Tu tene eum procul; Ego curram ob auxilium!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Finally Shooting Straight

Saturday was another awesome day. We had a good draw at the WMA and ended up in the reservoir. It was a spot I hadn't scouted and two different people gave me good directions and advice. My #4 son and I put out only 6 ringer decoys, but we tossed two dozen coot decoys. There was no wind and no clouds, but we did set up with the sun to our backs in a small clump of reeds. It was quick work to get the camo netting up and 15 large palmetto (God's gift to brushing) fans jammed around the boat. We had half an hour to sit.

Things didn't start fast, but soon the ringers were zinging through. I knocked down 3. I didn't want to try a retrieve on them until daylight was fully up and I could pick out any gators in the pond. But, a pair of woodys came whistling through. I popped the drake and I was in the water retrieving that one in a hurry. I found two of the ringers as well, picked up a bunch of hulls, and got back in the boat. A buddy came by in his boat to see how we were doing and he found my missing ringer. We'd seen him kill a nice wigeon, but otherwise his day had been pretty slow. A few minutes later, a small group of bwts came just behind me. I hit a hen just about straight over me and she sailed into the weeds behind me. It took two passes through some thick stuff to find her but I also picked up two sleeves and the front of my waders full of sticker burrs (beggers lice).

We spent the next hour or so working big flocks of fulvous whistling ducks. They wanted to roost in the hole we were in, but they've had the crap shot out of them this year and they were spooky. Finally, a nice pair came across the dekes. I dropped the hen and my day was done.

My poor #4 son has had a horrible year after doing so well last year. He didn't kill any of the ducks that came through while I was still shooting, and the wigeon, woodies, and fulvous that we worked the rest of the morning either didn't come in close enough or flew through the duck sized holes in his shot string.
Above is a picture of three of the birds that were not too messed up.




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