On Saturday, March 24th, the morning dawned sunny and mild – with Mount Pilchuck as a beautiful backdrop over the ponds at French Creek. 35 duck hunting enthusiasts gathered for a day of insight, practice, and motivation.  French Creek, WOW and Ducks Unlimited instructors were joined by Trainer Pat Murphy of Northwest Performance Dogs to round out a stellar group of knowledgeable, in-the-field mentors. These instructors do what they teach and their enthusiasm is inviting and infectious. WOW participants completed five stations of learning:  1) Shotgun – which included a patterning board to display a shotgun’s target coverage and women shooting clay pigeons, 2) Decoys and Blinds which  had participants setting and retrieving  decoys over water and practicing proper blind protocol with open -action shotguns, 3) Working with Retrievers – a real treat to watch a trained, reliable Labrador happily find  and retrieve planted birds  as well as listening to training tips from an expert, 4) Trying one’s  skill with  a DU duck call while identifying sounds and species on Cripple Creek, and 5) cleaning a Mallard and learning tips for do’s and don’t’s.  The day ended with a wonderful tasting session of smoked duck and barbecued duck fresh off the grill! The students packed up their waders and headed home, determined to put into practice what they had learned. The day was enhanced by the generosity of French Creek’s hospitality, DU and ORVIS raffle items and the organization of the WOW Team. Perfect weather, a prime location, enthusiastic students and outstanding instructors – it doesn’t get any better than that!