5. Ruddy Duck
Though drab in color for essentially the entire hunting season, a late-season ruddy duck is among my most-desired trophies. Those white cheeks, rusty-brown backs, fanned tails, and sky-blue bills ought to be spoken of in reverential tones. It's also a delicious bird, covered in a thick layer of delectable fat, which earned it the nickname "butterball" during the market gunning period a century ago. Back then, it fetched a dollar per bird—the same as a mallard and twice as much as a pintail.