Outdoors blog

Waterfowler’s best friend: Labs don’t balk at winter retrieves

Kent Contreras hunkers in layout blind as his Labrador retriever, Tank, races back with a downed mallard he fetched from the Pend Oreille River. (Rich Landers)
Kent Contreras hunkers in layout blind as his Labrador retriever, Tank, races back with a downed mallard he fetched from the Pend Oreille River. (Rich Landers)

WATERFOWLING -- Tank, a bruiser black Lab, races back with a mallard drake before the ripples smooth out in the decoys on the Pend Oreille River Saturday.

Temperatures in the teens didn't even nick the the dog's enthusiam for rounding up all the ducks and geese Kent Contreras could bring down from his Avery Outdoors layout blind. 

After every retrieve he returned, settled down steady by Contreras and looked out as if to say, "Bring it on."

Very cool.

The original plan was to hunt a slough that had been luring ducks by the hundreds. But the cold temps sealed the slough in ice, forcing the Newport-area pair to hunt the open water of the river.




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Rich Landers
Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

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