Dylan’s banded blue-winged teal

Dylan Bordelon and his dog, Blu, with a banded blue-winged teal Bordelon got on his birthday, Sept. 26, in southwest Louisiana. He was hunting with his wife and one of his best friends.

“September 26, 2023. My birthday turning 31 years young. Got off of work on that Tuesday anticipating a afternoon hunt on our private lease in southwest Louisiana, the evening hunts have been jam up consistently so I was hopeful for another great evening hunt especially on my birthday. Sometimes I’m a lone rider for the evening hunts but my wife and one of my best friends wanted to join me being that it was my birthday, so we all loaded up including my dog, Blu. Everyone knows him by his nickname “Blu dog.”
Once we had arrived and got everything ready, other hunters were already shooting around us. We were a little late but still made it all work, quickly set out our lucky ducks and got settled into the blind. Needless to say the action was instant. No sooner than we sat down we were shooting. It was mostly pairs of teal coming in. Right before shooting light ended, a group of 8 or more was fluttering into the decoys. We called the shot. I had taken two on my side and so did my buddy on his and there we had our limit.
I sent Blu dog out to start retrieving ducks. Picked up my buddies two first, being they were farther out, then started sending him on my two. When Blu dog was coming back with the 3rd duck, I could see something on the duck’s foot, but didn’t want to get too excited nor get anyone else excited by saying “band” and it not be true. As he got a little closer, I saw that it was no doubt a band and I instantly said “BAND” in excitement. Of course neither of them believed me until how excited they had actually seen me then Blu dog delivered the bird to hand, proving there was a band.
Funny thing is, we had a conversation about bands a couple of days before saying “it only happens when you least expect it” and “if we keep talking about it then we are obviously expecting it, so therefore it won’t happen.”
Well sure enough on this hunt we hadn’t mentioned anything about a band (not yet anyways) and I’m not sure why but we just hadn’t got on the subject like normal.
Well sure enough our myth of “it happening when you don’t expect it” turned out to be true.
This is Blu dog’s second season and he had just retrieved his first band. That’s always a day any dog handler will never forget, but on top of that it was my birthday and I was able to share the memory with a best friend and my wife. Now that’s something special.
I’ve taken 14 bands in my time of hunting and the one that was most special to me was a banded drake mallard that was actually banded on my birthday, Sept. 26. Not the same year of course, but still cool. It was hatched in North Dakota, banded on Sept. 26, 2003 and taken on Dec. 21, 2013. 10 years old and to think that mallard has migrated many times and found its way down to me in central LA. Banded on my birthday and that was something pretty cool and special to me.
But this particular band on this blue wing has taken that spot. Blu dog’s first band retrieve on my birthday and my wife and best friend was there to experience it.
Now that’s just something that can’t get any better! The teal was banded on Aug. 26, 2023 and taken on Sept. 26, 2023. Also hatched in 2023, banded near Imperial, Saskatchewan Canada. Made its way down here and found me on my birthday. A memory I’ll cherish forever. Boy do I love being a Louisiana sportsman in the month of September!”

-Dylan Bordelon