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OFFICIAL CHALLENGE START DATE: AUGUST 9, 2014
We are very excited that you are ready to embark on the journey of a lifetime. The UWC (Ultimate Waterfowlers Challenge) was designed to offer the avid waterfowl hunter, such as yourself, the opportunity to become a more well rounded hunter and in the process, experience and document the most rewarding and amazing waterfowl hunting adventures across all four flyways of North America. The challenge itself is very simple and will make you better at duck hunting and goose hunting. You'll also learn about several different styles of hunts that goose and duck hunting guides offer across North America.
3 EASY STEPS TO BECOME A CERTIFIED MASTER WATERFOWL HUNTER
STEP 1: Click on the “Sign Up Today” tab, and register to be a member. There is a one-time lifetime certification fee of $99.00 to get started. Then fill out the form and you'll receive your start up package in the mail within 7 – 10 business days. (Included in your start up package will be an official UWC certificate, hat, t-shirt, handbook and hunter identification card). Your name will also be placed on the UWC website membership page as a Certified Journeyman Waterfowl Hunter.
STEP 2: During the upcoming hunting season(s) as you harvest your game, simply pull out your Official UWC Hunter ID card, snap a clear photo of the head and body of the bird with your Hunter ID card directly underneath it.
STEP 3: Within 60 days of harvesting your bird, simply visit the UWC website and click on the “Register Your Bird” tab. Fill out the short entry fee and pay a small processing fee of $5.00. Then email your photo of your harvested bird to firstname.lastname@example.org and your set!
|BECOMING A CERTIFIED MASTER WATERFOWL HUNTER
|Once you have successfully submitted a minimum of 15 of the 41 UWC Certified Waterfowl species your name and bio will be added to the Master Waterfowl Hunter page of the UWC website and you will receive a custom 14” x 17” wall plaque in the mail. There is no time limit to attain this certification.
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Receive this Custom Master Waterfowl Hunter Plaque when you successfully register 15 of the 41 UWC species
|BECOMING A CERTIFIED MASTER ELITE WATERFOWL HUNTER
|The second level above the Certified Journeyman Waterfowl Hunter is becoming a Certified Master Elite Waterfowl Hunter. To achieve this certification level a member must successfully harvest and become certified for a minimum of 30 of the 41 Official Certified UWC Species
Once a member successfully certifies a minimum of 30 species, the status of Certified Master Elite Waterfowl Hunter has been achieved. The member will receive a custom 14” x 17” Master Elite Waterfowl Hunter wall plaque with their full certified waterfowl species list included on the plaque, as well as their favorite hunting photo. (see adjacent image for choice of 3 different plaque options).
The member’s upgraded bio will also be added to the Master Elite Waterfowl Hunter page of the UWC website and they will have the ability to add their upgraded bio and three favorite photos added to the page for fellow waterfowl hunters to read.
|(CLICK TO ENLARGE)
Receive this Custom Master Elite Waterfowl Hunter Plaque when you successfully register 30 of the 41 UWC species
|BECOMING A CERTIFIED GRAND MASTER WATERFOWL HUNTER
|For those waterfowl hunters who are a little crazy in the head and go for it all, successfully completing the challenge by certifying all 41 of the 41 UWC certified waterfowl species in North America. You will receive a custom engraved Grand Master Waterfowl Hunter name plated King Eider decoy with wood base. You will also receive a full bio on the Grand Master Waterfowl Hunter page of the UWC website. You have attained the highest level of waterfowl hunter certification across North America and have mastered your skills at both duck hunting and goose hunting!||(CLICK TO ENLARGE)
Receive this Custom Engraved Grand Master Waterfowl Hunter King Eider Decoy with hunters name plated on a wood base when you successfully register all 41 UWC species
Thank you for participating in the Ultimate Waterfowlers Challenge and best of luck! Enjoy this and improve both your duck hunting and goose hunting skills. For those hunts that you wish to use a guide, please explore all of the different duck hunting guides available on our website. We've hunted with all of these outfitters and know they offer world class hunts!
The Ultimate Waterfowlers Challenge Team
Hunting Specklebelly Geese in the Heart of the Duck World with Top of the Flyway Outfitters
by Brandon Crowley, Co-Founder, Ultimate Waterfowlers Challenge
TOP OF THE FLYWAY OUTFITTERSS
EMAIL: CLICK HERE
WEBSITE: CLICK HERE
SPECIES HARVESTED ON THIS HUNT:
WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE (SPECKLEBELLY GEESE)
Arriving in Arkansas (from Minnesota), I knew it would be good hunting when I laid eyes upon the many flooded fields filled with birds. Besides ducks, I spotted white-fronted geese, better known as Specklebelly geese, aka “Specks.” They’re the birds I was after, and just seeing them upon arrival made me wonder how many I’d get during my time there.
I met Trevor and Nick from Top of the Flyway Outfitters at a local hotel in Arkansas and told them I was excited to spend two days chasing Specks with them. We walked to a nearby restaurant to enjoy a tasty BBQ and catfish dinner. Then it was back to the hotel for a good night’s sleep in anticipation of an early morning hunt the next day.
It had been raining in the area for three straight days, which ended up flooding many of the area fields, making for not so perfect field hunting conditions. However this weather wouldn’t last.
The first day of our hunt brought with it clear skies, and temperatures in the upper 30s with a light breeze. Trevor, Nick and I loaded up the truck and set out for the fields. During the ride, Nick informed me that we’d be hunting a feed field that had somewhere in the ballpark of 2,000 Specks in it, feeding regularly in the morning and afternoon.
After entering the field and emptying the trailer, Trevor and Nick set up a mixture of full body and silhouette Specklebelly decoys. They also mixed in 300-400 snow goose windsock decoys for visibility.
For me, the hide is what made the hunt. Trevor and Nick knew how to find the best hide possible, making sure the birds had no idea hunters were in the field. They emphasize concealment and they won't put out any decoys until the blinds have been brushed with a truckload of fresh cover to ensure quality decoying birds. We finished setting up the blinds and brushed them accordingly to match our surroundings.
It wasn't 10 minutes after shooting time that we had our first flock of Specks working the decoys. Trevor had informed me that they had shot 14 days straight of Specklebelly limits so I knew we had to keep the streak alive and seeing this first flock work the decoys was a sure sign that this hunt was going to be day number 15 to add to the total.
The first flock did it perfectly, feet down, 10 yards into the decoys, and all 6 birds’ flights were canceled. Two of the birds were what the guys called "Tar Bellies,” without a spot of grey on them. Well, they were completely “blacked out,” and, without hesitation, headed to the taxidermist!
As the sun rose that morning, the skies became even more visible and there were birds in every direction you could see! We were just a few birds shy of our limit of Specklebelly geese, so we let a few flocks pass to extend the hunt. We let a couple pairs finish. The hunt consisted of 35 awesome minutes and by then we had our limits of Specklebelly geese.
It was 9:00 o'clock in the morning and we were already done hunting for the day. Since I’m from Minnesota and we were hunting the grounds where birds winter, it made sense to spend the rest of the day exploring the migration.
We soon discovered a spectacular flooded rice field with thousands of different duck species including American Wigeon, Gadwalls, Wood Ducks, Pintails, and Redheads. Needless to say, I took tons of pictures.
After a couple hours of sightseeing and a quick nap, it was time for dinner at the nearby restaurant for some true Arkansas cooking.
At dinner, I learned about my fellow hunters. Since they were from Mississippi, it was fun to learn about their hunting techniques, which were different than what I knew being from “up north.” These guys swore by hunting flooded timber. Hearing about their hunts gave me quite an appetite, as I enjoyed some tasty ribs and BBQ Brisket and great conversation.
Soon it was time for bed, so we all headed back to our hotel rooms. I set my alarm for 4:30 and got a good night’s sleep.
The next morning we woke up to absolutely beautiful conditions. The temperature was 45 degrees with clear skies and a light breeze. It was time to hunt, and we soon heard that first scout goose coming to investigate. Trevor and Nick had no problem calling him down from the ozone layers. I had the pleasure to shoot this bird and it was absolutely gorgeous.
This morning’s hunt went even quicker than the first day as the birds came off the roost and continued right into our decoys. We had our limits in 18 minutes and it was literally like the saying "shooting fish in a barrel." The birds were feet down at 5-10 yards. You couldn't miss!
Trevor and Nick from Top of the Flyway Outfitters were not only great scouts, putting me on the birds, but they also focused on the hide better than any other outfitter I’ve ever hunted with. Their choice of concealment meant you could enjoy decoying birds at 5-10 yards. I also appreciated that these guys knew how to shoot limits. Being on day 15 and 16 of their impressive shooting streak, I’m happy to report they ended the white-fronted goose season in Arkansas with limits on 28 of 28 hunts-- absolutely incredible.
If you want to harvest trophy adult Specklebelly geese, Top of the Flyway Outfitters can take you on the hunt of a lifetime. Visit www.topoftheflyway.com for more information, or, better yet, visit their Facebook page to see evidence of their amazing hunts: https://www.facebook.com/TopOfTheFlywayOutfitters