Man all you guys got started out young. I'm pretty jealous.
I didn't duck hunt until 2011. I was in SD with my F-i-L on a private slough he had access to. To this day it's the only time I've hunted water with him. Anyway, I was having a heck of a time picking my shots. Being pretty new all the mallards looked the same. I finally thought I had a Drake picked out, pulled up, and must of barely grazed him. Rich was about 30 yards away, blasting away after he heard me shoot. His lab marked his two, but didn't see mine flutter all away across the slough and flop right in front of the cattails.
He came over and asked where my bird was (assuming it was stone dead in front of me...yeah it was a 15 yard shot
I told him where I saw it go down, but he couldn't see it. Heck I barely could. So he told me to stand next to him, have me give him directions and he would relay that to Midg (my wife named his lab after Barbie).
This is where I fell in love with bird dogs. That dog swam a perfect 75 yard line across the slough, took one correction on the other side, then caught the scent and grabbed my duck.
She brought it all the way back, and was happy as heck...knowing she did great. She made my first duck very memorable.
Oh, and it ended up being a suzie.
“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” - Will Rogers