It has been the strangest year for duck hunting that my buddies and I have ever seen here. The season started with lots of water in the fields and a really big storm that blew birds in very early. The hunting was great and we all anticipated an exceptional year. Along comes "Pineapple Express" and from that point on the duck hunting just went steadily downhill. And it pancaked, I mean really poor numbers of ducks in an area that routinely holds several thousand. I hadn't hunted in two and a half weeks and the last time out I shot one pintail. Last Thursday I decided to check out a little piece of property we have permission to hunt. I had been monitoring it for a month with no positive results so I was amazed to see that a few hundred widgeon were on one of the sheet water ponds. I phoned my buddy and we made plans to hunt the pond but weren't really optimistic for our chances given there was no cover (its a pasture field with 1" of grass cover). We set up Power Hunter layout blinds and seven dozen widgeon decoys. Then we waited for the day to lighten. Well, with the sun came the widgeon, many more than I had seen on my scouting trip. The birds paid no attention to the blinds so we laid there and enjoyed the show until it was light enough to determine drakes from hens. There were numerous flocks of 20-50 birds decoying and we just watched, opting to shoot singles, doubles or flocks of not more than maybe 10 birds. We were also targeting drakes only. The hunt lasted an hour and fifteen minutes. We ended up with 13 American widgeon and one Eurasian widgeon. I shot two hens (my aging eyes just lied to me) and my buddy shot one hen. He is 35 years younger and has no excuse. This was probably the finest hunt I've had in the U.S. I've had the great fortune to have experienced some wonderful hunting in Canada, Louisiana and Washington but this was something truly exceptional. We sat back and enjoyed the show of great flocks of birds dropping into the decoys. On one occasion we could have shot our limits if we had fired one shot apiece, there were that many birds settling into our spread. When we did decide to shoot, we alternated shots. I would dump a drake then Mike would shoot a bird out of the next small group. We each missed only one bird totally. And, of course, Mike shot his Eurasian for which he is really elated. The birds were still coming in when we left the field so we decided to do it again today. And today, well, we had no flocks of widgeon or anything else. Mike shot one drake mallard that dropped in and that was it. The weather was mild so we stayed in the blinds, chatted, snoozed, and after a few hours, we headed to our favorite cafe for a late breakfast. We found our widgeon friends after breakfast. They had taken up residence in another field about a mile from ours. Well, good luck to them. I'm indebted to them for yesterday's incredible outing.