John's Journal...

Guns of the Waterfowling Pros

Bob “Spoonbill” Clark of Canada’s Dog ‘N Duck Outfitting

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: To become a professional in anything, you need to study a professional in that area of expertise and learn how he approaches his craft and what makes that professional successful. In the hunting world, you need to determineClick to enlarge if a professional’s success depends on his skills or the tools the guide carries with him on a hunt. I’ve interviewed five waterfowl guides to learn what guns and shells they use and why. When I asked Bob Clark of Edmonton, Alberta, of Dog ‘N Duck Outfitting, who has hunted waterfowl for almost 50 years, how he got the nickname of “Spoonbill Bob,” he answered, “For a couple of years, regardless of where I hunted, what kind of decoys I set out, and what type of calling I did, I always seemed to get spoonbills coming to my decoys. So the other guides just started calling me ‘Spoonbill Bob,’ since spoonbills seemed to follow me no matter where I went.”

“I like a Browning Citori over-and-under shotgun in a 3-inch Magnum 12-gauge with a 26-inch barrel,” Bob “Spoonbill” Clark says. “We get awful cold Click to enlargeweather here in Canada, and I’ve found that the over-and-under doesn’t jam nearly as much as theautomatics or pumps do. We hunt in a lot of dirt and straw here, and automatics have a tendency to collect more dirt and more residue than the over-and-unders do. I like the short barrel because it’s easy to swing in the blind, Click to enlargealthough most goose and duck hunters prefer a long barrel. We primarily hunt out of layout blinds, and in these style blinds, the short-barreled gun takes up less room and is easier to maneuver than the long-barreled gun. I like to shoot the Winchester Xpert and Federal steel shot. I shoot No.2s for ducks and BBs for geese. When you hunt ducks and geese for a living, especially when you’re a guide, you don’t want to spend any time in the blind trying to solve problems with your gun. The guide’s gun needs to be as dependable and trouble-free as possible, and I haven’t found any shotgun more dependable than the Browning Citori over-and-under. I’ve had many great days of hunting with this gun and taken many limits with it of both ducks and geese.”

For more information: Dog ‘N Duck Outfitting, 89 Courtenay Terrace, Sherwood Park, AB T8A 5S6 Canada; Phone: (780) 913-1337;

Tomorrow: Barnie Calef – World Duck Calling Champion

Check back each day this week for more about "Guns of the Waterfowling Pros"

Day 1: Bob “Rip” Clark and Jay Cavanagh of Canada’s Dog ‘N Duck Outfitting
Day 2: Steve Bierle – the Creator of Hunter’s Specialties’ Bad Medicine Goose Call
Day 3: Bob “Spoonbill” Clark of Canada’s Dog ‘N Duck Outfitting
Day 4: Barnie Calef – World Duck Calling Champion
Day 5: At the Other End of the Flyway – Louisiana’s Jeff Poe and Texas’s Chris Lee


Entry 492, Day 3