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Jerry Smith
Jerry Smith

Illinois Outdoors


A Web log by Jeff Lampe of the Journal Star

Duck wears a coot band

December 11, 2007 at 12:21 PM

So we were sitting there Tuesday morning in Blind No. 5 at Banner Marsh when Greg Corder started asking about the likelihood of shooting a banded duck. The Farmer and I spent the next few moments telling stories about bands, including one about The Farmer claiming a banded mallard and The South Sider heading back home with a banded wood duck. Just as we were heading into the story of bagging two banded Canada geese with one shot, Corder said, “Hey, this duck has a band.”

We laughed. And he said, “No, seriously. It does.”

And he was not lying, as is clear in the picture below that shows his 11-year-old daughter Brigette holding the banded duck (one of nine we shot on the day).


The band is from a group called Coots Unlimited in Ashby, Minn. Apparently the group is fairly active, based on this information from the Ashby Web site.

“The coot statue stand outside of town on Highway 78. It represents the largest Ashby area sportsmen club, Coots Unlimited. It all started a few years ago. Several area residents shot a large number of Coot and decided to have a get-together. For two years it was held at the old depot and approximately 30 people attended. The third year the group decided to have a fund-raiser and called it the Coots Unlimited Banquet. It was held for several years at the Ashby Motel and Resort. At the same time, the Ashby Sportsmen Club, of which most of the involved individuals were members, changed their name to Coots Unlimited.

Now the event is held outside the Ashby American Legion. They do not serve coot anymore but there is a wide variety of delicious foods to choose from. Approximately 400 tickets are sold every year with the proceeds going to area wildlife projects. The Coots Unlimited banquet is held the Saturday before fishing opener.”

Why they band mallards, I’m not sure. Perhaps we will learn more once Corder sends in his information. In the mean time, we now have another story to tell in the weeks to come (unless ice locks even Banner solid).



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