Tu tene eum procul; Ego curram ob auxilium!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

No More Oh For

Today was the Youth Waterfowl Hunt at T. M. Goodwin
WMA. Ducks Unlimited sponsored a campout on the
grounds the night before. Last year's gale force winds
and monsoon rains were gentled, but it was still damp.
It doesn't take many camping experiences for me to
be permantly put off the idea. The ground was hard,
the sleeping bags not quite warm enough, and the
guy a tent over snored all night until someone
early and got the kids ready early.

Breakfast was scrambled eggs, greasy bacon,
sausage gravy biscuit, and coffee. I'm an old
campaigner and can handle that at 4:00AM.
It was a little tougher for the kids. Regulating
Jenny's blood sugar the rest of the morning
was one of our challenges. She did great.

We ended up with the draw I really wanted after
Tony Rushing graciously chose the second best spot.
I partied up with a guy who hadn't been able to get
a spot. We set up a safe distance apart. When I
had scouted the evening before I hadn't seen a lot
of ducks and the day proved out. Still, we had a
great set up.

Here's a shot with the kids standing up in the boat blind.

This is Jim raring up to pound them.

Jenny was on her first hunt and handled herself valiently. After firing the
first shot, she realized there wasn't going to be a shoulder smashing
recoil. Unfortunately, she didn't have too many opportunites to
shoot. Her shining moment came when she whacked one of Jim's

Jim had suffered all this season as an ohfor. But, no more.

He did all the right things in preparation: had a mint chocolate chip
milk shake at the Tasty Swirl last hunt, remembered to bring a hat this
hunt, and had a good hurl of his breakfast at the ramp. He finished the
day with most beautiful drake bluewing teal I've ever seen. The white
goes all the way behind the head and down the neck. It was a clean hit and
it was hard to tell that he even shot it. I told him he scared the bird to death.
He also got a drake ringer solo and a drake hen ringer pair for his very
first double. Woo Hoo!

Hitch took this close up. He is an awesome photographer
and has really put a lot into equipment and expertise.

The ride home was a challenge as the levees had turned to mush.
We had to get help pulling the boat out of the marsh. And then
we slip slided our way back to the camping area to pick up our tent.
I had to put Jim, Jenny, and all our gear in the bed of the truck
to get traction. I thought we were going to get mired for sure,
but we swam our way back.

There were tons of happy kids at the check station. I'd go
on this hunt just to drink Darryl Jacobs cafecito (thimble size
cups of thick, syrupy sweet cuban coffee). Jenny was beginning
to flake out by then. But a cafecito at the check station and
a season ending mint chocolate chip shake to keep us awake
on the drive home and things were okay.