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M&J Outdoor Communications » Waterfowl: Beyond The Basics


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Waterfowl: Beyond The Basics

Author – M.D. Johnson
Lead Photographer – Julia Johnson
Published – August 2008
Stackpole Books (

In this sixth title by M.D. and Julia Johnson, the literary duo delves into the science, intricacies, and tradition of modern waterfowling practices, and takes an in-depth look at what it means to be an advanced duck or goose hunter.

From Mark Rongers’, consummate waterfowler and creator of the Mighty Layout Boys empire, foreword to the final chapter – Waterfowling, and Public Relations – the Johnsons help breath new life into what many say is the most historic of hunting traditions. In Chapter 1 – Divers Down! – readers are taken from the waters of Chesapeake Bay westward to the tides and currents of the mighty Columbia River. Along the way, elegant species such as redheads, bluebills and yes, Sir Canvasback, are greeted, discussed, and, occasionally, included in the day’s take. Curious as to what lies inside the blind bags of some of the nation’s finest and most recognized waterfowl hunters? Mysteries of the Blind Bag reveals these secrets, and much, much more. Scouting in the 21st Century, goose hunting by the alphabet, even a chapter devoted to the pursuit of snipe and rails – if the subject involves water and fowl, chances are very good that you’ll find it between the proverbial covers.

“Originally,” says the author, “the book was to be called Advanced Waterfowling. The problem was, however, I could get no one to agree on the definition of advanced as it applies to duck and goose hunting. To some,” he continued, “it’s scouting via satellite imagery, electronic decoys, or an exotic – and expensive! – non-toxic ammunition. To others, however, advanced means traveling backwards along the Path of Progress. To this individual, the next step consists of hand-carved and painted decoys, and a layout boat he made in his woodshop.”

Johnson went on. “With that in mind, we wanted something for every waterfowler. From cork to computers, and everything in between. And I think we’ve achieved that here.”

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