I'm in my 45th duck season and ducks have been my primary hunting focus my entire hunting career. I'm in the waterfowl industry as the designer for Tanglefree waterfowl, ducks and duck hunting are very important in our family and business. With that said, I've never shot a banded bird. My first 25 years were in Eastern Kansas and we shot a lot of ducks, mostly mallards back in those days, none of our friends ever shot a band and I never even heard of one being shot by anyone. The last 20 years here in Idaho which has been one of the best duck hunting areas I've experienced, having hunted from Illinois to Alaska over the years. Never a band though. Both of my boys have shot banded ducks and they are common in Idaho, my oldest shot his first about 8 years ago, but gave it to a kid we were hunting with. My youngest shot his first a week or so later, but not dear old dad. On two occasions I passed up mallards to let a friend shoot and both were banded. I don't very often shoot mallards anymore unless nothing else is flying, so that probably diminishes my odds for getting a band. I prefer to shoot just about anything else, both divers and puddlers, but generally give the mallards a pass. I figure that getting a band at this point would be like Halley's Comet and Mark Twain, I'll probably die when I shoot my first banded duck. My dad, who has hunted ducks since 1940 has shot only one banded bird, a mallard about 5 years ago. I figure that shooting banded birds is the same as shooting tamies
at least that is what I tell myself every time I pick up a duck and look at his legs.