Tu tene eum procul; Ego curram ob auxilium!

Monday, November 26, 2007


Check out the article "I Saw Satan." I
originally wrote about it here and here.
I submitted it to Duckaholics Anonymous
for publication.


Saturday, November 24, 2007

Last Hunt of First Phase

We had an awesome draw at the WMA. It
was a short walk and wade. The water
was puddle duck depth full of fall
, millet, duckweed, smart
, and duck potato. Two different
people gave us pointers for where
to set up.

Unfortunately, two things worked against
us. The people to the west of us didn't
go to their spot; they set up right where
we wanted to be. The other is that the
ducks moved out with this last front.
We managed to squeak out four green
wing teal. The worst shot of the day
was on a group of a ringers that came
scorching right over us. I dropped two
of them. They turned out to be
XXXXXX XXXXXXXXX. The public humiliation
in front of my kids was painful. At
least, the "professional wildlife
biologist" hunting with us thought they
were ringers too. The awesome shot
of the day was on a pair of pintail.
the PWB spotted them, Jim hit the
pinner call, and they came right in.
I figured the PWB would take the lead bird.
The trail bird was a hen. I didn't want
to leave her lonely; so I yelled, "You
take the drake and I'll take the hen."
I heard him shoot and saw the duck fall
from the corner of my eye. My hen
started to climb straight up. I nailed
her and she started to fall so hard
and fast that I thought she might hit

I hate being a hen killer, but that does
double my lifetime pintail take. Sadly,
the PWB's pinner was a hen too.




SheWhoMustBeObeyed put on quite a spread.
It was a real conundrum trying to coordinate
cooking the monster turkey and duck and
. Everything was delicious.

This is the one day of the year that I
wish we had TV. I'd love to sit around fat
and stupid watching football all afternoon.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Don't Try This at Home

This idiot may shoot the same gun I
use, but I've seen what happens when
shotguns go bad.

Still, when the Ruskies make a Baikal
they start with a solid block of steel
and whittle away anything that doesn't
look like shotgun. Mine has taken a
huge beating in the marsh and still
fires every time.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tuesday Morning Hunt

Took the morning off and hunted with
MT and his friend at TMG.
We had 2N in Broadmoor. I didn't
have much patience and wasted too
many shots on ducks screaming by.
It didn't help that I got into some fire
ants and got all bit up. Fire ant
balls were all over the place. If
I hadn't run out of shells, I would
have gone all Duck Commander on them.

Finally, onsey twosey ducks started to
decoy - especially after I reduced the number
of decoys that I had out there. It's
weird to watch a teal fly across the
spread, duck his head, look over the
selection, and then fly on. I ended up
with four teal - two GWT and two BWT.
I also found out (when I crossed a
lateral ditch looking for a pintail
I crippled and lost) that my waders
leak. I slogged around with half
the marsh in my boots. It was
a painful wade out. Mike's friend
got bit on the eyelid by something
and was headed to the doctor.

Broadmoor is awesome though.




Great. The NIV of Blogs.

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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Opening Day II

Today was opening day. I went to bed nice
and early, but woke up at 11:30PM. I couldn't
get back to sleep so I read Calvin, did
a crossword, and checked the weather.

I got the boys up at 2:00AM. We ate and
dressed hurriedly, but still didn't manage
to leave the house until 2:45AM. The
drive was uneventful except for a SUV on
its side in the center median. There
were a bazillion cops around the wreck.

We were the third duck boat in line.
But quickly got launched and headed
South up river. This was the first
time I ever tried to navigate using
the GPS at night. We got turned around
thrice but managed to get back on track
each time.

We got to our spot and were initially
concerned about how much the water had
dropped over the last week. Not to
fear. The boat easily got in place.
The boys got the camo netting up while
I tossed the decoys out. I put
palmettos up and we settled in for
an hour wait. I sliced my shooting hand
up on the palmettos, but at least there
were no skeeters. Shooting time was 6:17AM.
One good sign, we saw a teal take off
when we pulled up with the boat. Only
problem was that we were shooting into
the sun.

Here's a picture of the hole. It looks
crowded with vegetation - and it was.
Smartweed, duck weed, and other weeds
were thick. But there were enough small
pockets to put the decoys. I put out
bwt, pintail, and coots.

This was the boat. It was really well
covered up. We had tons of birds (ibis,
caracaras, kingfishers, and bald eagles)
practically land on the boat. When I
made my first retrieve before the sun
was fully up, I could hardly find the
boat from 30 yards away.

We had an awesome morning. I dropped one
bird stone dead very early and left it
to lay, but after a pair of mottled ducks
came and only one left. I figured I'd
better retrieve my birds. While I was out
Dave shot a nice green wing teal and I got
it for him. Back in the boat, I couldn't
figure out what my duck was. It had a
slightly rounded, smallish head and a blue
bill. I kept thinking it might be a wigeon,
but I knew they had a white speculum. This
bird didn't. I got out my Ducks at a Distance
and found that it was indeed a hen wigeon.
A new specie for us.

The boys had several opportunities at mottled ducks,
one hen was 2 feet off the water 15 yards
away and they missed with all six shots.
How they can hit little bitty teal screaming
through the dekes and not hit a hanging
modu - I'll never understand. Of course,
I've done it occasionally myself.

My calling was really on today. I worked
my Duck Commander drake call and pulled in
several of the mottled attempts. The boys
had success on the teal with their whistles.

Dave got a bwt when a pair came in low and
fast straight at us. I tried to get a shot
off, but forgot to take the safety off
first - that's happened before.

I got a bwt in a longish shot it fell
into a side channel of the river. I
spotted it trying to hide in some coots.
When they took off it was left. I spent
two more shells on it and it dropped its
head and started swimming in circles. The
wade out to get it kept getting deeper and
deeper. Thankfully, it didn't top the waders
and I didn't "float my hat."

Jim got on the board when a large group
of bwt came at us and broke across. He
shot and I shot. I saw two ducks fall.
One Jim's and one mine. Jim's was a cripple.
When I finished it for him, I saw that he
had another duck dropped with it for a Rut
Double. Later when I was picking up the
decoys, I decided to take a pass through
the smartweed. I found a second one I
had shot for my Rut Double.

Back at the boat ramp, we had the best
haul of the day. A lot of the guys who
were hunting farther north were hampered
by guys having airboat races.

Here are my birds:

This is the whole take:



Thursday, November 15, 2007

Opening Day

Saturday is opening day of duck season.
Getting ready is a challenge. Here's
my check off list

Decoys - repainted and restrung
Camo netting - bagged
Buckets filled
.....Sweet and Salties
.....Bungee cords
.....Boat registration
.....Skeeter repellent
.....Decoy heart - new batteries
GPS - charged and tracked
QBeam - charged
Extra Gas
Shotguns - unloaded and cased
Ammo Bags filled:
.....Neck Gaiter
.....Face Mask
.....Wader belt
.....Shell belt
.....Head Flashlight - new batteries
.....Copy of regulations
.....Copy of Ducks at a Distance
.....Duck Calls
.....Fire Extinguisher
Hunting License
Boat Plug
Camo clothing (and extra dry clothing)
Push Poles
Boat Lights
Life Jackets
Palmetto Fans
Netting support poles
Cell Phone and carrier
OD Mats
Boat Keys

And SheWhoMustBeObeyed wonders why I'm



Sunday, November 11, 2007

Scouting Report

From Hwy 50 down to East Marsh, we
have scouted the St. Johns River
marsh. We found a few wads of
bwt but only about 35 ringers.
Actually thought we saw a true
black duck.

The St. Johns River is
dropping again after the rains
of early October built it up.
We are very concerned that any
hole we found on last Saturday's
scout may be dry by by this
Saturday - that's what happened
to us last year.

The spot I've picked should be
able to withstand some drop. If
not, I've got a fall back or two.
Though it is very hard to find
spots in the dark even with a GPS.
I'm sure the marsh will be packed.
I won't sleep much this week.