The Lone Oak Duck Club

The Lone Oak Duck Club is an L-shaped tract of land in Bates County, Missouri. As the duck flies it’s  roughly  three miles northwest of the Four Rivers Waterfowl Management area.  It was founded in 1979. I know because I was one of the founders.

 

“Duck Club” sounds like a fancy place where rich guys hunt. This duck club is nothing like that. Our “club house” used to be an ancient trailer with mushrooms growing out of the damp carpet. We shared the place with mice and the occasional blacksnake. We kidded ourselves into thinking we managed the water level but the beavers and Mother Nature had the last say on everything. Later we built a little five-bedroom cabin with two johns. It still wasn’t fancy but it was a definite upgrade from the leaky old trailer.

Actually one guy who knew what he was doing built it and the rest of us tried to stay out of his way.

Chuck and his golden retriever Zoe are ready to roll.

Like all duck hunting places we had good seasons and not-so-good seasons. Thankfully, this past summer the food at Four Rivers was destroyed by high water so the ducks can’t sit on the refuge all day, cashing their welfare checks for flooded corn and smartweed. They have to get out and fly around like normal ducks, so this season is showing some promise. I bugged out a couple of years ago when the hard part of hunting started out-weighing the fun part. So I’m not there to enjoy it in person now, but I’m keeping up with the action thanks to Jay Lang and his son Chuck’s photography.

Now if they’d just overnight me a big, tasty mallard…

 

Mallard breast with sun dried tomato cream sauce pasta

 

 

 

 

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About BruceCochran

Bruce Cochran graduated from Oklahoma University in 1960 with a B.A. in design. He worked as a humor writer/illustrator for Hallmark Cards from 1960 – 1962 and has freelanced as a writer, cartoonist and illustrator since then. Cochran drew daily sports cartoon for USA Today from 1983 – 1991. He has 10 humor/cartoon books published by Willow Creek Press and his work appears regularly in Wyoming Wildlife, Outdoor News, On Wisconsin Outdoors, Pheasants Forever Journal, Wildfowl, Gundog, Ducks Unlimited magazine, Delta Waterfowl and other publications. He also writes and illustrates a regular humor column for Wyoming Wildlife News. Bruce won first place in the magazine humor category of OWAA’s EIC contest in 2000, 2004, 2008, 2009, and 2010. Life Sponsor: Ducks Unlimited. Life member: NRA. Member: Pheasants Forever, Trout Unlimited, OWAA and Outdoor Writers of Kansas.

2 thoughts on “The Lone Oak Duck Club

  1. Good Morning Bruce- Happy Thanksgiving – I liked the image you created in my mind of the Ducks living the life of Riley on flooded cornfields, instead of flying. Its an interesting natural observation I had not considered. Animals, like humans, will take the path of least resistance… I am not a hunter, but you painted a wonderful word picture for me.

  2. I still love to hunt but now from a 4-wheeler and a seated position….when available.
    Did well with doves and the 4-wheeled ATV during opening day of quail season.
    Thoroughly enjoyed your earlier contribution from Brian about the ‘pathway of least resistance’ because I learn quickly and well.
    Your life-long friend,
    George.

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