Gavin Quintana, a 17-year-old from Reno, Nevada began his duck season with a bang. On Sunday, October 15, he shot an unique mandarin duck. 

Quintana, who’s a senior at Churchill County Excessive College, couldn’t hunt the Saturday opener due to a job at a neighborhood lumber yard. So on Sunday morning, he hunted geese and within the afternoon in determined to strive for geese on the Truckee River along with his girlfriend.

“I used to be simply strolling down the river making an attempt to leap a few geese,” Quintana tells Subject & Stream. “There was a bunch of 10 to fifteen wooden geese, and this one occurred to be proper in the midst of them. I knew precisely what it was when it jumped up and the daylight hit it.”

Quintana hit the hen nicely along with his first shot after which tried unsuccessfully to choose off a woodie from the flock. “I used to be shaking, man,” he says. “I missed the remainder of my pictures on the opposite birds, however I didn’t care.”

Quintana rapidly recovered his sudden kill and admired it. The duck had a particular orange-white-and-black head, in addition to a surprising flash of orange on its wing. “I used to be extraordinarily excited,” he says. “I had the sensation I’d by no means see something prefer it once more.”

Mandarin geese are sometimes thought-about the Asian equal to the wooden duck. The species is endemic to east Asia and has been introduced over to North America as an unique species. Feral populations have established themselves in components of California, together with in Sonoma County. It’s not clear the place the duck Quintana shot got here from, however it’s doable that it got here from a kind of California populations. The duck didn’t have any bands or zip-ties on its legs that might establish it as a pen-raised hen. 

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After capturing the uncommon specimen, Quintana continued looking however didn’t bag another geese that day. He plans to get his mandarin duck mounted. “I’ve been looking my complete life, and I’ve by no means seen something fairly prefer it,” he says. “I’ve seen pictures on social media of uncommon hybrids and loopy geese that individuals have shot, however I by no means thought I’d have a chance like this.”

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