T’was the week before Christmas 2020 and all across the plains, the ducks had all but stopped flyin’ so, maybe, just maybe, it was nigh time to stop tryin’.

It was mid-morning and freezing, for sure, in the land of Oklahoma, where four native New Iberians hunted hard 675 miles or so northwest of Houma. Still, the youngest waterfowler in the group kept blowing his duck call. After all, he said later, it’s “very interesting” overall.

The melodic tones from the mouthpiece must have floated high in the air, a seductive, appealing affair. All of a sudden there rose such a winged flutter there was little time to do anything else but mutter:

“Get ready,” Jason Denise of New Iberia and the others told his 12-year-old son, Reed Denise, who was trying out his new duck call during the out-of-state trip with his uncle, Jarrod Denise, and cousin, Tate Denise.

“We let him go, let him go. We let him enjoy what he was doing. Like I told him, ‘Practice. Practice. Practice.’ And practice he does. He was sitting there playing with his duck call” when the only mallards they saw that morning diverted from their flight path, Jason Denise said, noting his son is in his second year of duck hunting.

“They decided to come straight in on the decoys. They were coming down, about to land on the decoys, one on top the other,” he said about the hunt Dec. 20.

“When they swooped in and started cupping, they said, ‘Get ready!’ ” his son said.

“He stood up right away. He took one shot and they both fell,” Jason Denise said.

The Highland Baptist Christian School student scored the rare double with a single blast from his Remington .870 20-gauge shotgun. His father pointed out that most of the time when a duck hunter downs two ducks with one shot they are from a flock of ducks close together.

“I tried to explain to him the rarity of one shot. It took him a while for that to sink in. Oh, yeah, he was excited,” he said.

Reed said, “I was happy I shot something but I didn’t know it was rare.”

Tate Denise’s chocolate lab, Kalli, and Jarrod Denise’s black lab, Blue, each retrieved one of the two greenheads gunned down by Reed.

The day dawned at 15 degrees and it was approximately 22 degrees a few hours later when the two greenheads dropped by the duck blind in north central Oklahoma. The Denises hunted ducks and geese in that region five of six days they were in the state.

Jason Denise, who owns Superior Sheet Metal, said they can attribute any success to his nephew, 21. Like another young local outdoorsman, Saint Schwing, Tate Denise thrives on scouting lakes, public lands and Ducks Unlimited management areas. Tate Denis also locates areas that don’t get a lot of hunting pressure, his uncle said.

“We refer to Tate as our guide. We follow his advice and all we do is shoot. We’ve always been successful,” he said.

Tate’s father runs Fin Hunter Guide Services LLC in Picayune, Mississippi. Tate has been one of his guides on numerous occasions.

The 21-year-old all-around outdoorsman is adept at finding good duck and goose hunting spots in Oklahoma, based on his success in the Sooner State. Jason Reed declined to identify the nearest city where they hunted Dec. 20, the second-to-last-day of their trip, but did note they also hunted waterfowl around Lawson, Oklahoma.

Most important, Jason Reed said, he was making lifelong memories with his son on outings away from home. Before the two-for-one shot, the young outdoorsman had downed a few teal.

The taxidermy mount of two greenheads was completed two months ago by Rory Landry of Kaplan, who owns Dirt Road Taxidermy. One is in a cupping pose while the other looks like it is in flight, an impressive double mount for a special moment.

Jason Denise, who killed his first duck, a wood duck, at age 11, and his son plan to hunt again in Oklahoma on Dec. 16-23. His first duck, by the way, was 3 years old and was banded in Ohio. He was sent information on it 10 years after the fact.

“It just popped up,” he said.

Until Dec. 16, the father and son will spend a lot of time at their camp near Avery Island. They planned to hunt deer and wild pigs this weekend, also run a few catfish lines.

Reed, who attended the recent New Iberia Ducks Unlimited Chapter Banquet, is under no illusions he can repeat the feat with another double.

“I don’t know. I can definitely try. I don’t think it’ll happen,” he said.

He’ll continue practicing with his duck call. Inside a duck blind, he’ll hunt away, hunt away, hunt away as he is so inclined.

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