Tu tene eum procul; Ego curram ob auxilium!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Pie Man Jim

This was the boat blind for Saturday's hunt.
Both boys are sitting in there.

It was a great spot, good decoy placement,
and no ducks. We ended up with a stray
green wing for Dave and a stray blue
wing teal for me.

We decided to go scout and maybe shoot a
few snipe. On a small island, we found this.

How it got there, we had no idea. We debated
what kind of goose it was and if it was legal
to shoot. I finally told Jim to take a whack
at it. The bird took off and flew to the far
end of the island. Now, this was an island
that had been shared with a whole herd
of cattle.

Jim decided to belly crawl up on the
goose to get a shot.


Almost there. But, it took off right as
he was closer. Turns out it was a blue
phase snow goose and very legal. We'll
never get another crack at one of those.

Jim will forever be known now as
Pie Man. We made him sit down
wind of us the rest of the day.

We decided to go shoot a few snipe.

This was the ultimate take.

And this was dinner. No more ducks in
the freezer.



Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Big Gunns

Mike T. and John G. had two extra spots
on their Broadmoor draw last Saturday.
Cannon Kirby and I joined them. We were
able to get the spot that has been the
single best producer for me over the years.
For security reasons, that spot will
remain nameless.

The wildlife management area guys were
able to do some phenomenal work to
prepare this area for hunting given
the flooding from Tropical Storm
Fay 3 months ago.

The day started off badly. The lace
on my wader boots broke, the coffee
at the 7-11 was burnt, and I forgot a hat.
But, I restrung the boots, choked down
the coffee, and borrowed a hat from
John. Not to fear.

The morning was cool, not cold and
very still. There weren't a lot of clouds
either. As I said, the area was beautiful.
The walk on the levee was short and
our wade out uneventful because most
of the dreaded para grass had been
killed off. We found a large chunk
of reeds that we could both hunt in,
dropped off our stuff, and put out
the decoys. I had teal, pinner, and
Jim's new woody decoys in and
around a clump of smart weed.
We also both had mojo doves.
These are the bees knees.

We set up our stools, hid the decoy
sleds, jammed some palmetto fans
around us and settled down for
shooting time. Since sunrise was at
6:51, shooting time was 6:21. We
didn't have long to wait. A few
folks didn't wait that long at
all and were blasting away very

It wasn't very long after legal
light that we were in the game.
I don't remember which of us
got the first duck - probably
Cannon, but I had one in the
decoys that I flushed and
whacked. After that it was
fast and furious. We had
birds coming from all angles
and in groups of all sizes.
It was awe inspiring. I've
had great days in the marsh,
but this was like no other.

Cannon had 4 teal and a ringer
and decided to hold off for
a big duck. After a bit, I saw
two mottles come in from my
left. They are so much bigger
than teal. Mike T. calls them
"flying footballs." But their
size is deceptive; they look like
they are flying slow, but they
are as speedy as teal. I whispered
to Cannon that they were coming.
They swung out wide and in
front, but one peeled off to
take a look at the spread.
Cannon dropped him like
a rock. An anchor shot to
mak siccar and Cannon was
done. But not quite. When he
retrieved the mottle, he started
woo hooing all over the marsh.
It was his first BANDED duck.

Days don't get much better than

A few moments later, I finished
up 4 blue wings, 2 green wings,
and a ringer. All drakes (and that
not from skill).

Then, the sun came up. It was
quite a hunt.

Cannon took some photos:

Sunrise on the marsh:

ofs on a retrieve:

ofs and a fistful of ducks:

Cannon's picture:

ofs blinded up in full camo:

On the way out of the marsh, we kicked up
these ringers from a lake. I counted around
250 birds. Double click on the picture to get
a good view. All the black dots in the air
are ducks.

And, I killed a coot.



Sunday, November 23, 2008

Opening Day -2008

Opening Day went well for us. I got my
first scaup and three teal, Jim got three
teal, and Dave got one teal.

We hunted an area where I've seen
ducks before but never thought was all
that huntable. There were a lot of
tour airboats to keep birds working
and I bought a mojo decoy this
year that really seemed to work.

Of course, for the scaup, I had
these special decoys - very life like.
In case you can't tell, the scaup is
in the center of the picture.