Dave Maas is a lifelong hunter, but he’s fundamentally a deer hunter, preferring archery hunting South Dakota whitetails to almost any other activity.

So when he was invited to hunt green-timber mallards in Arkansas earlier this month, he accepted with a mixture of excitement and apprehension. Would he be able to keep up with the other guns in the group? Would his first duck be a greenhead mallard downed in the crucible of waterfowling, the rice fields and flooded timber of the Mississippi Flyway?

For the first day, hunting in groups clustered in flooded oakwoods, Maas shot plenty, but he couldn’t be sure it was his shots hitting the decoying birds, or those of his hunting partners.

Finally, on the second day, as his group closed in on their limits, Dave asked if he could solo on the next ducks that decoyed. The rest of the crew happily consented, and I turned my camera on Dave.

Do you remember your very first duck?