Tu tene eum procul; Ego curram ob auxilium!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Early Teal (and Wood Duck)

This was one exhausting, but fun hunt.
Jim and Chris had two draws at TMG and
graciously offered to let us have one.
Dave wasn't feeling well and bailed out
on me, but my Jim came along.

Launching was a nightmare. Most of the
other hunters in the Goodwin Reservoir had
smaller boats or canoes. I had the big
boat. The problem was water level. Things
are way down. We got the boat in the canal
with a modicum of difficulty, but it didn't
want to start. Finally, it did. Once it
was running, I got it up to speed, went
down the canal, and hit the levee into
14W at speed. We got halfway across and
with Jim and Chris helping easily managed
to get into the impoundment.

The water in the impoundments is
very low and the hydrilla and spatterdock
are thick as peanut butter. But, my
Go-devil long tail cut through it with

We tossed out some teal and a couple of
pintails for decoys. The boat we wedged in
an island and camoed it up. I wasn't quite
back as far into the vegetation as I would
have liked, but we were where we were and
I didn't want to get out of the boat. The
reservoir holds far too many gators and it
was too hot to hope they might be sluggish
at all. I did get out to make retrieves
once the sun was up.

There were a lot of wood ducks flying,
but they were flaring off of us, but they
were flaring off of Jim and Chris too. I
just think they were skittish. I managed
to knock down two hen woodies. They were both
long retrieves and I was beat. We saw some
teal in distant groups, but they weren't
interested in us. Jim had some shots and
had almost gone through a whole shell belt
when a nice drake came from behind and
presented a tailing shot. It wasn't 'til
the third shot that he knocked it dead
from the sky. Once again, I had a long
wade through the weeds, but it was worth
it. Jim is continuing his late success
of last year and slowly regaining some of
his former shooting prowess. I was very
proud of him. And, not liking to walk
though gator infested water with a duck
in my hand, all I can say is "Happiness
is a duck in your waders."

Getting the boat back on the trailer
was a real effort and again, if it
weren't for Jim and Chris we might still
be trying to figure something out.

What a great day!



Friday, September 14, 2007

I am a Heretic

Nope, this ain't about the Federal Vision.

I am a duck heretic. The state of Florida
and duck purists down here want to maintain
the unique Florida mottled duck. This duck
is threatened by interbreeding with feral
mallard ducks. The problem is that mottled
ducks really are a sub-species of the mallard
and are kissing cousins more than separate
species. I like shooting mottleds. Three
of my four banded birds are mottled ducks.
But, we can only shoot one a day. And, the
dang things have a real problem mass breeding.
This is even more evident as black-bellied
whistling ducks have moved in and have bred
like rabbits.

For several reasons, I support the crossbreeding
of the mallard and the mottled.

1.) They breed better.
2.) They still don't migrate.
3.) They are a prettier bird.
4.) They are a bigger bird.
5.) We can kill more per day.

For this, I would go to the stake, but only
after the season is over and if I can grill
some ringers in Wishbone Italian dressing with



Thursday, September 13, 2007

Not me

I came up with OldFatSlow from mis-remembering
the below bumper sticker.

Available from Corolla Surf Shop

Anyway, I've found an oldfatslow on YouTube who rides
bikes down mountains out west. While it looks cool, it
ain't me - I get nose bleeds stepping up off the
curb. The levees at TMG are as high a hill as
I'll bike on my $139.00 Schwinn.

It's a big world, I hope he doesn't mind us sharing
a name.


Saturday, September 01, 2007

Early Teal

Early teal is just around the corner.
I can hardly wait. Boys 3 and 4 and
I went and biked TMG and Broadmoor
Marsh today. We only saw a handful
of teal, but the blackbellies are
back in force. Water levels are
critically low. I don't think my
big boat will be usable at all.
I talked to Mike about how things
are shaping up. They have lots
of areas chopped and prepped, but
getting water on them will be tricky.
Still, it was really good to be
back on the levees again.