being outdoors. I enjoy all hunting but duck hunting is my true passion!

There are always certain things that stick in your head more than others from previous seasons and my first year with FLG was very memorable. The teamwork with these guys is awesome. It means a lot to have great people around me! Not only are we a team, but I consider each and every member of FLG Down Patrol a friend which means a lot! It’s pretty awesome how they have taken me in as one of their own immediately, we can all go on a duck hunt that morning and that night we sit around a fire and tell lies like we are a family! That’s not easy to come by and something I am very thankful for! Also the people I met this year are unforgettable!!! I learned that these people that I have watched and looked up to are just the same as me. We are dedicated water fowlers that love this sport! I got to rub shoulders with some of the top duck hunters in the nation and I learned very quickly that we are all humble and love what we do. I grew up here in Oklahoma and Oklahoma is the only place I have ever hunted ducks so I am one dimensional but this season changed that. Hunting with these guys that have hunted big numbers of birds all over the country sure taught me a lot! And what’s really great is the guys from FLG are not afraid to teach me and help me learn about other ways to hunt waterfowl. I went from hunting pot holes with a dozen and a half decoys to hunting big water and fields with 6 to 8 dozen decoys so that was a bit of a culture shock, but these guys all helped me learn. I can now get out there with the confidence and set a big spread the way it needs to be and get those big numbers of birds in. All in all it was an awesome season and I am very thankful for the lessons learned and the opportunities given to me from the guys at FLG. I couldn’t ask for a better group of guys to share the blind with! Y’all take care now and thanks for reading!

Be safe and have fun out there!!


Find Bubba on Twitter: @FLGBubba


Can optics help you be a better waterfowl hunter?


It seems the optics industry is all wrapped up with big game hunters, professional shooters and even archery now with the popularity of the crossbow, but there is definitely a place in the optics world for the “little ole duck hunter.” The “weekend warrior” waterfowl hunter probably does not use optics often, but someone that chases them every day like a diehard hunter or guide service relies heavily on optics to get on the birds day in and day out.

With the rise in waterfowl related TV shows and social media channels, the competition has become pretty stiff out on public and private land. Farmers are seeing increased requests to hunt their land. Federal and state programs are buying up land and making it public. More and more hunters are able to obtain the larger boats needed to get on the bigger waters where the ducks and geese like to “hide out”. With this kind of competition out there, the serious waterfowl hunter needs to rely on optics more than ever before.
Let me give you an example, when the weather is cold, the ducks and geese need to feed on crops like soybeans and corn for the extra carbohydrates to keep warm and survive. This is when I would be scouting for birds in the morning and evening in the fields. As I am driving around, my goal is to find large concentrations of birds flying off the nearest body of water to go feed in a field. When I find this with the naked eye, I would use my Hawke Nature-Trek 10×50 binoculars to identify the birds in the air. All birds fly differently. They have different flock patterns. Their wing beat speed is different. I mostly concentrate on mallards and Canada geese in the dry fields, so those are what I would be looking for during these scouting trips. A good pair of binoculars will give you the edge on bird identification and make your scouting trips more successful.

After I have located the flights of the birds I want to concentrate on, the next step is to figure out what field they are using. This is where having a good spotting scope (yes, I said spotting scope) comes into play. I do not want to drive right up on the field I am scouting. If there is someone else scouting the area and they see that, they now have used me to locate birds and I now have competition on that field. I will find a high road somewhere within the field of view of where the birds are feeding. Using my Hawke Nature 24-74×70 Spotting Scope, I will pinpoint what part of the field they are using and get a good estimate on the number of birds using that particular field. Numbers are key when hunting in a field. I will not hunt a field that is only getting used by a handful of birds because at any moment, half of the birds could move on to a different field. I like to see a couple thousand birds using a field before I take the time to do a labor intensive field hunt.

The same goes for scouting from the boat. I always carry my binoculars in the boat if I am going scouting. I do not want the other guy seeing me motor right up on a concentration of birds and I also do not want to spook those birds off that daytime resting spot. If I can count and identify those birds from afar, my chances of hunting that spot the next morning with success has increased tremendously.

So if you want to be more successful hunting waterfowl and make your scouting trips count, get yourself some good optics with clear glass like Hawke has to offer. Bird numbers and identification are just as important when you are scouting as when you are actually hunting.

Good luck!

Josh “Rooney” Dickerson
First Light Gear


We Go Way Back – Rooney and the bobcat


As you all know, I’m a duck hunter. The FLG Down Patrol gang kills their fair share of birds which means we clean a lot of birds here at the house. Since I’m on a creek bottom, I figured I would feed those leftover carcasses to the local creek bottom predator population. When the “pile” became popular I put a trail cam on it just to see what was feasting there in the middle of the night. I’ve had everything from hogs to hawks taking part. The one predator that caught my attention was a bobcat and the journey begins.

For the past 2 years I’ve had encounters with this bobcat while deer hunting. At this point, I figured the best way to get this cat was to start trapping. Only made sense to set a couple traps around the bait pile as much as it was visiting it. It was a learning experience for me. Between de-scenting my traps to funneling the animal into the trap set, I finally got that cat at the “pile” this past December. I was so excited since I wasn’t really a “trapper” in the traditional way. After prepping the cat for the tannery, I checked my trail cam pics and to my amazement, there was a second cat! The first one was a female so this one must be her mate. I reset the trap and just a couple days ago, I got her mate. He’s an old tom with scarred up ears. A fighter for sure. Both cats will go to the tannery and hang on the wall together.

Kill ‘em!



Old Alpha Male Coyote

Opie and I headed up to the north country of Michigan for a long weekend of predator calling! The weather has been absolutely spectacular with bone chilling temperatures and light snow periodically throughout both days we’ve been up here so far. We set out this morning into the frozen tundra on snowshoes ready to hone our calling skills and challenge ourselves physically with the demanding terrain ahead of us.

We didn’t have any takers on our first set and it wasn’t long before we located another calling location several hundred yards away. Opie and I settled into our calling sequence, taking turns playing our Rare Earth Red-F (Bird Distress) calls. Opie hopped on his HSB at about the 8 minute mark playing some light cottontail distress and that’s when I noticed a coyote working towards us at about 100 yards. I got on my rifle just in time to see the coyote stop to take another look in our direction. I passed on the first shot opportunity as I wanted to see him work in closer to our location. There was a slight hill in front of us and when the coyote closed inside of 60 yards we were not able to see him until he crested the hill at 30 feet. My heart was beating like crazy when I lost sight of him and I still wasn’t sure if Opie had seen him closing in on us. I quickly got back on my rifle and waited in the location I thought he might show in. The coyote stopped at the top of the rise and gave a look right at Opie, allowing me to make my final adjustments and let the 22-250 bark.

This is a beautiful large male coyote with scads of battle wounds and a busted up face from fighting. One of my largest coyotes to date and one heck of a trophy from the north woods. We still have a couple days of hunting left, tons of predator sign and we are going to get back after em!





Crunch Time Coyotes


Well I was hoping to sneak out of work early to go deer hunting tonight. We have a huge storm sitting on us right now and the deer should be moving.

Unfortunately It was 5:15 before I could leave work which left me exactly 25 minutes until the end of shooting light. Not enough time for deer hunting but just enough to get into my favorite predator spot for a quick call.

I settled in behind my rifle and let out a series of cottontail distress aimed at the swamp in from of me. I called on and off for 5 minutes before I saw a coyote heading away from me 40 yards away in the thick swamp brush. It was the big dog I’ve been after for a while and damned if he didn’t beat me again.

I continued my calling sequence and after 5 more minutes a second coyote showed itself and came trotting out of the swamp 30 yards to my left stopping behind a big maple tree.

Some patience and gentle coaxing lured the coyote to 20 yards where she presented a clean head shot. I settled the crosshairs between her eyes and I watched as she dropped like a bag of rocks.

Less than 20 minutes on stand and I had 2 coyotes show up within 50 yards and had one over my shoulder on my way to the car. Goes to show that keeping your gear in your car and taking advantage of every calling opportunity can sure pay off.

Looking forward to really getting into the swing of predators soon.

Shoot straight.



Scouting the North Woods

We scouted the big woods all day and were pleasantly surprised with the amount of deer activity and sign! I found this awesome hardwood ridge between two swamps with a bunch of deer activity to hide my blind, still keeping some good visibility around me. While we were setting up and brushing in my blind, we had 5 doe’s work past us with a buck trailing.

Beautiful mature pine stand just loaded up with deer! The upper peninsula of Michigan never gets old and I sure do enjoy all that it has to offer.

Overlooking the Sturgeon River and old damn site. The rut looks to in full swing up here and all the guys at camp are excited about there stand locations this season!


North Woods Deer Camp

It’s time to head up to the great north once again for a week of hunting with my Dad and few other relatives. The weather looks to be perfect this week with a slight dusting of snow and a cool crisp breeze. Life is good my friends!