Flydogs Flyworks LLC
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Website Built by Jerry Kunnath
Fish Point Lodge
"The Ducks Just Didn't Care"
Previously Published in www.flymartonline.com
‘THE DUCK’S JUST DIDN’T CARE’
In late October a few years ago, Fly Rod & Gun Outdoors co-host, Steve Kunnath, wildlife artist Larry Cory, and
I, were lucky enough to be invited to duck hunt at Fish Point Lodge. Fish Point Lodge is located near
Sebawing, Michigan, on Saginaw Bay, in some of the best water fowling habitat in the modern world. We were
to experience some old style duck hunting, not unlike the stories we all enjoyed reading in the old copies of
Field & Stream.
Fish Point Lodge
As soon as Larry, Steve and I arrived at Fish Point Lodge, we knew that we were in for a great hunting
experience. The lodge is housed in an old house that has been a fish and hunt camp since the early 1900's.
When we walked through the old double, palm polished wooden doors, we were immediately greeted by the
friendly faces of the staff and the warm feelings of the décor. To the left of the old wooden stairway was the
den/dining hall/relaxation room, complete with large stone fireplace and comfortable overstuffed couches and
chairs. Hanging from the ceiling, with their wings cupped, ready to land in your deeks, were four full mount
snow geese. Filling the space on the walls between the elk and caribou mounts, were many pictures of past
hunts and pictures of recent clients with their ducks and geese. You could almost smell the cigar smoke, feel
the fire’s heat, and hear the hunting stories emanating from those pics. The room fairly oozed outdoors. Our
hosts, Doug and Christine Deming, have put much care and thought into preparing Fish Point Lodge for their
After we were shown our well appointed sleeping quarters, it was time for dinner and talk of the mornings
hunt on the Bay. The fine dinner of fresh walleye fillets, potato casserole, steaming peach cobbler and corn,
was a perfect side to Doug Deming’s talk of the morning's hunt. Doug would be our guide for the next days
hunt on the Bay. Later that afternoon, he would assist Mike McMann, one of his talented staff guides, on
another hunt with us. A hunt in Texas style layout blinds, for ducks on a cutover crop field.
Christine Deming woke us early the next morn, and called us down stairs for a bountiful breakfast, complete
with hot, steaming coffee. We then donned our waders and camo, and joined Doug in one of the unique
boat/blinds, where he waited for us in Fish Points own harbor, ready to go for the hunt.
Doug maneuvered the comfortable and dry boat/blind effortlessly through the marsh, using strategically
placed lights to illuminate the way. Doug’s’ boat/blinds are specially built by Freeway Sports of Fenton, the
same company that supplied the captain Steve Kunnath's Florida flats style fly fishing boat. [click on the links
on this site for charter opportunities on Lake St. Clair with Captain Steve] The whole time that we were under
way to the reed covered isle that we would hunt, we could hear ducks and geese waking to the morn around
us in the dark. After Doug set out the decoys, both ducks and geese, we settled down to wait for legal
shooting time as the whish of wings fluttered the air above our heads..
As the legal shooting minute arrived, Steve and Larry loaded their shotguns, and Doug proceeded to start
talking to the ducks, using one of the five calls hanging around his neck.
Larry Cory, who designed our logo for Fly Rod & Gun Outdoors, is a nationally renowned wildlife artist, with two
Michigan duck stamps to his credit. A noted outdoorsman in his own right, having hunted and fished all over
our continent, Larry was welcomed with open arms on this duck hunt with our crew. His insights and colorful
dialog in the blind that morning were enjoyed by all of us.
This mornings weather was not what you would call perfect water fowling weather. The forty degree temps,
coupled with bright sunny skies and calm, almost dead winds, added up to many pods of seemingly sleeping
ducks, and few fliers. As soon as the bright skies came upon us the ducks that were flying in the dark decided
to call it quits. But Doug Deming kept at it with some expert calling, attracting some ducks to pass over, but
not enticing any to land in the deeks, where they might present a shot to our hunters. [’THE DUCK’S JUST DIDN’
T CARE’] Doug did fill the Blue-bird morn with much meaningful information though. In between calling
sessions, he filled our heads with flight information on when, and how the ducks arrive in the Bay. What they
eat when they are in the bay, and how long they stay while migrating south, what his favorite shot sizes are,
and lots of other pertinent info related to hunting Saginaw Bay waterfowl. He also had more than a few stories
of past hunts, many of them humorous. Around eleven a.m., Doug told us that we would head back to the lodge
for lunch, and then prepare for our field hunt later that afternoon. The temps were dropping, and a stiff wind
was rising over the marsh. Doug felt confident that our afternoon field hunt could be pretty productive.
After a delicious and hearty lunch, we loaded our guns and gear into Doug’s Suburban for a short ride to some
leased fields where our ’layout’ hunt would be held. Much to our encouragement, as we arrived at the field,
we could see that ducks were trying to land in the decoys that Mike McMann and his helper Bob Majdecki
were placing in the field around the layout blinds, and all this action while they were still walking around the
set. ‘THE DUCKS JUST DIDN‘T CARE‘. We placed our guns and camera in the blinds, crawled in and laid down
with our backs in the slings, pulled the bi-fold doors closed to hide our bodies with just our camouflaged
heads showing and waited for the action. Mike told us not to shoot till he called out ’GET EM’ and to then aim
only for male or drake mallards, the ’green heads’. We were to try and shoot only male mallards and not the
hens. It was legal for each hunter to take four mallards, but only one of them could be a hen.
The five shooters, Bob, Mike, Steve, Larry and Doug, were in a row at the end of the deeks, with me in a blind
about ten yards behind them with my camera. As soon as we were settled in the blinds, Bob, Mike and Doug
started talking to the ducks, who answered in rare form by immediately trying to land in the decoys. First it was
a flock of about twenty. They flew over a few times, eying our setup. Then another group joined them, and
another, and another. Before we knew what hit us, we had hundreds and hundreds of ducks over us. One
group decided to come in. When the ducks got closer than probably ten to fifteen yards, Mike screamed “GET
EM” as we rose to sitting position, guns blazing, carefully taking aim. Five ducks could be seen in the
viewfinder of my cam, falling to earth, as the rest of the ducks took to flight and escape. As Mike and Bob
walked out to retrieve the downed ducks, more ducks were trying to land in the set, while Mike and Bob
standing there in the deeks. ‘THE DUCK‘S JUST DIDN‘T CARE‘. They wanted in the set.
The rest of the afternoon was like a dream. As one flock either landed or flew off from our set, another group
of between one to three hundred ducks were coming in. Honestly, I kid you not. At one point, all I could
manage to do was giggle like a kid on Christmas morn. As I was taping hundreds of ducks around and in front
of us, there were twenty or so landing right around me by my head and behind me. One actually flew in place
about a foot from my head, watching me for a few seconds as I burned tape of his relatives above. It was
unreal. T say that we had a great time would be way more than an understatement.
The crew at Fish Point Lodge should be commended on their conservation ethics. During the course of that
afternoon, it would have been possible for all of us to bag our legal limit. As it was, we only took less than half
of that, by unanamous decision. It is summed up best by Larry Cory in a letter that he sent to Steve and I later
that week. He writes, “The last half hour of shooting time…when we DIDN’T shoot, was one of the highlights of
my shooting career. I’ll never forget the sight of hundreds and hundreds of ducks trying to land in the decoys,
even while we were picking up birds, blinds and decoys”. As I wrote previously, ‘the ducks just didn’t care’.
We would like to recommend Fish Point Lodge to all who yearn for an ’old world’ or ’old style’ water fowling
experience. I know that we had a terrific time there and that we will be going back again next year for more of
the same. Thanks to Doug and Christine Deming for a wonderful hunt. And thanks also to guide Mike McMann
and his friend Bob Majdecki for all their assistance. We are grateful.
Take care. Be well. Get outdoors. But do it safely and legally. Good huntin’ & fishin’.
Equipment list from this duck hunt
Steve wore Simms Extreme Boot Foot Waders
Jerry wore Simms Neoprene Stocking Foot and Simms Guide Model Boots
Shotgun - Steve used an old Remington Mohawk 48 semi-auto 12 gauge/ modified choke
Larry used a John Daly 12 gauge over/under modified/full choke
Jerry used a Sony Broadcast Digital Video Cam loaded with mini-dv tape and shot hundreds more ducks than
anyone else....and didn't have to clean a one :] :]
Ammo - Remington Express Steel 12 gauge #2 shot [#4’s would have been fine for the ducks]
Contact information from today’s hunt
Fish Point Lodge
Doug & Christine Deming
4130 Miller Avenue
Unionville, Michigan 48767
Larry Cory / Artemis Studio
4423 W. Maple
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan 48301
Steve Kunnath, co-host
Fly Rod & Gun Outdoors
413 N. Vermont
Royal Oak, Mi. 48067
By: Jerry Kunnath
'Hundreds of ducks again!'
Fish Point Lodge - Unionville Mi.
One of Larry Cory's duck stamp prints
One of the special Fish Point Lodge 'boat blinds'
Larry Cory in a 'Texas' style layout blind