Cabin Country: Foundations of duck camp

  • Updated: November 8, 2013 - 1:45 AM

Members and friends of the Christina Hunt Club pose at their duck camp in southern Minnesota. Back row, from left: Fred Harris, Roger Smith and Merrill Johnson. Front row, from left: Andy Hoffmann, Mike Gahlon, Tim Hoffmann and Tim’s black lab Bob.

Beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Long-term friends and business associates. Sounds of whistling wings overhead in the dark, as you await the opening time. Never-ending debates over the setting of decoys or the calling of ducks. Distant sounds of geese heading your way. The surprise of close-flying birds buzzing through your decoys before you can react. A blazing fire after hours in the cold winds of late October. Fathers and children sharing the experience of the great outdoors. The look of young hunters after shooting their first birds on the fly. Dogs at constant attention, shivering not from the cold but from their excitement. The sight of high-flying migrants tumbling into your lake. The excitement when shallow-lake restoration efforts undertaken by a coalition of state officials, advocates of duck hunting and dedicated hunters prove successful. Boisterous story-telling and card playing after a home-cooked meal. The hopes of a weather front that might push birds your way. Perpetual discussions of where the birds are and at what point we are in the migration. The glow of a successful hunt that would signal the continuation of waterfowling for future generations. The simple enjoyment of the great outdoors and our wonderous natural resources. These are the foundations of our hunt club, as surely as for every other.

Our club began nearly 80 years ago in southern Minnesota at Lake Maria, north of Slayton, and moved to Lake Christina, near Ashby, in the 1950s. We look forward to its continuation for generations to come.


SEND US YOUR HUNTING SHACKS! Cabin Country is celebrating your beloved hunting shacks through the fall. Please send your photos and stories to or submit online at We're also looking for stories from ice-fishing houses and cozy winter cabins.

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