2004 Greenskins Classic Review

April 2, 2009 by  

By Jed Fluhrer

Jed gandergrinder Fluhrer

Jed "gandergrinder" Fluhrer

The 2004 GreenSkins Classic proved once again that opening weekend isn’t really about duck hunting. Opening weekend is all about hanging out with friends and family and enjoying the outdoors.

From the beginning this years Greenskins was different. Not only was the man who started it all, Chris Hustad, not going to be in attendance (I’ll elaborate more on that later) but it was the first time since the event started that it wasn’t known if it would be held. The possibility of a moderate season framework made planning the event somewhat sketchy. Luckily the liberal season was approved and the event moved on as planned.

This year was also different for me as I was going to be running the event in Chris’s absence. The planning of the event was pretty simple from my perspective as Chris had most of the work done already. All I needed to do was print out a few emails, collect money and pass out some hats.

Booster setting up the decoys

Booster setting up the decoys

Friday finally rolled around and Chris called me from the airport, he had to fly out to Colorado for a wedding, to go over a few last minute details. Really, I think he just wanted me to reassure him that he wouldn’t die if he wasn’t out on duck opener and that hoping his plane had a malfunction and couldn’t leave the ground was not an indication of insanity. After finishing my conversation with Chris I hoped in my truck and headed over to a friends to load everything up. With anticipation high we hit the road.

After picking up another member of our team in Grand Forks we headed due west on highway 2 towards Lakota and the infamous SunLac Inn. It was still pretty early when we arrived so we checked in and unloaded all of our stuff. We rolled around the back of the building and were greeted by a bunch of decoy trailers parked in a row, some were familiar, and others I had never seen before.

Around 4:30 we decided to head north and talk to one of the local farmers that we knew. The farmer was not around but one of his hired men was kind enough to draw us a map in the dirt. Following his directions we came upon slough after slough full of water but surprisingly void of ducks. There were birds here and there but not the numbers I had expected. After driving a few more miles we spotted a small transition slough the mallards were flying into after coming off a large wetland. We decided this would be our number one and went looking for a backup. We found a number of goose feeds but were unable to find anything sizable as far as ducks. By this time the phone was ringing non-stop as other hunting partners were out and asking if we were finding any birds. One group said they couldn’t find a field that they could get permission for. It was definitely tougher to get on land this year and there were a lot more posted signs than years past.

Team Ron Jeremy and Friends

Team Ron Jeremy and Friends

I walked into the bar in the SunLac and ordered a libation and was soon greeted by a number of new teams from Minot and Grand Forks. Everyone seemed in good spirits and excited about the next days hunt. After collecting donations from all the teams and passing out hats I walked outside to see the boys hammering away at a freshly tapped 16 gallon keg. Oh my, I thought, 4:30 is going to be early. After doing some damage to the keg we decided that a migration was in order. We headed “downtown” to find the bar filled to the brim. Some of us stayed until closing while others took a much more intelligent approach and left early enough to get a good nights rest.

Morning arrived early and my teammates and I headed out to find our slough vacant of hunters. The sky was clear and for the first time all year I was far enough away from Fargo and its light pollution to see the stars. I sat back and caught a few shooting stars before we decided to set out the dozen decoys we brought along. When I walked into the slough I realized the bottom was similar to my stomach. There was stuff down there but none of it was solid.

cbass sporting some jewelry (horseshoe not in picture)

cbass sporting some jewelry (horseshoe not in picture)

Finally the sun came up and the ducks started flying. Several groups worked into spitball range but we couldn’t tell drakes so we held off. Small flocks worked all morning and we shot a few drakes and let a lot of them swim around the decoys. Life couldn’t have been better. One of the guys in my hunting party, who has been accused of harboring a horseshoe in an unnamed place, was lucky enough to harvest a drake mallard banded by the Illinois Waterfowl Alliance.

We decided to pick up around 9:30 as the ducks weren’t flying much anymore and I needed to get back to greet the boys after their hunts. Overall the groups did well. There were very few hens taken of any species. This year a new team took home the plaques. Jamie Sperley, Matt Ahmann, Brian C. and Rick Acker of Grand Forks faired the best with a bag of drake mallards, drake wood ducks and Canada geese.

We raised almost $1000 dollars this year for Delta waterfowl through entry fees and had a great time. I’d like to say thank you to all of the guys who took part in this years Greenskins Classic. It was a pleasure meeting all of you and I hope to see you all again next year.


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